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‘Stark’ figures show fewer houses are selling

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Reporter 3 minute read

Just 5.0 per cent of the national housing stock transacted in the 12 months to September, the lowest stock turnover rate since 2012, new CoreLogic data has revealed.

According to Cameron Kusher, the head of research at property data analytics company CoreLogic, over the last nine years, an average of 5.5 per cent of national housing stock typically transacted in any given year.

However, in the 12 months to September 2017, this figure dropped to 5.0 per cent — the lowest figure since April 2012, when a historic low of 4.9 per cent of stock transacted.

The figure was arrived after the analysts paired annual settled sales data with dwelling counts over time.

According to CoreLogic, the figures are “stark” and come despite a surging population and record high levels of new construction.

Transactions were particularly low across the capital cities, where a record low of 4.7 per cent of housing stock transacted over the past year, significantly down on the 5.6 per cent average.

Across the combined regional markets, 5.6 per cent of housing stock transacted, slightly higher than the 5.5 per cent average.

Mr Kusher commented: “In both the capital city and regional housing markets, stock turnover is slowing

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“The figures are stark given just how little of the Australian housing market actually sells in any given year.

“A big driver of the low level of turnover over the past year has been relatively low levels of stock for sale, particularly in our largest capital cities and the high costs associated with stamp duty when buying a property. The impost of stamp duty discourages turnover, as we have recently seen with the removal of stamp duty for first time buyers under certain price thresholds in NSW and Vic. Once removed, there has been a surge in housing finance commitments by first home buyers.”

He added: “The final consideration for the low turnover is the high cost of housing in Australia, [and] because the cost is high, it is a significant consideration for households as to whether or not to purchase a property.”

State-by-state breakdown

CoreLogic found that there was a historic low of 4.7 per cent of housing stock transacted over the past year. The figure was 5.9 per cent in regional NSW. However, in each region, turnover had slowed.

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Likewise, Melbourne had a historic turnover low of 4.4 per cent, compared to 4.9 per cent of regional Vic stock. Both of the regions have seen a fall in turnover.

Queensland fared a little better. Brisbane turnover was only slightly below average, at 5.9 per cent, compared to lows of 5.8 per cent; while regional Queensland turnover is at average levels of around 5.8 per cent.

Turnover was “fairly steady” in South Australia. Adelaide recorded a turnover rate of 5.7 per cent, while it was 5.8 per cent in regional SA.  In each region, turnover was slightly above long-term average levels.

After a large fall in recent years, turnover in Western Australia stabilised at a record low in Perth of 3.6 per cent, and increased slightly from record lows in regional WA of 4.2 per cent.

Hobart had a strong year, with 5.9 per cent of housing stock sold, up from its average of 5.4 per cent; while regional Tasmania saw 6.1 per cent of stock sold, significantly up on its long-term average of 5.3 per cent.

The Northern Territory recorded a “significant fall” in turnover across the state as dwelling values have fallen, with 4.2 per cent of housing stock transacting over the past year in Darwin and 4.7 per cent of stock in regional NT.

Canberra also found housing was slow to shift, recording a historic low level of 4.8 per cent.

[Related: Home values creep in most capital cities]

‘Stark’ figures show fewer houses are selling
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