The Canberra housing market appears to be warming up early for the traditional spring selling season with a late winter surge in new listings and an increase in auction numbers.
According to property data company CoreLogic, the ACT is only one of three capital cities to record a higher number of new listings compared with a year ago, up 2.4 per cent to 634.
Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne are also recording a new listing trend that is above the previous five-year average.
Over the four weeks ending 13 August, Canberra’s total advertised stock levels (1991) are up 4.3 per cent on the previous month, and only the national capital and Hobart have total advertised stock levels higher than at the same time last year, up 1.2 per cent and 22.1 per cent, respectively.
For Canberra, this is still down 1.4 per cent on the previous five-year average.
CoreLogic says Canberra auction numbers were expected to increase by 38 per cent this week, part of a rising trend across Sydney and the smaller capitals.
Director of Sales and Projects at The Property Collective Will Honey confirmed that there had been a welcome increase in properties coming to market from last month.
Mr Honey said he had expected a rise in listings for spring but the recent interest rate pauses from the Reserve Bank had woken sellers from their winter hibernation with fresh confidence that buyers would return.
Whether it signalled a greater-than-normal spring rush would become apparent in the next few weeks, he said.
But a good indicator of confidence was the rise in properties listed for auction.
“When the market did turn there were fewer properties going to auction, and now that there’s supposed to be a low supply of stock and with the clearance rates hovering around 70 per cent I think maybe agents as well as owners are a bit more confident to go down the auction road,” Mr Honey said.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a big uptick in auction properties, especially leading into spring over the next couple of weeks.”
Mr Honey said there should be more choice in the market but if buyers come out the market would also be more competitive.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any particular advantage for a buyer or seller,” he said.
Mr Honey was seeing a mix of property types entering the market across the ACT, from apartments to detached homes.
The rise in listings and auctions pointed to a better, more normal, spring than last year but interest rates remained the key.
If they stay on hold it could be a bumper spring, Mr Honey said.
But if they do rise it would still be better than last year when rates went up every single month, he said.
CoreLogic economist Kaytlin Ezzy said the unseasonal boost in auction volumes aligned with a recent uptick in freshly advertised listings.
She said many vendors were likely aiming to beat the rush as a potentially more competitive spring selling season approached.
“With the upward trend in auctions expected to continue, auction clearance rates will provide a timely gauge for the fit between buyer and seller price expectations over the coming weeks,” she said.