December saw a surge in market activity as many vendors, who had delayed listing during lockdowns, raced to sell by year end. Buyers responded, with more properties selling in the second last week of December than in any other week in 2021.
While buyer demand remains strong, there are signs the market is moderating and the number of searches and enquiries to buy have been trending down since October.
Despite this, properties that were listed for sale in December continued to sell at close to record speeds.
Following the seasonal lull brought on by the holidays, buyer and seller activity is predicted to pick up in the second half of January. Price growth, which was in excess of 20% over the past 12 months, is likely to have peaked, with more modest growth forecast over 2022.
While a decline is to be expected given the seasonal impact of the holidays, December was the only month in 2021 not to see national search volumes above 2020’s levels.
Comparing year-on-year, Queensland recorded the strongest growth in ‘for sale’ searches, supported by high levels of interstate migration.
Victoria, in contrast, has seen the largest dip in year-on-year searches.
Consistent with the decline in searches, the number of buy enquiries to real estate agents continued to fall in December.
First homebuyers accounted for the largest drop in enquiries.
As a proportion of all buyer types, enquiries from first-time buyers have been trending down since October. In December, they accounted for 32.9% of all enquiries, compared with a peak of 36.1% in August.
In contrast, the proportion of enquiries from investors has been steadily rising, reaching 25.7% in December. This is the highest proportion seen in more than two years.
Throughout 2021, the number of properties sold remained above levels seen over the previous two years.
Nationally, the total number of properties listed for sale on realestate.com.au that sold was 39% higher in 2021 compared to 2020, and 61% higher than 2019.
Total sales were up in every state and territory in 2021, with the largest year-on-year growth seen in Victoria, up 53%, and the Northern Territory, up 44%.
Flaherty, A., 2022. PropTrack Housing Market Indicators Report January 2022. [online] Realestate.com.au. Available at: <https://www.realestate.com.au/insights/proptrack-housing-market-indicators-report-january-2021/> [Accessed 18 February 2022].