This week’s Australian Property Market Update – Latest Data, State by State September 27th

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Despite what is now more than 3 months of lockdown in Sydney, and Melbourne still in lockdown number 6 – in fact with more Australians in lockdown than are not – our real estate markets are still in good shape with boomtime auction clearance results over the weekend and rising property values around Australia (see chart below.)

Overall consumer confidence is holding up and many of us can see a light at the end of the tunnel, with roadmaps in place for easing restrictions once vaccination levels are higher.

In Sydney, new listings of properties for sale have been returning to more levels over the past month or so.

With Melbourne’s lockdown starting later, it’s only been for the past few weeks that vendors have shown more confidence by sticking with plans to proceed with auctions. 

New listings seemed to hit a low point earlier this month and have been rising since. Melbourne Property

In both cities, the stock of properties remains low as it is in most other cities and regions across the country.

While Sydney auctions remain online, buyers are able to inspect properties in person (one person at. a time). 

Interestingly, the rules are the same in Melbourne, but volumes there remain more constrained but are showing signs of more resilience of late.

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate over recent weeks has been much more volatile but has normalised in recent weeks. 

The volatility has been driven not by any material fall in buyer interest but “last minute” withdrawals before the weekend by vendors getting cold feet.

Weekly withdrawn numbers for Melbourne this weekend we’re back to pre-lockdown levels, 41 this weekend, down from 153 last week.

As a result, the auction clearance rate as reported by CoreLogic for Melbourne was 77.2%.

The lower withdrawal rate was a key driver in the higher clearance rate, and it’s likely the Melbourne withdrawal rate will continue to fall as vendor confidence improves in line with the eased restrictions.

Testimony to more resilient purchaser interest, Melbourne prices have risen by 1.2% so far this month and up 13.2% year to date, a stark contrast to last year’s year when prices were falling during its extended solo lockdown%.

Here’s what happened to property prices…

Sydney property prices have kept moving higher, up another 0.4% in the last week alone and up 23.1% over the last 12 months.
Melbourne house prices rose 0.1% this past week and up 14.8% over the last 12 months
Brisbane house prices increased 0.5% over the last week and 21% over the last year.

Clearly, the rate of growth has slowed from the heady days of early 2020, but that’s a good thing – those levels of growth will unsustainable and, of course, there are headwinds that will slow us down, including concerns about the economic impact that prolonged lockdowns will deliver.

Nevertheless, despite the disruption, property values are holding up well as there are more buyers than good properties for sale and this means property values will keep rising.

House Price Heat Map 27th Septmeber

Resi New

The number of properties for sale in Australia is still in short supply

The supply of properties for sale just can’t keep up with demand.

For every new property coming onto the market for sale, 1.4 properties are being sold around Australia.

Capital city demand continues at a vigorous rate, with buyers out in force – owner-occupiers, investors, and first home buyers – at a time when available supply struggling to keep up.

The table below shows how the stock of advertised properties is well below year-ago levels across all capital cities.

At the same time “time on market” continues to decline.

​These are signs that property values will continue to rise moving forward, but it is likely that with lockdowns slowly being lifted, more properties will come on the market for a late Spring selling season.

Properties For Sale
Homes For Sale

To help keep you up-to-date with all that’s happening in property, here is my updated weekly analysis of data and charts as of September 27th 2021 provided by  Corelogic, and

What’s happening in our property markets?
The REA Buyer Demand Index

The REA Insights Buyer Demand Index increased 2.8% last week.Rea Buyer

According to REA economist Paul Ryan, much of this increase was driven by Victoria, which saw demand soar by 7.5%.

This seems in response to in-person property inspections returning in Victoria, following 70% of the adult population reaching partially-vaccinated status.

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Demand also increased strongly in New South Wales and the ACT, with the end of the most onerous restrictions in these markets in sight.

The level of aggregate buyer demand has remained stable at high levels for several months, within 10% of the historic-peak recorded in mid-February this year.

