It sure is a tight property market!


SQM Research has released its Stock on Market report for January, which reported a seasonal decline in monthly property listings across almost every market:

Over the year, listings fell by 10.5% nationally, with every market other than Melbourne and Sydney posting declines.

Melbourne has obviously bucked the broader trend with listing up a whopping 21.1% year-on-year.


New listings (30 days) are also declining, 24.6% over the course of January with 16,234 fewer properties on the market. However, new listings were up year-on-year:

According to SQM managing director, Louis Christopher:


“The month of January traditionally records falls in properties listed for sale as the market is still in a summer holiday mode. This year was no exception. However, when we consider the number of new listings compared to January 2020, there was a material rise in nearly all cities. This finding is consistent with the observed early start to the auction market over January and February.”

CoreLogic’s monthly housing report also reported a sharp fall in listings:

Inventory levels started 2021 in a tight position. The number of fresh listings added to the market nationally over the four weeks ending January 24th was 3.3% lower than the same period a year ago and 13.3% below the five year average.

Melbourne and Perth were the only capital city markets to buck the trend, with new listings 20.8% higher than a year ago in Melbourne and 2.2% higher across Perth. “Melbourne vendors may still be playing catch-up from the earlier lockdown period, while in Perth vendors seem to be relishing the best selling conditions seen in many years,” Mr Lawless said.

Although fresh stock being added to the market is close to the same levels a year ago, total advertised inventory started the year around record lows. Nationally, total listing numbers, which include new listings plus re-listed properties, were 27.8% lower than this time last year, tracking 29.3% below the five year average. Melbourne was the only city to record total listing numbers that were higher than last year, up 7.7%.

At the same time, sales volumes have risen materially:


The market outside of Melbourne is incredibly tight at the moment, which helps to explain the surging price growth.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.