Melbourne Market Freeze Slugs State Revenue


A slowdown in the Melbourne residential market could cause trouble for the Victorian state government’s bottom line.

Residential listings dropped 13.2 per cent in the latest data released by SQM Research, pulling the national listing figure for August down 6.3 per cent.

According to the Victorian government, stamp duty accounted for $6.01 billion of its total $19.1 billion revenue in 2018-2019; the major contributor to the state behind payroll tax.

SQM Research chief executive Louis Christopher said the latest listing numbers were quite revealing.

“It is reflective of the near entire freeze-up of the Melbourne housing market,” Christopher said.

“As the Victorian state government is heavily reliant on property stamp duty revenues, there must be a significant state revenue collapse occurring.

“There was quite a large drop in new listings for the month, predominantly driven by the shortfall in Melbourne.”

The Victorian capital recorded the highest decrease at 13.2 per cent, compared to Sydney dropping 4.0 per cent and Brisbane down 5.1 per cent.

August residential listings

CityAugust July Monthly Change
Hobart 1,7821,966-9.4%

^ Source: SQM Research

The latest national drop is the biggest recorded by SQM Research this year, revealing mixed results for the residential market overall with listings generally down in comparison to previous years and moving sporadically month-by-month.

This year’s capital city listing results for January were up 2.2 per cent, February up 0.2 per cent, March up 3.7 per cent, May up 3.9 per cent, June down 1.0 per cent, July up 3.8 per cent and August down 6.3 per cent.

The drop in supply has kept house prices relatively steady despite dire warnings from economists.

“Elsewhere we continue to record falling supply in Australia’s regional areas,” Christopher said.

“Our take on that phenomenon is that demand has boomed for regional real estate as more of our populations looks to remote living.”

However, 62 per cent of first home buyers are still looking to metropolitan areas.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics report also showed the number dwellings approved in July increased 12 per cent but were still lower than 2018 levels.


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