Insights

Tools, tips, industry knowledge & market trends.

In the blink of an eye, the housing market has gone from rising to falling. Buying in a falling market is often described as catching a falling knife. This is not always an apt description when it comes to falling property markets though. Unlike stocks and shares, you can gain a benefit from property beyond its short term price performance. Home is where the heart is and during the early stages of COVID-19, we have seen continued buyer demand and little to no panic selling.

At the time of writing, everything in our society is so fluid, predictions of any kind seems foolhardy. As an example, interest rates were cut twice in March, the first time we have seen an emergency cut in over 20 years. This barely caused a ripple in the mayhem.

Nevertheless, we have witnessed some early trends which are worth noting and we feel there are some key signals and signposts that are worth following to gauge the market’s performance.

What has happened thus far?

Rental market

Due to Covid-19 and in conjunction with restrictions announced by the Prime Minister, there will be changes to how the property market operates.

The Prime Minister has banned public open houses, until further notice. All of Harris Partners property inspections will now take place on a Private Appointment basis. 

This means that only one purchasing or leasing party will be able to inspect an available property, at any one time.

The Sydney Metropolitan area has now been placed in a state of emergency due the weather over the weekend. There are over 90,000 homes impacted across Sydney and the Inner West. 

Damage of this scale puts pressure and strain on our response system as maintenance people, roof plumbers and property managers attempt to manage the many issues arising by the minute. Please be patient and rest assured our team are systematically working through the issues as best they can.

The property market is a compilation of trends, tricks and traps that consumers must navigate in order to transact successfully. Whilst some traps such as underquoting are widely known to consumers, other more subtle changes in the marketplace have and will continue to emerge.

The conditions in the property market have changed so quickly in 2019, meaning the dynamic has changed too. In this edition of the Real Estate Report, we aim to bring you up to speed with what you can expect on the ground, whether you are buying or selling.

And just like that, the market downturn turned into an upswing.

The first month of the Sydney spring property market saw a decisive 1.7% rise according to the Core Logic Index. Those on the ground selling real estate would attest to that at the very least and possibly more for certain segments of the market.

As the property market continues to recover this spring, buyers and sellers are well advised to focus on 5 key areas that will largely shape the market’s performance. 

The recovery to date has not been linear across market segments. Some niche markets such as inner-city houses have rebounded strongly whilst apartments in suburbia continue to struggle. Generalised commentary such as ‘Sydney house prices’ won’t help a Birchgrove home buyer nor will ‘inner city apartments’ assist someone looking to downsize to a waterfront apartment. 

Better days ahead… perhaps

After two tough years, there are signs to suggest the market could be close to bottoming out. Whilst there are still many obstacles to scale, the price correction of the past few years has recalibrated a lot of the over pricing that existed in the market.

When a politician says they want ‘more affordable housing’ that’s code for ‘lower prices’.

Running an election on ‘lower house prices’ is political suicide. Running for office on the basis of ‘affordable housing’ is noble.

Look at the value on offer rather than the shortfall on selling. Most vendors have adjusted their price expectations to reflect the market correction. Given interest rates are at historical lows, buyers have not enjoyed such excellent buying conditions in some time. This opportunity can be easily overlooked if one finds themselves obsessing about the decline in their existing property as opposed to the value in the broader market. 

Most people describe a property market as either a buyer’s market (prices going down) or a seller’s market (prices rising). Simply put, one is deemed bad for buyers and one deemed good for sellers and vice versa.

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