Australian property sales slump to levels not seen since the early 1990s

Image

Turnover in Australia’s housing market, as a percentage of all homes, has fallen to the lowest level since the early 1990s.

That just happens to be the last time Australia’s economy fell into recession.

This chart from Macquarie Bank shows the evolution in turnover levels going back three decades.

Image

The decline reflects a combination of factors, including continued affordability constraints in some of Australia’s largest housing markets, including transaction costs such as stamp duty that have risen as property prices have increased, as well as a softening in demand that has contributed to a decline in new property listings.

As for whether the slump in property turnover is an ominous sign for the Australian economy like it was in the early 90s, past performance is not indicative of future returns.