Melbourne buyers compete for fewer houses

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Buyers in Melbourne’s outer suburbs now have to compete for fewer houses as house listings plummet across the city.

Truganina had the biggest decline in new monthly house listings over the year to June among the suburbs within 30 kilometres of the CBD, falling from 152 to 112. Burnside listings also plummeted from 22 to two.

According to Domain Group data, a growing number of outer suburban vendors are opting for auctions rather than private sales in the past five years. Growing demand in many areas is spurred by new development, leading many downsizers to hold on to their property until they have secured the new property they want.

“It’s sort of like a catch-22,” said Jo Parker of Fletchers Ringwood. “I’m trying to coax them into going on the market because I think that would prompt more people to make the move. There is a huge issue with supply and demand, and we’ve got so many buyers, but not enough good properties to sell.”

Even listings in the north have dropped considerably. According to Barry Plant Coburg’s Chris Kavanagh, interstate buyers have doubled or tripled in the area in the past 12 months.

“Open for inspection numbers and auction numbers have increased,” he said. “One to two years ago, we would often see two to three bidders at the auction, now we’re probably seeing more four to five.”

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson believes that the lower supply coupled with consistently high demand would continue putting upward pressure on house prices.

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