BY BYRON FREEBORN, RAINE & HORNE WYNNUM
To start with, the good news is there is a pulse. Patient alive, check! Properties are selling, and deals are getting done. Has the market dropped overall? Yes. Has it dropped to a level that still takes in the juicy gains we experienced over the last 18 months? Undoubtedly. Have we hit a support level? Most likely, notwithstanding any seismic economic shifts in the near to medium future.
As we head into the home stretch of the year, we are seeing an increase in activity – not on all properties and not on all property types/price points – but for most well-priced, neat homes, there are buyers.
This time of year traditionally sees a ramp-up of buyers making decisions; they want to sign off and be in their new home by Christmas. They want to be ready for the new school term or job relocation in the new year.
There are also those investors whose goal was to purchase a first investment property this year, realising they may need to get a wriggle on before the year ends.
We saw a dampening of the buyer spirit from April to August, with some exceptions. This was due to a myriad of causes, ranging from the Federal election, proposed Land Tax changes, the natural cooling off from a heated period, global murmurs of recession, and interest rate hikes, all underpinned by elevated debt levels.
It was the “big wait” – a case of buyers wanting to wait and see. Most buyers that had continued to wait and see saw that interest rates continued to rise, their borrowing capacity shrunk, and property prices were not dropping as much as they’d hoped. During these fallow months, there has been a latent build-up of buyers. How these buyers affect the overall market will be revealed as natural buyer demand needs to be met.
Recent conversations with investors this week have shown they feel now is the right time to pick up a reasonably priced property to be in a prime position for the 2032 Olympics.