Unseasonably strong market puts sellers in prime position

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Winter is traditionally a quiet period for the property market, but stronger sales volumes and unseasonably high buyer demand in some cities and regions suggest that sellers are in prime position in the coming months.

Sale volumes picking up in some regions

Property transactions in Sydney and Canberra were up 13.5% and 8.5% in June, compared to the same time last year. Perth and Hobart also recorded year-on-year growth in volumes.

So far, in 2023, national monthly sales volumes have been lower than in 2022. However, in the past few weeks, sales have been picking up. If this trend continues, sales in July will be higher than last year.  

The market was very strong in 2021 and 2022, so sales in 2023 are lower in comparison. However, compared to 2019 and 2020, sales are up.

This time last year, sales in all regions were down except Canberra. This suggests buyers are not feeling the winter chill this year and are out in force.

More highly engaged buyers are looking for property in 2023. Source: Getty Images.

The volume of highly engaged buyers has increased

The number of highly engaged buyers interacting with properties on realestate.com.au increased by 0.6% nationally year-on-year in June.

In fact, over the past four months, we've seen the highest number of highly engaged buyers on the platform than at any time over the past five years.

Even during 2021, when the market was extremely strong, the number of highly engaged buyers was lower than what has been recorded over the past few months.

The regions driving the increase are the cities of Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and Sydney as well as regional NSW, Queensland (QLD), and South Australia (SA).

However, not every capital city and regional area has seen an increase in the number of highly engaged buyers. Even so, because most regions have been experiencing lower listings volumes, the number of highly engaged buyers per listing is up on last year in most parts of Australia.

Five of the capital cities have experienced double-digit growth, with Perth experiencing a 38.8% growth in buyers per listing.

Even Melbourne and Adelaide, which have seen a decrease in the number of highly engaged buyers overall, have more engaged buyers per listing than last year.

Home prices have rebounded

Home prices have increased for six consecutive months. Having increased a further 0.3% in June 2023, prices are now sitting just 0.1% lower than a year ago.

Looking at the combined capital cities, home prices are now slightly higher than a year ago, up 0.06%.

Sydney’s median home value is 4.5% higher than its low point last year and is now just 3% below its peak recorded in February 2022.

Auction clearance rates remain robust

Auction clearance rates are 23% higher than they were at the same time last year and only 9% lower than in 2021 when the market was incredibly strong.

Sydney and Melbourne primarily dominate the auction market, and both have seen clearance rates above 60% throughout 2023.

The shortage of available properties on the market has caused a decrease in the number of scheduled auctions, but auction volumes are still higher in both cities than they were pre-pandemic.

In the coming months

July and August are traditionally quieter months with many buyers and sellers opting to hold off until the start of spring. However, so far this year we have seen some unseasonal trends across Australia that suggest buyers are not waiting for the warmer weather.

Property sales are up in Sydney. Source: Getty Images.

The biggest issue currently facing the property market is the lack of stock, and with demand still high, there is limited choice for those wanting to buy.

Those selling, however, are benefiting from high buyer demand and low competition from other vendors, which is in large part why prices are on the up.

Check out more PropTrack Insights

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