Property indicators signal cooling market

A bunch of leading indicators have been released suggesting the Australia’s red hot property market may soon run out of steam.

First, the latest REA Insights report shows that weekly for sale searches have fallen sharply from their March peak across every market:

Weekly for sale searches

For sale searches have fallen sharply from their March peak.

Email enquiry to agents has also fallen sharply from recent peaks:

Email enquiry to agents

Email enquiry to agents has also fallen from the recent peak.

Non-investors have shown the biggest decline in email enquiry:

Email enquiry to agents

Non-investors have shown the biggest decline in agent email enquiry.

Average views per listing have also declined across the board:

Average view per listing

Average views per listing have gone past peak.

Commenting on the results, REA’s Cameron Kusher noted:

We don’t expect the market to come to a grinding halt, prices are expected to keep rising but we expect that the second half of this year will not see the market quite as strong as it has been over the first half.

Meanwhile, Domain reported that new listings have swelled across most markets:

As noted by Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell:

“What the new listings will help to do is ease the rapid rate of price gains. It will help alleviate the tough conditions that buyers have been transacting under… We’ve seen such phenomenal and rare conditions of the first three months of this year on a number of fronts…

“It gets to that point where sellers are encouraged to market.”

Overall, this data suggests that price growth will remain strong, albeit significantly lower than March’s record price gains.

Unconventional Economist


  1. … Extrapolating both Australia (23,176 March dwelling approvals … population clock 25.772 million) and New Zealand’s March dwelling consent / approval figure (4,218) … and expressing them on an annual basis, illustrates that consented / approved for March at about 10.8 units per 1000 population per annum for Australia … New Zealand 9.9.

    March 2021 New Dwelling Approvals – Australian Bureau of Statistics

    Building consents issued: March 2021 … Statistics New Zealand

    … Refer Statistics New Zealand consents rate history graph … starting March 1966 …

    Estimated number of new homes consented per 1,000 residents up in June year 2020 … Statistics New Zealand

    … Compare the current and projected (standard industry measure) residential building consent / approval rate per 1000 population per annum of Australia and New Zealand with the United States (and its States and major metros), the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Canada.

  2. Two questions. Perth evictions are through the roof now the eviction ban has been lifted. So that means empty rental properties yet rents are going through the roof. Cant understand why rents are going up.

    Also when a property sale listing does not show a price but just says “offers” wtf does that mean? I was told it’s a marketing trick to get potential buyers to make contact. Not that they are prepared to consider an offer you make. Is that right?

    • Asking rents in Perth are around 15-20% below what they were in 2013 – STILL.

      And I think its starting to turn negative.

      • That’s interesting. All the news is about people being left homeless because they can’t afford to rent.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      Yeah you contact the agent to find out what absurd price the owner is expecting. Then you go to Landgate download the sales information for that area and give them something realistic.

        • innocent bystander

          the usual suspect r/e websites have plenty of free stuff on sold prices except for where the price is withheld. I think from memory landgate charge for the info.

    • Australia wide I reckon REA in cohorts to withhold stock from market. Naturally difficult to prove however in country area low income, young & middle aged folk desperate for rental..streets of empty & derelict houses. 4-6 2 & 3 bedroom house fibro & unreno ‘60s with original carpet & paint & very thirsty trees asking $320. – $360 sit on market for 3-4 weeks then 2 more appear. 200km ex Melbourne west Victoria. Price fixing for sure..against the law??? Macro business should investigate & expose

    • innocent bystander

      Cant understand why rents are going up.

      maybe the evictee’s house is put on the market for sale rather than rented? so less rentals available?
      tho from the areas I watch apartments have been mainly offered for rent at a higher amount, and houses listed for sale.

      when a property sale listing does not show a price but just says “offers” wtf does that mean?

      in this still hot market is usually means the agent is looking for feedback on the what they can get – some are finding if the asking is too low they get overrun with buyers and negotiating offers, they would rather just deal with the best offers.
      when the market is dead it usually means that they want any offer at all to convince the seller to lower their expectations.

  3. JunkyardMEMBER

    Dunno where listings are swelling, certainly not for detached houses in outer Melbourne. Very little on the market.

  4. Hex TexasMEMBER

    At some point rationality must kick in. Unfortunately that rationality is obviously not going to come from the banks, the rba, the government or APRA. It will have to be driven by external financial events.

    • Things have been so hysterical here on the Sunshine Coast I question the stability of the market.

      • A friend just got a 2 bedder terrace thing at Aura for 390k at auction , but bank is knocking back valuation. But there’s plenty of the same listed at 420+.
        Could be turning after the rush from down sth , or the banks know something.
        It’s gonna end up a ghetto anyway!

    • Slalom Charles

      HT, rational thinking did not kick in the last 20+ years. What makes you think it will ever ??

  5. No sign of that in inner Sydney yet. Two properties due for auction this weekend just sold prior to at 40% above price guide.

    • Underquoting must be rife. That dog-box that sold for $1.6 million in the news was ridiculously underquoted, you couldn’t get an apartment for the price guide so I struggle to understand how people expected any land in Sydney to go for $600k (think that was the guide price).

      • Its lucky Australian real estate is so well regulated on under quoting and AML/CTF. The perpetrators will be brought to justice as soon as they can find their details in the large pile of self interest.

  6. That last table looks like a bunch of indecisive sellers who finally got their act together and listed just as everyone else had the same idea.

    The other tables look like a bunch of frothy noise at the peaks with only 50% as genuine buyers. Those who waited will likely see the benefit of more stock coming to market and prices grinding lower. That or genuine buyers genuinely giving up because its become too expensive to even contemplate buying.

    Houses and holes remains true.