MELBOURNE househunters appear to have hibernated for winter, with demand for homes to buy and rent falling last month.
Experts say these findings, from REA Group’s latest Property Demand Index, indicate those willing to brave the cold may have the chance to bag a bargain buy or lease in the remaining cooler months.
According to the index, buyer demand dropped 2.6 per cent for houses in Victoria in June, and 3.2 per cent for units.
This was a significant turnaround from May, when competition rose for both dwelling types, up 5.7 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.
But REA’s June figures also show demand from Victorian buyers was still substantially higher than a year ago, with houses 38.6 per cent more sought and units, 26.1 per cent.
The data is based on views of listings on realestate.com.au.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the June decline was largely seasonal, with available housing stock also dipping as many vendors chose to wait for the bumper spring selling season.
“We’re still seeing a massive increase in demand year-on-year,” she said.
“But if you’re a buyer out there looking for a bargain, there’s a chance you will face less competition (in winter) than during the peak seasons of spring and autumn.”
Industry Insider director Andrew Date said he’d seen signs the Melbourne market may be cooling, including fewer bidders at auctions.
“Agents are also saying numbers are down at open for inspections,” he said.
“It’s giving buyers a bit more hope.”
In the rental market, the June data reflects a 3.8 per cent drop in competition for houses month-on-month and 7.6 per cent for units.
This was despite both dwelling types enjoying year-on-year rises in rental demand of 17.2 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.
“Not only do you potentially have greater choice (in winter), but you have a greater opportunity to potentially negotiate your rent down,” Ms Conisbee said.
REA’s previous demand index dubbed The Basin, 31km east of the CBD, Victoria’s most in-demand housing market and the second most sought nationally.
Yallambie, Croydon Hills, Middle Park and Briar Hill were also among Australia’s top seller’s markets at the end of May.
Originally published as Demand down for homes to buy, rent