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Media release


National property market balances, as number of homes for sale moves more in line with buyer demand

  • Overall the property market moves closer towards a balance between buyers and sellers, from previous conditions which favoured buyers. 
  • ACT becomes the only seller’s market at a state/territory level. 
  • Sydney and Melbourne move into the top five seller’s markets in the country. 

27 July 2013: Australian real estate market conditions have become more balanced between buyers and sellers according to the latest Commonwealth Bank/RP Data Home Buyers Index (HBI) released today.

The May 2013 report marked a change in national property market conditions from February 2013, redressing the balance between buyers and sellers, with the ratio of properties available for sale now closer in line with the number of home loans being funded.

At a state level there are mixed market conditions:

State/Territory: Market Conditions:

New South Wales

Balanced market


Balanced market


Buyer’s market

South Australia

Balanced market

Western Australia

Balanced market


Extreme buyer’s market

Northern Territory

Balanced market

Australian Capital Territory

Seller’s market


Across the capital cities shifts year-on-year are also materialising, notably with Sydney moving from a buyer’s market in May 2012 to the third best seller’s market in the country. Both Canberra and Melbourne have also moved into the top ten seller’s markets, changing from balanced markets in May 2012 to the first and fifth best seller’s markets in Australia respectively. 

Other insights include:

  • Brisbane – selling conditions across Brisbane over the past three months have become slightly more balanced. The amount of housing supply continues to outstrip the number of buyers that are active in the current market however, the market is slowly moving toward more balanced conditions. 
  • Adelaide - the Adelaide market is showing balanced conditions across all regions except for the Eastern Adelaide region where conditions favour sellers. 
  • Perth – the Perth market has moved into balance in May after it has favoured buyers for most of the past five years. 

Clive van Horen, Commonwealth Bank’s Acting Executive General Manager Retail Products & Customers, says, “It’s an interesting time in the market for home buyers, as historically low interest rates sit alongside market conditions that are becoming more competitive. However, as we approach the upcoming spring peak-buying season, there are some interesting opportunities for those looking to buy or sell a property.

“The latest Home Buyers Index shows us that at a national level the market is offering increasing competition amongst prospective home buyers, which underlines the importance of doing the due diligence before entering negotiations. My advice for anyone looking to purchase a property over the coming months is to arm yourself with information. Do your research on prospective properties and trends in your target area, set a clear budget, get conditional pre-approval for your home loan and always keep an eye on wider market intelligence.”

Tim Lawless, National Research Director, RP Data says, “The latest HBI report which focusses on the results for May 2013 shows the Australian property market has moved towards a balanced market, with the number of homes for sale now more aligned with buyer demand. Although there are some exceptions on a state level, such as Queensland and Tasmania where conditions are still skewed towards the buyer, the vast majority of states have balanced market conditions. 

“Overall, these results should come as welcome news for sellers as they reach a level peg with buyers. However, it is important to keep in mind that on a national level the results indicate there is now less room to negotiate on new property sales and purchases.”

The top five best buyer’s and seller’s markets were identified as:

Seller’s markets:

Buyer’s markets:

1. Canberra, ACT (seller’s market)

1. Mersey-Lyell, TAS (extreme buyer’s market)

2. Loddon, VIC (seller’s market)

2. South East, SA (extreme buyer’s market)

3. Sydney, NSW (seller’s market)

3. Lower Great Southern, WA (extreme buyer’s market)

4. Central Highlands, VIC (seller’s market)

4. Far West, NSW (extreme buyer’s market)

5. Melbourne, VIC (seller’s market)

5. Wide Bay-Burnett, QLD (extreme buyer’s market)


The HBI is based on the ratio of properties available for sale compared with the number of housing loans that are being committed to by Commonwealth Bank. The findings from the HBI report are reflected in the Property Buy/Sell Index – a free online tool for prospective buyers that combines historical sales data and current market information to offer insight into whether a particular region is a buyer’s or seller’s market. The online Index includes expert commentary on each region, and also offers an overview of the national housing market. 







To access the report summary visit


– ENDS –

Editor’s note: About the Commonwealth Bank/RP Data Home Buyers Index Report
The Commonwealth Bank/RP Data Home Buyers Index provides an estimate of the level of supply and demand that is evident within the Australian real estate market. To calculate an estimate of supply, RP Data closely monitors the number of homes available for sale around Australia, including those from leading real estate portal, and other real estate groups and advertising portals. On the demand side of the equation, Commonwealth Bank is the nation’s largest home loan lender, and as such can provide one of the timeliest and most representative estimates of housing demand in the market place. The HBI is produced across a range of geographic boundaries, from a national index to state level indices, major regional indices, capital cities and broad regions within capital cities. 



Media contact:

Kate Dudman
Commonwealth Bank
(02) 9118 7370