More property listings have continued to hit the market in March, leading to a slowdown in buyer demand and price growth.

Despite signs of cooling, vendor confidence in the market remains strong highlighted by the ongoing increases in new property listings. With the exception of last year’s post-Delta spike, more new properties hit the market in March than any other month since October 2014.

Aerial view of Sydney cityscape, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

There seems to be both a level of confidence in listing by vendors but there’s also likely a sense of urgency with many now tipping interest rates to rise from the middle of this year.

While the number of new listings rose, sales volumes eased relative to last year, down 7.4% in March compared to a year earlier. Sales volumes over the first three months of this year are now 1% lower than the same period last year.

The increased supply of stock for sale is also seeing overall demand slow, with demand per listings falling 4.8% over the month.

The median number of days a property was listed on realestate.com.au before selling was virtually unchanged over the month, rising from 33 days in February to 34 days in March.

Price growth slowing

With most indicators softening in March, property price growth has also slowed.

Nationally, prices increased 0.3% over the month, taking annual growth to 18%. While annual growth remains strong, prices haven’t risen by more than 1% over a month since November last year, and the annual rate of growth has slowed each month since it peaked at 24.8% in October 2021.

It’s clear from most metrics that the increase in supply of new listings has led to a slowdown in the market. While vendors are proving willing to list, this is affording would-be buyers with much more choice than they have had for some time.

With interest rate hikes looming throughout the second-half of 2022, it’s anticipated that the heat will continue to come out of the market with slowing demand and slower price growth.

What is less certain is how new listing volumes will hold up. However, with three long weekends in April, and then an election in May, we are expecting new listing volumes to be somewhat slower this month and next. Thereafter, it seems unlikely that the strength experienced early this year will return.

Let’s dive into some of the key trends across the states and territories. 


New South Wales

Sydney dwelling prices rose by 0.3% in March 2022 to be 16.3% higher year-on-year, its slowest annual rate of price growth since March 2021 (14.6%).

In regional NSW, prices increased by 0.8% over the month taking them 26.8% higher year-on-year, its slowest annual growth since June 2021.

Sales volumes

Over the first three months of this year, preliminary monthly sales volumes in Sydney were 4.9% lower than the same period last year. In regional NSW, sales volumes are 13.1% lower.

In the capital, the most sales have been recorded in North Sydney and Hornsby (1,646), followed by the inner south west region (1,530). In regional areas, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie (1,479) and the Hunter Valley (1,462) have had the most sales so far this year.

Days on site

Sydney properties sold in a median 27 days during March, flat on month but up from 25 days a year earlier. In regional NSW, days on site fell to 34 days in March from the 36 days recorded in both February, as well as a year earlier.

Properties sold fastest in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, North Sydney, Hornsby, the Northern Beaches and Sutherland (all 24 days). Outside the capital, properties in the Illawarra, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions recorded the fewest days in site (28 days).

Demand per listing

In Sydney, the number of high-intent buyers per listing fell by 7% over the month to be 13.4% lower year-on-year. In regional NSW, demand per listing fell 8% over the month, but remained 10.7% higher year-on-year.

Demand in the capital city was highest in the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury region, followed by the Northern Beaches. In regional NSW, demand per listing was highest in Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven.


Victoria

Property prices in Melbourne were unchanged in March, to be 10.4% higher year-on-year, the the slowest growth since March 2021. In regional Victoria, prices increased by 0.3% over the month to be 22.4% higher year-on-year.

Over the past 12 months, price growth in Melbourne has been greatest in the Mornington Peninsula. Outside the capital price growth has been strongest in the Latrobe and Gippsland region.

Sales volumes

Sales fell across the state in March, with 5.7% fewer sales in Melbourne and 15.5% fewer sales in regional Victoria, compared to a year earlier. So far this year, Melbourne has had 2.1% more sales than over the same period last year while in regional Victoria sales are 14.1% lower.

The most sales have been recorded in Melbourne’s west and south east. In the regions, Latrobe, Gippsland and Geelong had the most sales so far this year.

