Tight Conditions Impacting Residential Land Market

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Friday, October 16th, 2015
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In the June 2015 quarter, national residential land sales increased by 17.6 per cent, while the weighted median residential lot price increased by 0.6 per cent over the quarter to be 5.2 per cent higher than 12 months earlier.

“Today’s update shows that a rise in land sales was accompanied by an easing off in the pace of price increase in Australia’s residential land market,” said HIA economist, Diwa Hopkins. “This compares with previous quarters which saw strong price increases amid declining land sales.”

“While the June quarter result is an encouraging development, what needs to occur is similar results being sustained over the longer run. That is, a larger and more consistent flow of shovel-ready land needs to be brought online.”

“For this to happen, policy reform needs to address the key land supply bottlenecks including unnecessarily long planning delays; slow and insufficient release of residential land; excessive and inappropriate infrastructure funding arrangements, and; excessive zoning restrictions,” added Ms Hopkins.

According to CoreLogic RP Data research director, Tim Lawless, the break in the trend of declining land sales is a positive outcome after three consecutive quarters of declining sales.

“A 17 per cent jump in vacant land sales is impressive, but land sales remain lower than the June quarter of last year and comes after three quarters where volumes consistently fell and prices rose. The most encouraging sign is that this quarterly rise in vacant land sales is broad based with five of the six states showing a substantial boost in sales.”

“With detached housing approvals remaining relatively flat since early 2014, the likelihood of this recent surge in vacant land sales developing into a stronger trend is unlikely.”

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