Is Sydney Real Estate Market Showing Signs of Stress?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
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Housing auction clearance rates stayed at relatively high levels last week, but in the bellwether market of Sydney the rate of sales is not keeping with the volume of property coming onto the market.

In the week to Sunday, 72.3 per cent of homes going under the hammer were sold, a relatively high clearance rate despite being down from the extraordinarily high 77.3 per cent recorded in the corresponding week of 2015.

Prices held their ground as well, inching up by 0.1 per cent in each of the mainland state capitals aside from Adelaide, where prices rose by 0.7 per cent according to CoreLogic RP Data’s weekly roundup of price movements.

The national market is still being dominated by Melbourne, where prices are up by 10.8 per cent over the past year, and Sydney, which is sitting on an annual gain of 9.9 per cent.

But things aren’t quite so buoyant elsewhere with Brisbane recording an annual rise of 5.2 per cent, Adelaide prices up only 1.3 per cent over the year, and Perth’s down by 3.8 per cent.

And the strain is starting to show even in Sydney, where sales are not keeping up with the volume of homes coming onto the market.

CoreLogic RP Data reported a 5.4 per cent rise from a year ago in homes newly listed on the Sydney market.

But the overhang of supply is growing even more rapidly, with the total number of homes listed rising by 20.5 per cent.

Only in Perth and Darwin, centres adversely affected by the economy’s rebalancing away from growth driven by mining investment, can a similar pattern be seen, although in those cities, total listings are still up even though new listings are lower than a year ago.

In another sign that the gloss is wearing off in Sydney is the time homes had been on the market before being sold last week.

For houses in Sydney, the median time on the market last week was 64 days compared with 39 days this time last year.

Sydney: 77.2pct (86.2pct this time last year)

  • Melbourne: 73.0pct (75.8pct)
  • Brisbane: 54.5pct (63.6pct)
  • Adelaide: 69.9pct (53.3pct)
  • Perth: 46.2pct (46.4pct)
  • Tasmania: 83.3pct (44.4pct)
  • Canberra: 71.2pct (72.4pct)
  • Average: 72.3pct (77.3pct)


  • Sydney: 64 days (39 this time last year)
  • Melbourne: 51 days (60)
  • Brisbane/Gold Coast: 74 days (75)
  • Adelaide: 69 days (75)
  • Perth: 90 days (83)
  • Hobart: 70 days (68)
  • Darwin: 121 days (109)
  • Canberra: 56 days (50)

Source: CoreLogic RP Data

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