National listing numbers rose by 18 per cent in 2011, led by Hobart and Melbourne, new data has revealed.
“2011 was the second year running where there were sizable increases in unsold properties,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.
“This obviously is a symptom of the downturn in the Australian real estate market that still persists to present time.”
Figures released by property research house SQM Research showed national listing numbers reached 385,036 as of December 2011.
Hobart witnessed a 52 per cent rise in listing numbers over 2011, reaching 4,689 properties on market as of December, followed by Melbourne with 43 per cent (48,586 as of December). Adelaide was next with a 26 per cent increase (17,953), then it was Sydney with a 23 per cent rise (34,251); Canberra was up 21 per cent (1,907); Brisbane rose three per cent (29,211); Perth edged one per cent higher (19,574); while Darwin posted a one per cent fall over the year (1,542).
Mr Christopher noted that listing numbers were beginning to ease in recent months. This was led by a 10 per cent on-month fall in listing numbers in Canberra, followed by Melbourne and Sydney (both down eight per cent).
This was consistent with the recent findings of Century 21 Australia, which suggested lower listing numbers were stimulating competition amongst buyers.
Mr Christopher added that, when combined with a recent rise in housing finance approvals, declining listing numbers should help stimulate the local property market.
“Overall it is suggestive to me that a bottom in the market place maybe occurring and that a modest recovery for Australian residential real estate is likely for 2012.”