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Property sales now 60% higher than both 2019 and 2020

By Bianca Dabu
09 July 2021 | 1 minute read
Property sales now 60% higher than both 2019 and 2020

Sales have soared by over 60 per cent compared with 2020 and 2019 in what’s a testament to the continued recovery of the property market, a new report has revealed.

REA Insights’ latest Housing Market Indicators Report found that preliminary weekly sales over the first six months of the year were 60.7 per cent higher than the same period last year and 68.7 per cent higher than 2019.

Of the states and territories, the Northern Territory emerged as the winner, with a 73 per cent increase from last year, followed by Victoria and Western Australia with 72 per cent.

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Meanwhile, Queensland saw a 63 per cent increase, followed by New South Wales at 55 per cent, South Australia at 52 per cent, Tasmania at 36 per cent and the Australian Capital Territory at 29 per cent.

Ultimately, the property market remained buoyant in June as sales activity remained strong and prices continued to rise, according to REA Group director of economic research Cameron Kusher.

“All indicators have continued to outperform previous years and remain at historically high levels. Prices continued to rise, search volumes and enquiry on realestate.com.au were high, properties sold rapidly and sales activity was strong,” Mr Kusher said.

“There has been a clear cooling of the market over recent months, but this is to be expected at this time of year during what is typically a quieter period for the housing market.”

Apart from sales, buyer interest has also been climbing up, with national search volumes in June 13.9 per cent higher than last year — though still 8.6 per cent lower than its historic peak in February. All states and territories witnessed a rise in search volumes year-on-year.

But while search volumes remain buoyant, it is unlikely to return to its previous peak until activity ramps up in spring, Mr Kusher said.

Meanwhile, investors continue to stage a comeback, with a 47.1 per cent increase in email enquiry volumes over the year. In comparison, both buyer and first home buyer email enquiry volumes fell by 7.9 per cent and 37.2 per cent, respectively.

Looking into buyer preference, properties over $1 million were garnering increased interest, accounting for 39 per cent of price-filtered searches in June 2021 — higher than last year’s 27.1 per cent — whereas, properties listed below $500,000 only accounted for 15.5 per cent of searches.

“With low borrowing costs and prices continuing to rise, we would expect an increasing share of property seekers to be looking for properties priced at least $1 million over the coming months,” Mr Kusher said.

Capital cities showed an even higher interest, with 42.5 per cent of searches for properties priced at least $1 million.

As space and lifestyle become more important criteria for home ownership post-pandemic, most property seekers are now looking into at least three bedrooms in a property, with 49.2 per cent of filtered searches for a minimum of three bedrooms — slightly higher than last year’s 46.9 per cent.

In capital cities, searches for three-, four- or five-plus bedrooms have increased by 66.9 per cent over the year, while regional markets saw an even higher 73.6 per cent rise.

Overall, Mr Kusher said key metrics show that the Australian property market remains strong despite the possible impacts of the recent state-based lockdowns, although not quite reaching its pre-Easter glory.

The researcher concluded: “Over the coming months, it is reasonable to expect some further slowing as we move deeper into winter.

“Spring will be a real test for the market, as we typically see an uptick in supply and demand, which may lead to further price increases and housing affordability challenges.”

Property sales now 60% higher than both 2019 and 2020
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