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The number of unique residential properties advertised for sale across the country over the four weeks to 30 March 2014 was recorded at 243,941. This figure consists of 47,805 newly listed properties over the four weeks and 196,136 re-listed properties. As highlighted by the RP Data listings index, there has been a surge in the number of new properties listed for sale and they are 18.9% higher than they were at the same time a year ago. Although new listings have surged, total properties advertised for sale are -3.8% lower than they were a year ago which is reflective of the rapid rate of sale we are seeing nationally. Although new listings are way up on a year ago, the rate of sale is much faster and total listings are falling. To put it simply, properties are being absorbed by the market faster than they are being listed for sale.
Looking at the different residential property types; new listings for houses are 20.2% higher than they were a year ago however, total house listings are -4.5% lower. New unit listings are also significantly higher, up 22.6% while total unit listings are -5.1% lower. New vacant land listings are -5.4% lower than they were a year ago however, total listings are 2.1% higher.
Looking across the individual capital cities, each region except for Canberra (-12.0%) is recording a higher number of new properties listed for sale than they were a year ago. Sydney and Melbourne, which are also recording the strongest capital growth conditions, have recorded the largest rise in new listings over the year, up 49.7% and 32.0% respectively compared with a year ago. Clearly new properties are coming to the market in both cities however, evidence suggests that most are selling quite shortly after the listing.
Although new capital city property listings are generally higher than they were a year ago, total listings are generally much lower than they were a year ago. Across the combined capital cities total listings are -8.3% lower than they were a year ago and each city except Hobart (3.3%) and Darwin (25.2%) is recording fewer total listings. Although both Sydney and Melbourne are each recording fewer total properties advertised for sale than a year ago, it is interesting to note that total listings in Melbourne (33,144) are significantly higher than in Sydney (22,423).
It is encouraging to see that a greater number of new residential properties are coming to the market than at the same time last year however, it is important to remember that in most regions sales transactions are much higher than they were a year ago. Clearly buyer demand has escalated and quality properties are not staying on the market for a long period of time which is highlighted by the fact that total listings both at a national and capital city level are lower than they were a year ago.
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