PHOTO: Fewer sellers are listing their homes, new figures show. Photo: Supplied

It’s gridlock! Large swathes of the nation’s housing markets have ground almost to a standstill with the number of new listings being put up for sale slumping last month – mostly because vendors fear they, in turn, won’t be able to find anything to buy.

Many are also reluctant to put their homes on the market in winter, traditionally one of the slowest times of year, compounding the problem. And, with demand still far outweighing supply of stock, experts say there’s not much relief in sight until spring breaks and more sellers decide to chance their luck.

“There’s so much pent-up demand out there but while vendors are all thinking it’s a good time to sell, they know it isn’t a good time to buy,” said Nick Boyd, head of growth at Belle Property Australasia. “It’s like a traffic jam. No one can move and more and more buyers are joining in the backlog.

“Sellers know they’ll get a fantastic price as we’ve seen stunning price growth over the last nine months, but that can equally put a hesitation into the sellers’ minds knowing there might not be much out there for them.”

New listings over the four weeks to June 20 in Sydney fell 7.8 per cent, on latest Domain Group figures, but some capital cities saw much more dramatic falls. In Melbourne, for instance, new listings dropped over the past four weeks by a thumping 28.7 per cent.

Some of that could well be a hangover from the Victorian capital’s fourth COVID-19 lockdown, and agents are attributing much of the rest to winter, which tends to hit the southern states much harder. Greg Costello, of Buxton Real Estate in Melbourne’s Brighton, says the city tends to be more cautious in the cooler months than Sydney.

“Much of that fall can be put down to a seasonal thing,” he said. “We’ve always seen that Melbourne is more affected by the winter and events and school holidays than others.