The winter period is typically a quieter time for the property market, but recent data suggests that sellers are in a prime position in the coming months. Property transactions in cities such as Sydney and Canberra have seen significant year-on-year growth, with sales volumes up by 13.5% and 8.5% respectively in June. Even cities like Perth and Hobart have recorded growth in sales volumes compared to last year.
Although national monthly sales volumes have been lower in 2023 compared to the previous year, there has been a recent uptick in sales over the past few weeks. If this trend continues, sales in July are expected to be higher than last year. In comparison to 2019 and 2020, sales in 2023 are actually up, indicating a strong performance despite the decrease from the previous years.
Unlike the same period last year when sales were down, this year buyers seem undeterred by the winter season and are actively engaging in the property market. 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, this past year has seen the highest number of highly engaged buyers on the platform in the last five years. Even during the strong market in 2021, the number of highly engaged buyers was lower than what has been recorded in recent months.
Several regions across Australia have contributed to this increase in highly engaged buyers. Cities like Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Sydney, as well as regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia have seen a surge in buyer activity. While not every capital city and regional area has experienced the same increase in highly engaged buyers, most regions have seen a boost due to lower listing volumes, resulting in a higher number of buyers per listing.
Home prices have also continued to rise for the past six months, with a 0.3% increase in June 2023. Prices are now just 0.1% lower than the previous year. Looking at the combined capital cities, home prices have actually surpassed last year’s levels, up by 0.06%. Sydney’s median home value is now 4.5% higher than its lowest point in the previous year and is only 3% below its peak recorded in February 2022.
Auction clearance rates have also seen a significant increase compared to the same time last year, rising by 23%. While they may be lower than the exceptionally strong market seen in 2021, the current clearance rates are still relatively high. Although there is a shortage of available properties on the market, auction volumes in both cities are higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Looking ahead, July and August are typically quieter months for the property market, with many buyers and sellers waiting for the start of spring. However, this year has seen some unseasonal trends, suggesting that buyers are not waiting for warmer weather to enter the market. The main challenge currently facing the property market is the lack of available stock. With demand remaining high and limited choice for buyers, those selling are benefiting from high buyer demand and low competition from other vendors, contributing to the upward trajectory of prices.