Days on site

The median number of days a Melbourne property was listed on realestate.com.au before selling was 27 days in March, down from 28 days the previous month. In regional Victoria, properties were on site for a median 38 days, down from 44 days in February.

Properties are selling fastest in Melbourne’s inner south, followed by the outer east and Mornington Peninsula. Outside the capital, Geelong and Bendigo had the shortest number of days on site.

Demand per listing

Demand per listing in Melbourne fell by 4.2% in March 2022 to be 4.2% lower year-on-year. In regional Victoria demand per listing was 5.1% lower over the month but 4.2% higher year-on-year.

Throughout Melbourne, the highest demand per listing was recorded in the Mornington Peninsula and outer east. In the regions, the highest demand per listing was recorded in Hume and Geelong.


Queensland

Brisbane dwelling prices increased by 0.5% in March 2022 to be 27% higher year-on-year, while in regional Queensland prices increased by 0.7% over the month to be 25.3% higher year-on-year.

In Brisbane, there has been little difference between the weakest and strongest regions for price growth with Moreton Bay-South (31.4%) and Logan-Beaudesert (29.5%) recording the strongest growth and Brisbane Inner City (20.4%) and Brisbane-West (26.9%) having the slowest growth.

In regional Qld, the Sunshine Coast (30.7%) and Gold Coast (28.7%) have recorded the strongest price growth.

Sales volumes

In March, sales volumes in Brisbane were 4.8% lower than a year ago, while in regional Qld they were 6.7% lower. Over the first three months of this year, preliminary sales volumes were 3.1% higher than last year in Brisbane and 0.4% lower in regional Queensland.

So far this year, the most sales have been recorded across the capital city were in Ipswich (1,699) and Logan-Beaudesert (1,319). In regional Queensland, the Gold Coast (3,593) and Wide Bay (1,869) have the most preliminary sales so far this year.

Days on site

The median days on site for Brisbane was 36 days, up from 29 days in February 2022, but down from 39 days in March 2021. In regional Queensland the 49 days was down from 52 days the previous month and 57 days a year earlier.

Properties in Brisbane’s north and south were on site for the fewest number of days. In the regions, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast had the shortest days on site.

Demand per listing

In Brisbane, demand per listing in March 2022 fell by 10% to be 13.2% higher year-on-year, while in regional Queensland demand per listing was 7.6% lower over the month but 27.3% higher year-on-year.

In Brisbane, demand per listing was highest in the west and south. Across regional Queensland, the highest demand per listing was recorded in the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.


Western Australia

Property prices in Perth fell by 0.1% in March to be 7.7% higher year-on-year, the slowest rate of growth since November 2020. In the regions, prices rose 0.1% to be 11.5% higher on year, which is the slowest rate of growth since December 2020. 

Throughout Perth, the strongest price growth over the past year has been recorded in Perth-North East (9.5%) and Perth-South West (9.1%). 

In regional WA the strongest year-on-year price growth has been recorded in Bunbury (13.3%) and Outback (North) (11.1%). 

Sales volumes 

Preliminary sales volumes in Perth in March 2022 were 20.9% higher than the previous year while in regional WA they were 4.9% higher. 

Throughout the first three months of this year in Perth, preliminary sales volumes have been greatest in the North West (2,277) and South West (2,062). 

Days on site  

The median days on site in Perth fell to 52 days in March 2022 from 61 days the previous month and 55 days a year earlier. In regional WA, days on site was unchanged over the month at 82 days, but was well down on the 116 days a year earlier. 

In Perth, Mandurah (46) and South West (49) had the shortest days on site. In regional WA, properties in Bunbury (72) were on site for the fewest days.

Demand per listing 

Demand per listing in Perth rose 0.2% in March 2022 to be 7% higher year-on-year, while in regional WA it was 4.2% higher over the month to be 35.2% higher year-on-year. 

Perth’s inner and north east recorded the highest levels of demand. In regional WA, demand per listing was highest in Bunbury followed by Wheat Belt.


