More listings but less sales

Cameron Kusher from Core Logic RP Data gives us the national overview this week and he points to a slowing in the rate of national capital growth and says that while more people are bringing their properties onto the market they are not selling and that is resulting in more choice for buyers.
Kevin:  At this point in the show, I want to take a break from doing it state by state. We want to take an overview of the entire country, and to do that, no one better than Cameron Kusher from CoreLogic RP Data.
Cameron, thanks for your time this morning.
Cameron:  Thanks for having me, Kevin.
Kevin:  It’s a pleasure. Now, Cameron, let’s have a look at the Australian market firstly and then maybe break it down by some highlights and some lowlights in each of the states, if we could.
Cameron:  Nationally, what we’re seeing is that the rate of capital growth in the market is slowing. We saw in March, a 0.2% increase in combined capital city home values, so they’re still increasing, but the actual rate at which they’re increasing is slowing. In February, for example, we saw a 0.9% increase. Over the first quarter of 2016, values are 1.6% higher.
Now to put that in a bit of perspective, they fell by 1.4% over the final quarter of last year, but in the same quarter in 2015, the first quarter of last year, growth was 3%. So a pickup from where at the end of last year but still softer conditions than what we were seeing 12 months ago, and that’s really reflected in the fact that over the past year, values have increased by 6.4%, which is their slowest annual rate of growth in 31 months.
Kevin:  Of course, this is on the back of a spectacular period of time out of Sydney, as well. How much has that influenced the market, Cameron?
Cameron:  Sydney and Melbourne – being the two biggest cities – have a big influence on the overall results. The index is weighted, so the slowing that we are seeing in both Sydney and Melbourne clearly has an impact.
I said that nationally we saw the slowest rate of growth in 31 months. In Sydney, it was actually the slowest rate of growth for that city in 32 months, and there are clear signs that the rate of growth in Sydney is decelerating. After peaking at about 18.5% annually in July of last year, it slowed to 7.4% annual growth.
Kevin:  Cameron, there’s been considerable talk about an oversupply, particularly in Brisbane and Melbourne. Is that, in fact, happening?
Cameron:  Definitely. If we have a look at how much stock there is to come online over the next 24 months, it’s absolutely massive in Melbourne and Brisbane, particularly in inner city areas. It’s definitely concerning how much new stock is coming online.
If we actually look at Melbourne, for example, over the past 12 months, dwellings – so combined houses and units – have increased by 9.8% in value. But if we break that out by houses and units, you can see a massive discrepancy between the two. House values have increased by 10.7% over that period of time compared to just a 2.5% increase in unit values. And it’s a similar story in Brisbane: 4.9% growth for houses over the year compared to just 0.5% for units.
You can really see now that the difference in performance is widening and I think that’s reflective of this huge amount of new unit stock we’ve got, which has already come online but is certainly also coming online over the next few years in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Kevin:  What sort of an impact will that have on the established market? Are we seeing an influx of listings coming in from established properties in those markets?
Cameron:  If we have a look at listings both in Melbourne and Brisbane, new listings are higher than they were a year ago and total listings are generally a little bit lower. There seems to be a level of confidence in the Melbourne and Brisbane markets at the moment with vendors more prepared to bring stock onto the market, but isn’t necessarily turning into a faster rate of sale from the data we’re looking at. In fact, Brisbane’s time on market is similar to what it was 12 months ago and Melbourne’s is actually slightly higher.
It’s going to be interesting to see, but in terms of the established unit market, obviously, the huge amount of new unit stock coming online will also have an impact on the established unit market, as well, because, obviously, it’s more competition for buyers and a lot of units are obviously rented, as well. From a rental perspective, people have a lot more because there’s so much investor-owned unit stock now being built.
Kevin:  Yes. It’s the key point – isn’t it – the days on market. It becomes a real tipping point when you see too much stock coming on the market. Therefore, a bit of an oversupply in stock generally, not just new off-the-plan stock.
Is there a point in time, Cameron, that you’ve been able to establish where you can determine with the balance between days on market and the amount of stock that’s available, is there a point where it moves from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market?
Cameron:  There’s no exact science to it, but if you have look over the last couple of years, Sydney’s time on market got as low as 25 days, Melbourne’s got as low as 30 days. They’re now starting to creep a little bit higher. Whereas at the moment, markets like Brisbane and Adelaide, you’re seeing a time on market figure of around 45 to 50 days.
I would suggest that the tipping point is probably somewhere around 40 days, but it also might vary a little bit city to city, depending on overall conditions and how quickly people are to make their decision.
But certainly, I think in Sydney and Melbourne, overall the market is still favoring the seller, but it is swinging back towards a buyers’ market, particularly in Sydney at the moment.
Kevin:  Cameron, great talking to you as always. Thank you very much for your time. Cameron Kusher there from CoreLogic RP Data.
Thanks, mate. Talk to you again soon.
Cameron:  Thanks very much.

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