Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Listings tighten across the board

Listings tighten

A fairly bullish note from SQM Research yesterday reported total listings declining by 8.3 per cent in the month of April 2017 to 322,400.

Listings are down from 366,151 or by 11.3 per cent from a year ago.

This goes against the grain of much of the media reporting this week, instead suggesting that stock is being well absorbed by the market in the low interest rate environment. 

Source: SQM Research 

Property markets will likely face some challenges as the year rolls on as the new cap on interest-only lending takes hold.

Bullish for Melbourne

Plotting the figures by capital city shows that in absolute terms the significant year-on-year decline in total listings was driven by Melbourne (down -23 per cent to 30,534) and Sydney (down -8.7 per cent to 24,735). 

Melbourne's total stock on market has been declining since 2013, reflecting record high population growth in the Victorian capital

Source: SQM Research

In fact declines in listings were seen across the board in every capital city.

In percentage terms Hobart continues to experience excessive annual declines in stock (-19.3 per cent) as capital flows into Tasmania after a prolonged absence. 

The wrap

Part of the monthly decline can be explained by ANZAC day and school holidays, but the annual declines are nevertheless significant.

SQM Research reported solid gains in median asking prices in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as in Brisbane and Canberra. 

Reported SQM:

"Contrary to recent reports of a slowdown taking place, I see no signs of a slowdown in either Sydney or Melbourne. 

Canberra property prices have also picked up, which we expect to continue through the second half of this year."

The wording of the Statement yesterday explaining the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Decision (on hold for an 8th consecutive meeting) appeared to infer that from the RBA's perspective brisk dwelling price growth had been shifted into the past tense.


The Victorian State Budget released yesterday will introduce a stamp duty exemption for first homebuyers paying up to $600,000, and stamp duty concessions for first homebuyer purchases up to $750,000, to apply from 1 July 2017.

This is a bullish signal for entry level stock in Melbourne.

The stamp duty exemption for investors buying off-the-plan in Victoria will be scrapped effective 1 July 2017 (though a discounted rate of stamp duty will remain for owner-occupiers and first homebuyers), which is another bearish indicator for construction and development.

A vacancy tax to prevent dwellings being left "unreasonably vacant will apply from 2018.