Brighter Buying

Housing oversupply fails to dampen price growth

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 1 December 2017

Brisbane has 4,537 surplus dwellings according to new data which challenges the traditional notion that a chronic undersupply of dwellings has fuelled house price growth in Australia’s capital cities.

Melbourne has 3,994 surplus dwellings and Sydney’s inner city has 5,878, reports

These counter intuitive findings come from Australian National University researchers who analysed Census data and building approvals to find Australia had a whopping 164,000 excess dwellings across the country.

So how do they explain the price growth if supply isn’t an issue? A lot of properties must be vacant and could be owned by investors.

Other commentators have weighed in to say low interest rates and investor-friendly tax policies are also fuelling investor activity.

But other boffins are cautious to interpret the findings as a sign of market softness. AMP’s chief economist Shane Oliver warned it’s dangerous to include vacant properties in a calculation of supply because they weren’t available on the market.

The Urban Taskforce pointed to the study’s own admission that it does not conclude people’s housing needs are being met, and it encouraged governments to continue to support the development of affordable housing supply.

Check out Queensland’s areas of housing surplus. We’ll leave it with you to choose how you interpret the numbers!

Surplus dwellings

% of stock

1. Brisbane 4,537 12.7%
2. Townsville 4,259 5.3%
3. Cairns – South 3,516 8.1%
4. Gladstone – Biloela 3,384 9.4%
5. Surfers Paradise 2,878 12.3%


Want to take some surplus stock off the market? View our current listings for sale or check our listings for rent.