Demand for units has increased the most over the past year, with demand for houses broadly flat.

An influx of first-home buyers, as well and investors coming back into the market in 2021, has contributed to the increase in interest for units.

Demand has remained surprisingly strong despite lockdown restrictions across many markets.

Concerns that demand would fall in response to fewer properties being available for sale have been mitigated somewhat by continued limited inspections in New South Wales, and shorter lockdowns in other regions.

But later in the year, should lockdown restrictions be lifted, we expect a rebound in market activity and buyer demand across the country.

The REA Rental Demand Index

The REA Insights Rental Demand Index, increased 1.1% last week.

Rea Rent

According to Paul Ryan economist at REA, rental demand increased in almost all states and territories last week.

The largest increases were seen in the ACT and New South Wales, despite their ongoing lockdowns.

Aggregate rental demand is a bit below a year ago, when we saw a strong period of housing demand after national lockdowns were lifted.

While rental demand remains about 20% below the peak recorded in January this year, the level of demand remains 25% higher than the average over 2019, before the pandemic.

This is surprising given that foreign students and other migrants – traditionally a strong source of rental demand in inner-cities – remain unable to enter the country.

It shows the effect returning expatriates have had on rental markets and that many Australians are still reassessing where they want to live, and what they want to live in, as the pandemic rolls on.

Median property prices

Capital City Private

Median Hosue And Unit Prices

NOW READ: Latest property price forecasts revealed. What’s ahead in our housing markets in the next year or two?

Vendor Metrics

Vendor metrics confirm that despite the lockdowns, we’re in a seller’s market with the number of days to sell the property very low (a sign of the tight supply situation), and vendor discounting (it’s easier for them to sell) at very low levels.

In general, houses are selling better than apartments, but the shortage of good properties on the market is seeing properties selling quickly with minimal discounting.

Vendor Discounting ResultsMedian Time On Market

Our Rental Markets

While rental growth is slowing, we’ve still experienced the highest rental growth in over a decade.

Rental PriceGrowth in rental rates eased over the second quarter of 2021, with the national rental index rising by 2.1% over the 3 months to June compared to a 3.2% rise over the March quarter.

While rental growth has slowed over the recent months and quarters, the latest figures take national rental rates 6.6% higher over the year; the highest annual growth in dwelling rents since January 2009.

Regional rents continued to outpace capital city rents over the second quarter of 2021, with regional dwelling rents rising by 2.7% against a 1.9% rise in capital city rents.

This was a 1.4 percentage point reduction in the rate of growth quarter on quarter for the combined regionals, and a 1 percentage point reduction for the combined capital cities.

Despite the easing in growth in recent months, regional Australia recorded an annual rate of rental growth of 11.3% in June 2021.

Chaneg In Rent Hosue

Change In Rent Unit

Last weekend’s auction clearance rates

With increasing confidence from both buyers and sellers that we’re working our way through the ‘delta’ disruptions, the last auction weekend of September has delivered strong auction results despite the burden of ongoing Covid restrictions in most capital cities.

Dr. Andrew Wilson of My Housing Market was tracking 1,155 auctions in the major capitals this weekend, a few less than last weekend’s 1,276.

As lockdowns and difficulty inspecting properties persist we can expect the number of properties going to auction to remain low moving forward but the overall auction numbers should slowly pick up as the Spring season moves on.

Sydney was the stand-out performer with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 85.2%.

Other preliminary clearance rates (as reported by Dr. Andrew Wilson’s Auction Insider) were:-

Brisbane – 84.7%
Melbourne – 79.3%
Canberra –  84.5%
Adelaide – 85.1%


Sydney Auction Trends

Melbourne Auction Trends

National Auction Clearance Rate Trends

National Auction Listing Trends

Source of graphs and data: CoreLogic, REA, and Dr. Andrew Wilson – My Housing Market 27th of September 2021.

Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities the current property markets are offering.


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