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New property listings jump after Scott Morrison announces plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions

By Jessie Stewart

Last Friday Scott Morrison announced a three-step plan to restart the Australian economy, including easing of real estate restrictions. Since that time the number of new properties advertised for sale has jumped.

On Friday 8 May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-step plan for bring Australia’s economy out of hibernation. Although the timing of the announcements were up to the states, most states and territories have already commenced the first step of easing.

In all states and territories except for Tasmania this has included changes for property whereby open homes and on-site auctions would be allowed, albeit with strict social distancing rules and limits on attendees.

The data suggests sellers are becoming more confident and have started returning to the market.

If we look at newly advertised properties for sale on since from Saturday last week (the day after the announcement) to Thursday of this week and compare with the same period over the previous week, most regions have recorded a lift in the number of listings.

Nationally, the number of new properties listed for sale has increased by 16.5 per cent compared to the same period over the previous week while across the combined capital cities new listings are up 17.7 per cent compared to a 14.3 per cent increase in regional new listings.

Tasmania is the only state or territory that has recorded a fall in new listings over the period, keeping in mind auctions and inspections are not yet open in that state. The Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland recorded the largest increases in new listings. Interestingly, while New South Wales and Victoria also recorded increases, the rises were less than 10 per cent.

Although capital cities have recorded a larger overall lift in new listings compared to regional markets, when you look at individual capital cities; Sydney, Brisbane and Perth recorded more moderate increases than the regional areas of those states, while Hobart has witnessed a larger slump in new listings than the rest of the state.

Darwin, Canberra and Brisbane have recorded the greatest growth in new listings over the period with only Sydney seeing an increase of less than 10 per cent, while Hobart new listings have fallen further.

It is still very early days in the re-opening of the Australian economy and new listings remain lower through May 2020 than they were a year ago. However, it appears that vendor confidence is showing early signs of returning as on-site auctions and open for inspections are once again being allowed.

While there is a long way to go to see new listings return to their levels prior to COVID-19, these early signs indicate that confidence may slowly be starting to return to the property market.


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