Homes flying off the market at record speeds

Cheap borrowing costs are also inducing buyers to look for more expensive properties, according to a new report

Homes flying off the market at record speeds

Residential properties are flying off the market, with inventory in short supply and the average number of days homes are listed for sale hitting record lows in every state last month.

According to a new report by REA Group, owner of realestate.com.au, homes were listed on the site for an average of 48 days in March, down from around 60 days in January and 71 days in June 2020. Properties sold fastest in the Australian Capital Territory, where demand has been driven by a spike in public-sector employment, according to a report by The Australian. Homes in the ACT sold in an average of just 25 days.

Close behind were New South Wales, where homes sold in an average of 27 days, and Victoria, where they sold in around 30 days.

REA Group said average views per listing have also skyrocketed, with every state posting record highs last month. Nationally, views per listing were up 6.1% over the month and 106.8% year over year, according to The Australian.

Economist Anne Flaherty, author of the REA Group report, said the growth was being driven by record-low interest rates, government support schemes and limited inventory.

“Buoyed by low rates, buyers are searching for more expensive properties than they were a year ago,” Flaherty said. “They are also looking for more space, with inquiries for houses and land surging, while demand for units has softened.”

Read more: This state sees record auction clearance rates

More listings are expected to be brought to market during spring and autumn – traditionally the most popular times to sell. Investor activity is also on the upswing, The Australian reported.

Investors accounted for nearly 17% of email inquiries to realestate.com.au last month, compared to 11% during a trough in June when inquiries from first-home buyers peaked. Flaherty said first-home buyer inquiries had been falling and were expected to continue to fall for the rest of 2021 due to increasing prices and the expiration of government programs like HomeBuilder.

Residential property prices jumped 2.8% last month, according to a CoreLogic report – the highest rate in 32 years. Recent data from the Real Estate Institute of Australia showed that housing prices have risen more than 500% over the last 25 years, from a median price of $160,000 in 1996 to $825,000 in 2020.

Ryan SmithRyan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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