South Australia

Adelaide property prices increased 0.8% over the month in March 2022 to be 24.9% higher over the past year, the slowest annual rate of growth since November 2021.

Prices in regional areas grew by by 1.0% in March to be 19% higher on year, slightly down on the January 2022 peak rate of growth.

Adelaide’s south and north have recorded the strongest annual price growth in the capital, while in regional SA, price growth has been strongest in the South East and Barossa, Yorke and Mid North regions.

Sales volumes 

Over the first three months of this year, preliminary sales were 8.4% higher than the same period last year in Adelaide and 0.4% higher in regional SA.

Across the Adelaide SA4 regions, preliminary sales so far this year have been greatest in the north (1,471 sales) and south (1,185 sales).

In regional SA, the South East (979) had the most preliminary sales so far this year followed by the Barossa, Yorke and Mid North region (778).

Days on site

The median days on site in Adelaide rose from 22 days in February to 24 days in March, however, it was still much lower than the 31 days recorded in March 2021.

In regional SA median days on site reached an historic low of 56 days in March 2022 compared to 128 days at the same time in 2021.

Demand per listing

In Adelaide, demand per listings fell by 2.9% in March 2022 but was 25.9% higher year-on-year, while in regional SA demand per listing fell 0.6% over the month but was still 70% higher year-on-year.


Tasmania

Dwelling prices in Hobart rose by 0.2% in March to be 23.9% higher year-on-year, the cities slowest annual rate of growth since April 2021.

In regional Tasmania, prices rose by 0.3% in March to be 24.1% higher year-on-year, the slowest annual growth rate since May 2021. The strongest price growth over the past year has been recorded in Launceston and North East (26.3%).

Sales volumes 

The number of preliminary sales in Hobart in March 2022 was 16.3% lower than March 2021, while in regional Tasmania there were 4.9% fewer sales this year.

In regional Tasmania, Launceston and North East (815) have recorded the most preliminary sales so far this year.

Days on site

The median days on site for Hobart in March 2022 was recorded at 26 days, up from 22 days in February 2022 and up from 24 days in March 2021. In regional Tas, the median days on site was 39 days in March 2022, down from 44 days the previous month and 49 days the previous March.

Demand per listing

Demand per listing in Hobart is the highest of all capital city and regional markets, however, it has fallen by 11.8% in March 2022 and is 9.1% lower year-on-year.

In regional Tasmania, demand per listing was 6% lower in March 2022 and 4.2% higher year-on-year.


Northern Territory

Darwin property prices fell by 0.6% in March 2022, however, they increased by 9.5% over the past year, the slowest annual growth since November 2020.

In regional areas, prices fell 0.1% in March but were still 3% higher year-on-year, however, that was the slowest annual rate of growth since July 2020.

Sales volumes

Over the first three months of 2022, preliminary sales in Darwin were 21.7% higher than the previous year while they were 10.3% lower in regional NT.

Days on site

The median days on site in Darwin has increased from 41 days in March 2021 to 51 days in March 2022, however, it has fallen from 62 days in February 2022.

In regional NT, days on site was recorded at 70 days in March 2022 compared to 124 days in February 2022, and 144 days in March 2021.

Demand per listing

The average demand per listing in Darwin fell by 5.6% in March 2022 to be 10% lower year-on-year.

In regional NT demand per listing rose 0.7% over the month to be 23% higher year-on-year.


Australian Capital Territory

Canberra property prices increased by 0.3% in March to be 26.4% higher year-on-year, which is the slowest annual rate of growth since July 2021.

Sales volumes

The number of preliminary sales in March 2022 in Canberra was 5.3% higher than the previous year, while over the first three months of this year, Canberra preliminary sales are 14.7% higher than the previous year.

Days on site

Canberra’s median days on site was recorded at 24 days in March 2022, which was unchanged over the month and marginally lower than the 25 days a year earlier.

Demand per listing

Average demand per listing in Canberra has fallen by 6.8% in March 2022 to be 2.7% lower year-on-year.

Originally published as: PropTrack Property Market Outlook – April 2022.

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