Tools, tips, industry knowledge & market trends.

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.

The traditional real estate agent is under attack from the left and the right. On the one hand, companies such as Buy My Place are teaching consumers how to sell without a real estate agent. On the other, UK outfit Purple Bricks hit Sydney in recent times to offer home sellers a real estate agent whose total fees are under $6000.

The traditional full service, full fee agent is coming to realise the real estate office next door and down the road is not their only competition.

Even if you are fiercely determined to avoid being caught up in an auction when buying, you still may find yourself having to bid at one to secure your dream home. At an auction, the property sells to the buyer who submits the final bid above the vendor's reserve price. Most people attend auctions without a bidding strategy.

As more apartments are constructed, many people will be moving into strata living arrangements for the first time. If you are purchasing a strata title property it's crucial that you buy into a good apartment and a well managed building.

The selection of the selling agent is usually decided upon from an interview and/or a sales proposal process. Whether it's an interview or a sales proposal that you are using to determine your agent, neither actually shows the agent in action. Agents are fully rehearsed with scripts and dialogues to ensure a slick presentation when they are being interviewed by sellers.