No matter whether you’re home loan refinancing or looking for your first property, it pays to know how tight the local market is for a variety of reasons. If there are fewer homes available, this will mean two things – you’re likely to find it more difficult to find the property you want, and there is high demand from buyers.

If you’re an investor, then the second point is likely to come as welcome news. However, if you’re buying a property for owner occupancy, this might not be quite as appealing.

SQM Research has released listings data for January, which paints a mixed picture for listings up and down the country. Nationally, listings increased 1.9 per cent from December 2014 levels and are now 2.7 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

However, there were some cities that went against the grain. Sydney was the biggest month-on-month anomaly, as listings fell 3.1 per cent. They were also down 2.2 per cent on an annual basis.

It’s no secret that the Sydney market has been under pressure for some time. Buyers are faced with declining stock levels and rising prices, which the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently stressed at its latest meeting.

Announcing the cash rate decision on February 3, the RBA said the Sydney market has witnessed a considerable rise in property prices at a time when they have fallen in many other cities.

SQM Research Managing Director Louis Christopher commented on the sales listings data, which he believes points towards the continued resilience of the Harbour City.

“The Sydney market remains strong and we expect a very strong opening to the Sydney auction season this weekend,” Mr Christopher noted.

“However this localised market strength is not really being experienced anywhere else outside Sydney.”

At the opposite end of the scale was Darwin, which has seen its property listings increase 34.2 per cent over the past year and 6.7 per cent year-on-year.

You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for home loan advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.