Sydney's trophy home market is fast grinding to a halt, with buyers being forced to negotiate on off-market deals. Even the selling of high-end properties throughout the eastern suburbs and north shore has drastically slowed down, signalling a complete turnaround from the boom-time turnover of previous years.

According to Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson, the number of new listings in the Sydney market in the past four months to May was only 24,058 – 12.3 per cent lower than the same time last year.

However, the lack of stock is more pronounced in the trophy and ultra-prestige markets. Palm Beach, Sydney's iconic northern beaches prestige suburb, had an almost 50 per cent decrease in new property listings from last year's figures. Other suburbs that saw a decrease in listings include Mosman, Manly, and Darling Point. This could reflect a chronic shortage of quality and exclusive properties.

However, there are also suburbs that saw a slight increase in listings due to several external factors.

"There are of course seasonal aspects, like Easter rolling into school holidays and an Anzac Day long weekend disrupting the auction market momentum," Wilson said.

Another factor affecting listings is the price. According to McGrath's Ben Collier, "The higher you go up the price bracket, the more the markets are grinding to a halt and the more off-market deals are being done."

The lack of top end real estate for sale is also forcing deep-pocketed buyers to push through purchases in record time, in spite of the price not hitting their target estimates.

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