I’m pleased to say that this month’s property market update is more positive than many people would have expected as recently as one month ago. In the weeks since the Easter weekend we have seen buyer activity increasing markedly. Some areas of Melbourne have experienced buyer activity levels two to three times higher than they were at the start of April, which is certainly a positive sign in the midst of these challenging times.
Yes, prices have eased a little since the peak at the start of the year. However, from our perspective these decreases appear to be in the range of 5-10% in most cases…nowhere near the numbers that some of the scaremongers in the media have been forecasting. In fact, the most recent data from Corelogic is indicating that prices are still substantially up on this time last year.
We are not seeing the huge buyer numbers that was driving the market in late 2019, of course, but it is important to keep in mind that stock levels are also down by around 30% on the same time last year, so these decreases have tended to balance themselves out to a degree.
What we can say with certainty is that if a property is realistically priced from the moment it hits the market, buyers are responding positively in the majority of cases. Inspection numbers are solid, and in most areas of Victoria we are seeing offers being made within a reasonable time frame. If buyers don’t respond, it is usually an indication that the pricing has missed the mark.
Whilst the current situation is causing anxiety for many Victorians, it is worth noting that there are real opportunities out there for both buyers and sellers if they are in a position to act.
If you are planning on selling, our expectation is that stock levels may fall even further in coming months, so we may see competition between buyers increasing even further. For buyers, there are definitely bargains to be had, particularly where sellers are facing a deadline for a sale. However, it is worth noting that the number of properties being offered off-market having tripled in the past three months, so it pays to have an experienced Advocate working on your behalf if you’d like to get access to some of these opportunities.
As we often remind our clients, talk of rising or falling property prices is far less important if you are buying and selling in the same market. In fact, a decrease in prices is actually an advantage if you are upsizing, as the gap between what you sell for and what you pay is reduced proportionately.
When you weigh all these factors up, there is no doubt that the property market has become increasingly complex for buyers and sellers alike. So it is even more important than ever to have an experienced Advocate by your side when weighing up your options.
If you need any advice or assistance on any property-related matter, don’t hesitate to call on us.