Stock Levels Increase to their Highest Levels Putting Buyers Back in the Driver’s Seat

The cyclical upturn in listing numbers in on going, with new listings addition rising 16% compared to the end of winter. But despite the increase in fresh listings the new stocks being added are trending at nearly 4% lower compared to the same year-ago period, the lowest seasonal level since 2012. The cause of the low number of fresh listings is anaemic seller confidence. This doesn’t come as a shock because the housing market situations have slowed down and selling conditions have become more difficult.

The level of newly advertised stock is muted but the overall advertised listing numbers have been tracking higher while the rate of absorption becomes sluggish. If nothing changes in the present trend, the number of properties advertised will surpass the recent highest levels recorded in 2012. Total listing figures are up 10.2% compared to 2017 and are at their peak for the same period since 2012.

A panicked surge in fresh listings is not the reason for the increase in total listing numbers. It can be attributed more to weak demand, which is triggering an increase in re-listings, combined with extended selling times (more days on market) and fewer successful sales at auction.

It is now taking 53 days to sell an standard capital city housing by private treaty versus 42 days last year and discounting rates have increased by 6.5% on average compared to 6.0% a year ago.

If there is more stock, there are more options for buyers and more difficult selling conditions for property owners, which is basically a buyer’s market. There is little sense of urgency for buyers under these circumstances; they can aggressively negotiate, linger in making a purchase decision, and if they can’t accept the property price, they can simply move to the next property. There are a lot of properties for sale in the market that sellers would have to be realistic with their pricing expectations.

Now more than ever, sellers need to make sure they choose and agent who knows how to run an effective marketing campaign to stand out from other properties for sale (the competition).