2022 sees busiest first quarter for property in eight years – report

2022 has seen the busiest quarter to start a year since 2014, with new listings in capital cities up 16.2% month-on-month in March, according to REA Group’s PropTrack Listings Report April 2022.

The PropTrack Listings Report is a monthly report that analyses new and total listings on realestate.com.au to provide the most up-to-date view on property market supply trends.

The analysis showed double-digit month-on-month growth in new listings for all capital cities. Experiencing its fastest first quarter since 2011 was Melbourne with 15.7% MoM, while Sydney saw its fastest start to a year in a decade, with 15.7% MoM.

Nationally, new listings on realestate.com.au picked up 15.5% month-on-month in March and were up 8.2% from the same time last year. The busy start to the year has helped increase the total stock of properties for sale across the country, up 7.5% MoM, with all cities and regional areas seeing an uptick.

“The property market started 2022 strongly, with a brisk pace of new listings through the first quarter marking an eight-year record,” said Angus Moore, PropTrack economist and report author. “With price growth still positive and buyer demand high, we’ve seen homeowners hitting the market in the hopes of making a sale ahead of the Easter break. Measures of buyer demand do look to be easing from the record levels seen in late 2021. At the same time, the strong levels of new supply coming to market over the past six months have helped give buyers more choice and ease competition in the market.”

Moore said selling conditions are likely to remain strong throughout the typically busy autumn selling season, but t. are some headwinds for price growth on the horizon.

“After hitting multi-decade highs in 2021, price growth is slowing; prices grew 0.3% month-on-month in March, the slowest monthly growth since May 2020,” he said. “Rate rises look likely later this year, which is already starting to cool buyer appetite and weighing on price growth. The upcoming federal election could also provide a temporary headwind. These factors mean that, while selling conditions look set to remain strong in the near term, we are likely to see some tempering from the dominant levels experienced in late 2021 and early 2022.”

The report also showed strong MoM increases in new listings across all capital cities: Canberra (21.6%), Adelaide (19.3%), Perth (18%), Hobart (15.8%), Brisbane (14.4%) and Darwin (12.3%).

New listings also continued to pick up in regional areas, lifting 14.4% MoM to be 7.8% higher than a year ago.

Enjoying the biggest increase in new listings compared to a year ago were buyers in regional Tasmania (up 17.7% year-on-year) and regional South Australia (up 15.2% YoY).

Total stock of properties listed for sale remained low in regional areas but increased 5.4% MoM in March.

Nonetheless, available stock for sale remains limited after long periods of restricted market activity over the past year due to COVID-19 lockdowns and high levels of buyer demand. This is particularly the case regionally, w. the total stock available for sale remains 40% below pre-pandemic levels, REA Group said.