Australian property sales crash to fresh 23-year lows

Below are the latest charts, derived from CoreLogic data, plotting annual sales volumes across Australia’s capital cities to May 2019:

Sydney (-48%), Melbourne (-38%), Brisbane (-41%), and Perth (-37%) are all down massively from their most recent peaks, whereas across the combined capitals sales are down 36%. In fact, the last time annual sales volumes were this low was in January 1996.

The following charts plot the annual changes in sales volumes and dwelling values, as measured by CoreLogic, which shows a very strong correlation historically, but wide divergence now:

That said, the sales volumes data lags the dwelling price data by three months and precedes the May Federal Election. According to CoreLogic’s August chart pack, transaction volumes have begun to rebound following the federal election in late-May, which is not captured above:

The state governments will be hoping this is true, because the collapse in sales volumes in the primary driver of the stamp duty bust that is wrecking their budgets.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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