If you’ve been holding off selling your home, for fear of becoming homeless, the market is finally sending the signal you’ve been looking for according to CoreLogic’s latest national home value data.

You’d be hard pressed to find anybody in Australia who isn’t aware that it’s a ‘vendor’s market’, and has been since June last year. Until now, one of the reasons is that so many homeowners are not prepared to sell, frightened they’ll not being able to find another home in a reasonable timeframe. That’s because advertised stock levels have been running at 25% below the five-year average, until late April at least.

However, now the pendulum has swung somewhat, with new listings to market now well above average, relative to the past two years. This is positive news for those that would like to move, but have been discouraged by the degree of buyer competition they read about.

While advertised stock levels are still low, more property is flowing onto the market and relationships with local agents have never been more important. A substantial number of those new listings are not being advertised, either because vendors are preferring discrete sales, or because agents are able to strike agreements between seller and buyer rapidly.

Monthly change in capital city home values

New listings lift substantially monthly change in capital city home values

Housing values lift 1.8% in April

CoreLogic’s national home value index recorded a 1.8% rise in April, with the monthly pace of gains easing from a 32-year high in March of 2.8%. Although the pace of growth has slowed, housing values are still rising rapidly, up 6.8% over the past three months alone – now 10.2% higher than last year’s September COVID low.

Small fish are sweet

The four smallest capital cities recorded double digit annual growth (Adelaide 10.3%, Hobart 13.8%, Darwin 15.3% and Canberra 14.2%), reflecting a smaller COVID-related disruption and an earlier start to the growth phase last year. Melbourne is recording the lowest level of annual growth (2.2%) due to a larger downturn, attributable to the extended lockdown period last year.

New listings lift substantially Canberra

Preference for houses over apartments

The trend of houses outperforming units continued last month, yet again, as Australians demonstrated a preference for more space, a backyard, or a regional relocation – tree change/sea change.

This shift away from higher density housing during a global pandemic is understandable, however a rise in flexible working arrangements also seems to be supporting greater demand for houses around the outer-fringes of capital cities. Relatively weak investor activity, compounded by a supply overhang in some CBD high-rise precincts, is also dampening price growth in unit markets.

Upper quartile still leading growth

Continuing the opposite of last year’s trend, the upper quartile of the housing market rose 8.8% in the last quarter, compared with a 4.1% lift in values across the lower quartile.

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