Home sellers rush to market in April amid strong buyer demand

Home sellers returned to the market across the country in April following a listing pullback during the Easter holidays. 

New home listings on realestate.com.au rose 3.8% nationally during April and were 32% higher year-on-year, according to PropTrack.  

PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher said there was a strong lift in new listings in April following a pullback in new listings in March due to Easter. 

“Although home prices have remained buoyant in early 2024, the surge in new listings has seen the total number of properties advertised for sale mount, particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra,” Mr Kusher said. 

“Despite the increase in properties available for sale, other indicators signal that buyer demand remains strong such as median time on market declining and overall enquiries rising compared to a year ago.”  

The three-bedroom apartment at 9/19A Frazer Street, Collaroy in Sydney's north has just hit the market. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

All capital cities except for Hobart and Darwin saw new listings rise over the month, and new listings were higher across all of the capital cities over the 12 months to April.  

In Sydney, new listings were almost 45% higher year-on-year while total listings were more than 16% higher for the same period.  

Sydney-based real estate agent and senior sales executive at Belle Property Steve Witt said more listings were coming to market now.  

The 6-bedroom home at 101 Geldart Road, Chandler in Brisbane's south-east is seeking offers by May 29. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

“We’re starting to see more auction campaigns kick off now because we’re passed the Easter long weekend and school holidays,” he said.  

“We look for clear times in the calendar, so now we will start to see more stock coming on, but stock levels are still down in our area.” 

He said interest rates were still front of mind for buyers and sellers, who were waiting to see whether the Reserve Bank of Australia would hike rates further or finally cut rates.  

The four-bedroom home at 49 Shelley Street, Elwood in Melbourne is going to auction on May 25 with a $2.9m-$3.19m price guide. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

“For many families, they may have been holding back due to this interest rate rise talk that has been in the media,” he said.  

“So if there is an interest rate rise, then people will sit on their hands, but if there is a rate cut, then people will go out and buy.” 

Total home listings rise slightly  

Total home listings rose just 0.1% over the month nationally, but were 7.7% higher year-on-year. It marked the highest April for total listings since 2020. 

The four-bedroom home at 20 Belah Street, O'Connor in Canberra goes to auction on June 8. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

The picture was mixed for total listings across the capital cities. Sydney, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra saw total listings fall over the month, while the other capital cities saw total listings rise month-on-month.

Year-on-year total listings were higher for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart, but lower for Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. 

Based in Brisbane, Place Estate Agents chief executive Damien Hackett said listings were higher, but sales were up as well.  

“The demand has been pretty insatiable here, so we’re still seeing high clearance rates and strong prices,” he said.  

This three-bedroom home at 1/20 Castlebar Street, Kangaroo Point in Brisbane is going to auction on June 1. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

“There’s a huge demand for homes at the lower price point. As you go up the price points, the equation is changing, with supply increasing in some of those higher price brackets."

He said the demand for homes in higher price ranges was still strong, but not as much as it used to be. 

“I’ve been doing this for 33 years now and the conditions we’ve seen over the past three to four years have been the most extreme from a supply-demand point of view," he said.

“The markets don’t typically run this hot for this long, so it’s been surprising, but in some markets the balance is coming back. 

“But it’s still better here than some other markets.” 

Regional markets less impacted by Easter  

New listings in most regional markets except for regional Queensland declined during the month of April. 

Total listings in regional Queensland and regional Western Australia were lower over the year, while they were much higher in most other areas during the same period.  

The three-bedroom terrace house at 242 Henderson Road, Alexandria in Sydney goes under the hammer on May 18. Picture: Realestate.com.au/buy

Looking ahead, Mr Kusher said it would be interesting to observe conditions over the coming months as we moved into the typically quieter winter period of the year for new listings. 

“Many people were looking for interest rate cuts to occur later this year, which buoyed buyer and seller confidence,” Mr Kusher said.  

“Although rate cut expectations have now pushed into 2025, they remain stable and at historically moderate levels.”