Older listings surge as sellers struggle to sell

“There are fewer buyers relative to available inventory, which means older inventory is piling up and it takes longer to sell a property.”

In Sydney’s central west, the number of homes on the market for at least six months jumped 18.6%. In the eastern suburbs, it rose by 11.4% and on the northern beaches by 24%.

Old stock in East Central Melbourne increased by 5% and in North West Melbourne by 11%.

Struggling to sell

180-day registrations also rose in Perth, by 3.4% to 4,032. In Canberra they rose by 4.8% to 219 and in Hobart by 13.3% to 213. The number increased slightly in Adelaide and Darwin, but fell 5.5% in Brisbane.

“It’s an early indication that a lot of properties are finding it increasingly difficult to sell in a reasonable time frame,” Mr Christopher said.

“A rise in old listings is normally indicative of an impending downturn in market conditions, and we have seen this happen with every market downturn.”

While new listings fell sharply across the country in May as sellers held back ahead of the federal election, new stock is expected to rise in the coming months, Christopher said.

“In the month following an election, there’s usually a rebound in new registration activity, and I think we’re getting it,” he said.

“I expect to see a jump in new listings from now on, although we have now entered the calmer winter months. SQM Research has seen an increase in new auction listings, hence why we have this view.”

Last month, listings under 30 days fell 4.8% in Sydney, 6.7% in Melbourne and 10.6% in Canberra.

New registrations fell 28.2% in Hobart, 8% in Darwin and 0.7% in Brisbane. Nationally, new inventory fell 5.9%.

Despite the weaker selling conditions, sellers were far from being forced to sell, Mr Christopher said.

“Sellers or owners can afford the current rate hike and probably be able to afford the rate increases we’re about to have,” he said.

“I don’t think we’ll see a lot of bullishness and forced selling activity until we see the average lending rate rise above 6%.

“At the moment there is no indication that sellers are panicking to sell, and I think we are going to see many potential sellers hold back until they believe the recession is over.”

Penny D. Jackson