real estate agents

As property listings halve, real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze

PHOTO: Some Tasmanian real estate agents have not had a listing for three months.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

A falling number of houses on the market in Tasmania is encouraging real estate agents to “race to the bottom”, or leave the industry entirely, some agents say.

“It’s brutal. It’s a matter of survival, there’s no doubt about it,” Harcourts Signature director Gary Quan said.

Mr Quan’s agency runs four real estate offices in southern Tasmania.

He said some agents had not had a listing for three to four months.

“They prospect all day, make calls, it’s quite demoralising,” he said.

“Everyone’s prospecting madly trying to drum up business, talking to people, talking them into putting their property on the market, offering longer settlements.

“It’s almost a race to the bottom particularly with commissions and agents out there offering very good deals in terms of free advertising, low commissions.”

The latest data from property market analyst group CoreLogic shows Hobart house values increased by 7 per cent in the three months to April, the second-highest increase of the capital cities.

Over the same period, values in regional Tasmania increased by 7.7 per cent.

“Dwelling price increases across Tasmania have been particularly exacerbated by low listings levels,” the report said.

“Unlike other parts of Australia, 2021 has not seen a resurgence in new stock being added to the market for sale.”

According to the report, new listings levels were 8 per cent lower than the previous five-year average, and as of May 23, the count of total listings on the market across Tasmania was 46.1 per cent lower than where listings would typically be at that time of year.

Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Mandy Welling said the shortage of properties on the market was “severe”.