Asking prices rise
Thus reports SQM Research in its weekly residential newsletter.
Asking prices for houses in Melbourne are 11.4 per cent higher than a year ago, and in Sydney the figure was 11.5 per cent.
Hobart also recorded outsized gains, while Brisbane, Canberra, and Adelaide each recorded moderate increases.
A key driver appears to be a lack of new stock being brought to market, with upgraders perhaps discouraged by prohibitive transaction costs in the form of stamp duty.
Nationally listings were down by 5.5 per cent from a year ago, with Melbourne in particular chewing its way through a previously elevated number of listings.
Sydney listings were down by 6.6 per cent in January from a month earlier to just 21,633 (remember that Sydney is Australia's most populous capital city, and this number is much lower than in Melbourne, and even Brisbane and Perth).
It's still quite early in the year to make an accurate assessment, but if this trend towards a constipated market continues there will be a relatively high amount of competition for not much stock this year in Sydney and Melbourne.