April Market Update

Market Update: April

Now that the Easter break is behind us, the property market can look forward to a relatively uninterrupted run for the rest of Autumn, with the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June our next scheduled long weekend. This will be good news for home sellers, as the past month has a period affected by school holidays, the Labour Day weekend as well as Easter.

Despite these distractions, the Victorian property market has experienced a relatively steady month. Auction clearance rates are still down a bit, particularly when compared with last year’s remarkable figures, however the good news for sellers is that the rate doesn’t appear to be dropping any further as the year goes by.

Indeed, assuming that the supply of new listings begins to slow as it usually does as we get closer to Winter, we may even see the clearance percentage begin to improve a little. This will occur if demand remains at its current levels and buyers are forced to compete more strongly for the limited stock available.

That said, we may see a short spike in the number of listings hitting the market this week, as there will inevitably have been some vendors who have held off making a move until the school holidays are finished. We might even find that buyers have a few extra reasons to smile through the remainder of April.

As we touched on in last month’s Update, the decline in auction clearances along with increased variations in the market strength of different areas has made the agent selection process even more important. In a market where you may need to make judgements about the strength of an offer prior to auction, or to negotiate with buyers after auction if the bidding does not reach your target price, your agent’s ability to negotiate one-on-one is of increasing importance…one more reason why having an independent Vendor Advocate by your side when selecting your agent is so important.

On the economic front, there appear to be more signs that the majority of home buyers remain confident about any potential interest rate movements in the foreseeable future. One of the major mortgage broking firms recently reported that the proportion of borrowers choosing variable-rate home loans has been rising steadily in recent months. With the Reserve Bank leaving the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% yet again this month, borrowers are clearly not feeling any pressure to fix their mortgages just yet. Indeed, as recently as this past week, the Governor of the Reserve Bank has stated, “The Reserve Bank Board does not see a strong case for a near-term adjustment in monetary policy”.

Overall, it seems that we are heading into a market where results will be more predictable, but where the occasional strong result is still possible with the right strategy and skills. So if you would like any help navigating your way through what is becoming an increasingly complex property market, feel free to call on the team at Ian Reid Vendor Advocates.

Best wishes,

Ben Reid