More homes for sale – Real estate agent activity 2014

RP Data have released insights around the number of homes which are likely being prepared for sale and lead indicators for new listings about to enter the market.

RP Data's Listing Index (RLI) is currently at record levels after the seasonal slump in real estate agent activity. As industry participants emerge from the festive period, there is a surge in real estate agent activity. The graph below tracks the national RLI. RP Data recorded more than 65,000 activity events from real estate agents over the 28 days ending February 9th.Homes being prepared for sale - Image1

The activity occurring across the RP Data platforms correlates well with the number of new listings entering the market over the next few weeks, so we are expecting more properties to hit the market for sale as we approach autumn. It's a great time to be selling a property considering the current housing market conditions are mostly favouring sellers rather than buyers.

Comparing activity from region to region we can see that there is some variability.

Sydney's RLI has returned to a level slightly higher than last year which is expected for this time of the season. The index increased over the second half of 2013 in line with the strong housing market conditions and it's expected that listing numbers track at roughly 7,500 new listings each month. Effective supply levels are also expected to remain tight across the Sydney market considering the run rate of sales across Sydney is tracking at about 8,860 per month.

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Melbourne has seen record levels as the second half of 2013 brought a consistent ramp up in agent activity in line with the strong housing market conditions that were very much evident over the same period of time. The post festive season surge settled around the first week of March, so agent activity levels should return to approximately the same level RP Data recorded at the end of 2013. New listing numbers across Melbourne were tracking at around 7,800 per month compared with a run rate of sales of about 7,400 per month. This means we will potentially see an increase in total effective supply levels across Melbourne over the coming months.

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Brisbane agent activity is surging at the moment with the RLI for Brisbane moving about 20% higher than what RP Data recorded during mid-December. It's likely the Brisbane housing market is right on the cusp of accelerated market activity as attention shifts from Sydney and Melbourne to Brisbane, where capital gains to date have been modest, yields are substantially higher and affordability isn't as much of a concern as the other major capitals. An average of about 3,900 new listings have entered the market across Brisbane each month compared with a run rate of sales at 3,950 per month - so demand and effective supply levels look broadly in line. RP Data anticipate there will be a increase in market activity over the first half of 2014 which is likely to be accompanied by an increase in new listing numbers.

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Adelaide has seen an upwards trend on agent activity over the past twelve months, with the RLI currently at similar levels as what was recorded late last year. A weakness in the manufacturing sector has caused a lack in confidence in the local SA economy, however the housing market has been slowly improving despite the poor economic conditions. Roughly 1,880 new listings are being added to the local market each month compared with a sales rate of about 2,240 each month. Transaction numbers are outweighing listing numbers, keeping effective supply levels tight.

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Perth has seen a rise in agent activity through January, however current activity levels are slightly below record levers but higher than late 2013. It's likely that agent activity levels will settle back to around the same pace as what was recorded late last year - still above the long term trend. The average number of new listings has been sitting at about 4,000 per month while transaction numbers are showing a run rate of 3,690 per month which indicated a growing level of effective supply overall.

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Hobart has held agent activity relatively steady over the past year after a solid increase during the second half of 2012. The local Hobart market was the only capital city where dwelling values posted a fall over the past twelve months and conditions overall remain sluggish. RP Data have been tracking about 410 new listings being added to the market each month and about 350 home sales which suggest plenty of choice for prospective buyers and not a great deal of urgency in their purchase decision.

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Darwin's agent activity shoes more volatility than other markets, partly due to the small size of the market. Activity levels are currently sitting well below the recorded highs in 2013, but similar to what was recorded late last year. There are about 220 new listings entering the Darwin market each month compared with a rate of sale at 289 per month - meaning effective supply looks relatively tight.

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The Canberra housing market slowed substantially in 2013, however the last four months of 2013 listings activity showed a steady increase. The bounce back in agent activity hasn't been as strong in 2014 which may indicate new effective supply levels are beginning to ease. Over the past six months there has been an average of 580 new listings being added to the market compared with 610 sales per month on average suggesting that effective supply additions to the market are being absorbed sufficiently.

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