A surge in for-sale listings tipped to dampen home price growth
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A surge in for-sale listings tipped to dampen home price growth

The forecast slowdown comes on the back of sharp increases in home values

By Shannon Molloy
Wed, Aug 30, 2023 10:10amGrey Clock 3 min

The number of new for-sale listings has been stubbornly sluggish for much of the year, but there are growing signs would-be vendors are finally feeling confident to go to market.

New analysis indicates this surge in supply is likely to put the brakes on a renewed boom in property prices being seen across much of the country.

According to data from research firm CoreLogic, national home values rose 2.9 percent in the three months to July – the highest quarterly movement since January.

Across the capital cities, values were up 0.8 percent last month – down slightly from a 1.2 percent lift seen in June.

Prices are rising fastest in Sydney, with a whopping 4.5 percent jump in the three months to July.

Prices rose 4.2 percent in Brisbane in the quarter, while Adelaide and Perth each recorded a 3.2 per cent increase. Values in Melbourne were up two per cent.

“Home values are down 3.4 percent annually, but declines are quickly subsiding from an eight per cent drop in the year to March,” Eliza Owen, head of residential research at CoreLogic, observed.

Data shows the number of new listings nationally hit 33,616 in the four weeks to 30 July, trending slightly higher through the month, which she noted is unusual for this time of year.

“The flow of new listings added to the market has been rising since mid-June, in contrast to the usual seasonal trend where new vendor activity would be trending lower through the colder months.”

With more homes hitting the market ahead of the traditionally busy spring selling season, Paul Ryan, economist at data house PropTrack, said price growth could dampen in the months ahead.

“There have been some tentative signs that sellers are responding to continued strong buyer demand and higher prices by bringing more listings to market,” Mr Ryan said.

PropTrack modelling shows a low level of new listings could be responsible for as much as a quarter of the price growth seen this year, and the impact of low supply can be felt within a few months.

“This analysis suggests that a stronger flow of listings could weigh on home price growth later this year as the market gears up for the spring selling season,” Mr Ryan said.

“And importantly, it shows the impact on prices is likely to be felt quite quickly after any new listings are brought to market – within one to two months.”

Mr Ryan said property markets have “displayed a remarkable turnaround in 2023”.

“Home prices fell persistently over 2022, down 4.1 percent from April to December, during the sharpest episode of interest rate increases ever implemented by the Reserve Bank,” he said.

“But 2023 has seen national home prices increase each month, up 2.8 percent so far this year, despite continued increases in interest rates.”

One major factor for the rapid turnaround in price movements is the low supply of new listings hitting the market, he said. Buyer demand has remained strong.

“The flow of new listings over the first half of 2023 was around 15 percent below the level seen over the same period in 2022, which represents a significant decrease.

“By contrast, the total number of homes on the market has mostly drifted upward as homes take longer to sell compared to the strong market conditions in 2021.”


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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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