Property time on market rises

By Leith van Onselen

From Property Observer today comes new data from APM showing that the number of days taken to sell a home increased in the month of July across all of Australia’s state capitals, and has increased year-on-year across all capital cities:

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Sydney: up 14% since July 2011 and by 43% since July 2010
  • Melbourne: up 24% since July 2011 and by 80% since July 2010
  • Brisbane: up 7% since July 2011 and by 63% since July 2010
  • Perth: up 6% since July 2011 and by 42% since July 2010
  • Adelaide: up 18% since July 2011 and by 44% since July 2010
  • Hobart: up 46% since July 2011 and by 110% since July 2010
  • Darwin: up 22% since July 2011 and by 111% since July 2010
  • Canberra: up 15% since July 2011 and by 71% since July 2010
Unconventional Economist
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  1. Looking for sense in the Darwin numbers. Darwin is supposedly going ballistic right, so why does the average property sit around for a national high of 6 months? Sense not found……

    • Having lived in Darwin years ago I take a casual interest in it myself. I think the answer might be in the insane prices; I can’t find the info I was looking at recently but I did see that the average house was well above Sydney and Melbourne.

      Somebody with better Google skills than me might be able to find the median capital city prices for the answer?

    • I agree this seems odd. I think I’ve only seen 1 ‘for sale’ sign since I moved to Darwin in January, stark contrast to Melbourne (or even worse, Inverloch, where every second house was for sale!)

    • I live in Darwin.

      A lot of properties were stale for the most part of 2011, nothing moved, early 2012 those properties were gaining interest with ‘under contract’ offers but most were put back on the market.

      I think real estate agents are asking vendors to ‘meet the market’. The house price stats for Darwin will be interesting going forward.

      Only in the past 3 – 4 months have properties been sold.

      There are steady amounts of properties being offered for sale now, they seem to be moving quicker than the 2011 properties.

      The recent NT governments 100% finance policy for NEW homes (not existing stock) under $750,000 may have something to do with this.

      I think the above policy was to stimulate the local construction industry and bail out property developers such as Sunbuild, Investa and Paspaley group who have semi developed or developed housing stock.

      Personally I don’t know where the market is heading….

  2. …and Darwin leads the field with 188.
    How does that sit with turbo-charged Darwin house prices, crowded auctions, Bubbley’s local anecdotes and close to 0% rental vacancies?

    • Vendors cash flow, they don’t have to drop.

      Buyers capitulate seeing no compromise in sight.

    • As I have been a keen (OCD) observer of this area for the last three years I would just like to say one word.


      As I have stated before, 2011 saw a drop in prices and many properties were staying on the market for longer, in line with the figures for the rest of Australia. With the announcement of the Inpex Project in January 2012 that all changed. Dramatically and for the worse for buyers.

      This data appears to be completely fabricated and has no basis in reality. The data shows days on the market increased in January, yet that was the tipping point to a massive acceleration in Darwin property market sales.

      Properties are selling here in LESS than a day. A conversation over heard in the local mall three days ago is a good example “what do you mean its already sold, it only went up on the web this morning!”

      Darwin is often forgotten about and ignored by the rest of Australia. So it would appear that this data has been created by some one who forgot to keep track of this area and created some figures that were a bit worse than Hobart’s, ‘cose Darwin couldn’t be selling faster than Hobart, could it?

      Keeping in mind how flawed the Darwin figures appear to be, I would treat the rest of the information in that table with some caution and perhaps scepticism.

      • Thanks Bubbley. I thought that might be your response.

        There is something very odd with this data.

        Methodology or otherwise if anyone one can shine a light on this hidden hoard of 6 month+ old properties, Bubbley would be eternally grateful. (and me too)

  3. Is there any explanation for Melbourne going from 48(Dec 10) to 82(Jan 11) in one month ? Did the methodology change ?

    • Interesting point. Last time I looked there were only 31 days in December.

      Mind you the same thing happened in Hobart last month and Darwin in Jan this year.

      Anyone got a link to the methodology on this stuff? Might answer the Jimbos Darwin anomoly at the same time.

    • Nexnam – could that just be the effect of relatively fewer sales over christmas?

      The number seems to drop again (although still at a higher level) in March onwards.

      All bar Perth had increases over the same period – some significantly.

      • I realise that part of the increase is most likely due to people not putting their homes up for sale in December and those that are buying/have bought looking to move into their new home by Christmas.

        Just seemed like too big an increase(@70%) for one month.

        • Yeah I thought that as soon as I clicked submit!

          I think the jump is large as people hold off putting their hose up for sale over this period so the average only goes one way due to old stock not being offset by new stock coming on market.

          If that makes sense.

          • Many stale properties are taken off the market before Christmas and often relisted afterwards. I think RPData are able to track the relisted property and the total days on market includes the previous listing period. The same is probably true during winter.

    • Really worthwhile to think through the math on these numbers. Hobart is a case in point – how do you get from 146 days to 185 days over 31 days?

      The only way is to take out a bucket of properties (i.e. delist from selling or sell them) which have a listing time that is less than the average.

      This then makes one think about the composition of the pools of unsold homes, volumes at different unsold periods etc.

  4. Direct from pg4 of RPdata August Report Buy vs Rent.

    “Homes are selling faster than they were a year ago, vendors are discounting their prices less and auction
    clearance rates have improved from their low levels of last year.


    • It’s not a matter of “trust”; it’s a matter of understanding how the messenger perceives his source and what the same messenger stands to lose/gain from influencing the behavior or mindset of the audience. I’m sure there is a small army of followers who trust RP Data, from casual punters to earnest bank field marshals.

  5. So Darwin goes from 146 days on the market in June 2012 to 185 in July
    June has 30 days …. so negative sales in month of June !!!
    people counted sales before they actually settled ???
    relisting … hence not really selling ???