In today’s market, buyers are in the driver’s seat with plenty of opportunities to find their dream property. Supply remains at healthy levels so buyers don’t need to rush when making a buying decision, particularly those upgrading homes.
Over the past couple of years, a shift is clearly evident, with sales volumes and consumer and business confidence lower than in previous years. In addition, property prices have levelled out as the resources industry moved from a construction to a production phase, decreasing workplace participation levels.
Adjustments to the First Home Owners Grant has had some impact on which area of the market first home buyers focus on. With the Grant now only available for new house and land buyers, more first home buyers are opting to take advantage of the Grant and build their first home.
Although buyers have plenty of choice in the current market, those holding back expecting the market to fall need to exercise caution. There are some early signs, such as improved sales volumes since January that the market is at, or close to, the bottom of the property cycle. If the market turns, then buyers are suddenly faced with having to make compromises in choosing their ideal property as prices rise through competition.
Once you’ve found a property you like and are ready to make an offer, avoid using negative language when explaining to the agent why your offer is a certain amount below the asking price. Instead focus on your personal affordability when providing a justification. There’s no need to run through what you think ‘needs’ to be done to the property as that’s of little concern to the seller; they don’t care what you do after you’ve purchased it.
For sellers, it’s important to meet the market in the early phase of your property being listed, to be competitive from the start. Listing a higher price to ‘test’ the market will likely mean you’ll have to discount later on.
In addition, presentation must be top of mind. Often there’s no need to change anything structurally but a new coat of paint and a tidy of the garden can go a long way in helping your property stand out from the competition.
So what’s ahead?
Market activity should remain somewhat subdued for the rest of year; a certain calmness in the market welcomed by many. The median house price may increase due to more sales in the higher price brackets from trade up activity. Supply is likely to remain at healthy levels particularly with many new, high quality apartments nearing completion.
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