There have been several interesting changes in the Victorian property market since our last Update, and whilst some of these changes will probably only make a passing impression on the way the market functions, some changes are likely to make quite a difference to the results some property sellers achieve for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.
One of the more well publicised changes to the market was the decision by the State Government to increase assistance for first home buyers. This included the complete removal of stamp duty for first home buyers purchasing properties up to $600,000, as well as a sliding scale of reductions to this particularly unpopular tax on purchases up to $750,000. This change will come into effect from July 1st this year, and is likely to have an impact on those vendors selling properties in the $600,000 to $750,000 bracket.
Property sellers outside the metropolitan area should also see additional buyer activity as the State Government has also doubled the first home buyer’s grant for properties in regional Victoria. This means that first home buyers purchasing a property for up to $750,000 in most regional municipalities will be able to apply for a grant of up to $20,000, rather than the existing $10,000 grant.
The important message that comes out of these changes is that if you own a property that may fall within the sub $750,000 bracket, it might be wise to have a chat with one of our Advocates about timing and strategy to ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunities that these changes could present.
A change that came into effect from May 1st was legislation that controls the way prices are quoted when your property is on the market. These changes include using a maximum 10% price range between the lowest and highest figure used when advertising, the requirement to adjust this figure whenever a written offer has been rejected by the vendor, and the requirement for the seller or their agent to provide a ‘Statement of Information’ to prospective buyers.
The Statement of Information, as required by Section 47 of the Estate Agents Act, provides details on the indicative selling price (either a single price or a price range of no more than 10%), the median price for the suburb, and the sale prices of three comparable properties sold within the local area over the previous six months.
From our perspective, most real estate agents have adapted to the new regulations reasonably well, and there seems to have been a move in the market towards more realistic price quotes in many cases. However, it’s fair to say that some agents have been slower to respond than others, which is one more reason to have an experienced Advocate by your side when choosing your agent.
It’s been interesting to note that there seems to be more awareness of the changes within the real estate industry than there has among the buying public, the people these laws were supposed to protect. Hopefully increased discussion will lead to greater awareness as we push towards increased accountability among agents.
The good news for anyone planning a sale is that the first few weeks of Winter have seen a continuation of the strong seller’s market that has been in place throughout 2017. Auction clearance rates remain high despite increased numbers of sellers choosing to auction their property, even in areas that have not traditionally been auction markets. So, if you would like to have a confidential chat about the best ways to maximise your impact in the current market conditions, don’t hesitate to call on our experience.