Out of stock - Crisis of confidence as house listings plummet to lowest level in decades

FOR sale signs outside Tamworth homes have plummeted to their lowest level in decades just weeks out from the start of the busiest sales period of the year.

Despite a buoyant house and land package market and record low interest rates, local real estate agents have been thrust into the unlikely position of spruiking for sellers, rather than buyers.

Less than 700 properties are officially 

listed for sale in Tamworth – 4.7 per cent of total dwellings – far below the usual figure of about 7 per cent.

Frustrated agents say they have waiting lists of willing buyers but a scarcity of properties to offer them.

“Listings are at a historically low level, below what they’ve been in my 31 years as an agent in Tamworth,” Richie Thornton from LJ Hooker Tamworth said.

“We’re not aiming at finding buyers anymore, we’re aiming at doing appraisals.

“The buyers are there but the sellers are in go-slow mode because the market has been tough.

“But things are improving here and it won’t be long before we follow Sydney’s boom.”

Domain.com.au data reveals in the second quarter of this year, homes took an average of just 75 days to sell in Tamworth, the shortest period in years.

Tamworth City Real Estate principal David Doherty said generous government incentives had seen an influx of house and land packages on the market but listings for existing homes remained stagnant.

“We’re swimming in house and land, but this is the lowest number of stock on the market I’ve seen in 25 years,” Mr Doherty said.

“Every agent has buyers they can’t service.

“The reality is, Tamworth people want to see signs go up as listed and sold in a short timeframe.”

He also urged his fellow agents to encourage vendors to list properties at realistic prices.

PRDnationwide Tamworth director Dean Cummins argued the low stock numbers were being fuelled by the strength of the local market.

“Stock levels are low and have been dropping for some time, but that’s because we’re selling so many properties, not because of a reluctance of people to come onto the market,” Mr Cummins said.

“Prices are going up and there are plenty of buyers around.”

He said local agents were currently selling an average of about 120 properties a month, while only 70 to 80 new properties were coming onto the market each month.

These comments come ahead of the city’s traditionally busy spring real estate sale period.

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