Is Australian housing swinging toward a buyers' market?

The housing boom has meant high times for sellers – but is the market heading toward more balance?

Is Australian housing swinging toward a buyers' market?

The housing market is showing signs of a turn from a sellers’ market to more balance between buyers and sellers, according to an analysis by PropTrack.

The analysis found that the volume of weekly searches, views per listing and email inquiries to real estate agents were all down in November as the seasonal slowdown around the holidays approached, The Australian reported. The drop came as the number of homes for sale rose with the end of lockdowns, giving buyers more choices.

Some indicators did show falls in listings, however, according to The Australian. SQM Research reported that national residential property listings dropped by 2.6% in November – to 233,716 from October’s 239,866 – and 21.1% year on year.

New listings rose 2.3% over November, with 96,346 new properties entering the market, The Australian reported. New listings rose 20.4% year on year. However, the overall drop came as older listings fell 7.3% month on month and 51.2% annually.

Still, the PropTrack Housing Market Indicators Report argued that the property sector was showing the first signs of a shift away from a sellers’ market. The report found that as the number of homes for sale increased last month, views on each listing declined. Views per listing dropped 9% in November from October’s record high, PropTrack said.

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The analysis also found that the volume of weekly searches had tumbled 16.2% over the last seven weeks.

“Search volumes remain historically high, and we expect they should remain so over the coming months following the Christmas/New Year slowdown,” PropTrack said.

Policy settings also continue to allow buyers to borrow cheaply, although some intervention is expected in 2022, The Australian reported. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank maintained the cash rate at its record low 0.1%, as expected.

“There were no surprises from the final RBA board meeting of the year after significant changes were announced at the November meeting,” said Cameron Kusher, director of economic research at PropTrack. “Australia’s economic recovery continues, but the RBA still expects interest rates to be on hold through all of next year and most, if not all, of 2023.”

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