National residential listings declined marginally in January 2019, led by drops in both Sydney and Melbourne, new data has revealed.
SQM Research is reporting that listings fell by 0.03 of a percentage point in January 2019 to 328,089 from 328,203 in December 2018.
It found that both Sydney and Melbourne were down 2.3 per cent, while Canberra dropped 2.0 per cent. All other capital cities were marginally up, with Hobart recording the largest increase at 1.4 per cent.
Managing director of SQM Research Louis Christopher said that seasonally it is normal for large listing declines to be recorded in January as the property market goes into hibernation for the holiday period.
“Listings in January recorded a very minor decrease, with some cities actually recording increases,” he said.
“This is abnormal and concerning. It implies that vendors had a terrible spring selling season with most still trying to move their properties in January. Many have not been able to sell. We are now expecting a surge in listings over February.”
Capital city asking prices for units and houses declined by 0.4 of a percentage point and 2.2 per cent respectively. Unit asking prices are now $572,800 and houses $915,900.
The largest monthly decline was in Sydney. Hobart posted increases in both unit and house asking prices, however both unit and house asking prices declined in Brisbane and Melbourne. Darwin experienced a large increase in unit prices.