2012 property transactions lowest since 1996

RPData has a new study out examining the volume of property turnover in 2012, which was the lowest since 1996:

Full report below.


David Llewellyn-Smith
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      • Well Christian you will be happy to know that I have had a very busy 2012. This year has started slowly, but they usually do and now I’m busy again. I do appreciate your deep concern for my welfare.

        I’m having a look at some unit development applications at the moment, so perhaps I can help keep some architects employed as well, after all you’re almost family. Unit developments are back in Brisbane as demand picks up.

        I consider my blogging time to be market research, so it’s all good. You should start to get busy towards the end of this year, and 2014 should be back to a hectic pace.

        • Hehe! I sent my agent a link to the graph of falling sales and he replied:

          Funny that I have worked in this area for 24 years and the last 4 years have been fantastic for me and this year to date is going to be even better. Shows that figures applied in 1 area doesn’t necessary apply to all.

          Gotta love agents! 😉

        • Only one way to read this (maybe 🙂 ).


          Owners won’t sell if there is nothing to go to……plus along with rising yields, higher rents, a rebound from recent lows (all the RBA arguments in principle) ….. it looks like there might be some price momentum in the housing market.

        • We are already snowed under…!!!
          Overseas project combined with residential projects here in Victoria have us literally flat out!
          Although I do get to read MB on my coffee breaks. 😀
          The oversupply is getting out of hand, so much in the pipeline.

          • That’s a really good point.

            The approvals numbers have been used to suggest that supply has been running behind. But combine it with this type of anecdotal evidence and one ends up with a a patchwork quilt of supply-demand imbalance.

            Sure some areas may have an excess (outer Melbourne, Gold Coast), but other areas are significantly in deficit.

            On balance, I see the market in defict (in terms of aggregate supply) and this belief underpins my views for higher prices.

  1. I find this information interesting when compared to the median value figures. Just because the median values are steady or marginally rising, doesn’t mean the overall market is functioning OR on the UP!

    I am on the Gold Coast and yes there is some activity, but some of the sales are HUGE – looks like developers off loading large tracks of land where they couldn’t develop into a viable project and/or get finance?

    So the median values are probably being held up by small, high value transactions….whilst there seems to be a lot of stock around in the lower to mid range. If FHB’s like myself are still not diving in, then its not functioning as per normal….market still looks pretty sick to me!

    • Yes can someone explain how the median price is calculated. If a house sells for $10 million having been purchased for $14m and in the same suburb a house sells for $1m is the collective median house sale $5.5m for that suburb? Now previously the suburb may have a median house price of only $1m when there were more sales . If that’s the measurement method there is a simple reason why the spruikers are telling us prices are rising. In a tough market only the most desirable houses sell and they generally cost more. The properties that remain unsold because they can’t be sold never get to drag the median price down. Is that how it works or am I missing something ?

  2. Volumes matter. These volumes point to a sick market and stuck vendors. I see no catalyst to prompt FHBs to buy. I am puzzled at investors foolish enough to commit to crap net yields with a weakening economy and no prospect of capital gains.

    Keep saving, Homesteaders!

    Don’t Buy Now!

    • No Prospect of capital gains? Over what period of time? I don’t know about your advice to buyers, many would disagree.
      Not all RE investment is yielding crap and when you couple 5% net with a possible 20% cap over the next 3 years, I actually think you would be struggling to match that elsewhere unless you are into insider trading.Low volumes don’t necessarily point to stuck vendors at all…..could just as well point to patient vendors. everyone knows the market is a bit sick, there’s no news in that.

      • Are the current wave of speculators being the major chumps buying at the bottom of the interest rate cycle and as the ToT roll over being the final fools that fund the boomers retirements?

        It’s just not as clear cut as the property bulls think that’s for sure. We know that the only ones buying now are speculators – the punters are pretty shy about being conned twice.

        It’s also possible that regulatory change to challenge the speculative money is on the way, people are sick and tired of useless parasitic rent-seekers in the residential property market – politicians may have to act (albeit slowly).

        Property bulls are just that at the moment – bulls. They might be wrong or they might be right but they are taking some nice big risks on the back of a punt.

      • Low volumes don’t necessarily point to stuck vendors at all…..could just as well point to patient vendors.

        Haha! “Patient” LOL!!! Love the ‘spin’ you put on it, brilliant!

  3. I would love to see these housing turnover figures as a percentage of total housing stock.

  4. In a boom average occupancy time falls as people flip properties to make a fast buck. The reduction is therefore a good thing showing greater stability.

    Note how the graph has symmetry. Growth during the boom and decline since the peak.

    No wonder the State Governments are in so much fiscal strife.