Welcome to our latest snapshot of what has been happening in the Victorian property market. As I mentioned in last month’s Update, the real estate market has certainly ‘taken its foot off the accelerator’ in 2018, with slight decreases in median prices evident in some areas and price brackets.
However, that does not mean the market has completely ‘hit the brakes’ either. In fact, you may have noticed that Melbourne’s weekly auction clearance rate seems to have levelled out in the low 60’s recently which, when you look at historical records, is generally considered to be indicative of a balanced property market. In conditions like these we tend to find that the large majority of vendors who are realistic in their expectations tend to achieve a successful sale within a reasonable time frame.
One thing you do need to pay particularly close attention to in a market like this is choosing the right method of sale. Whilst some areas of Victoria have tended to automatically choose the auction method, particularly over the past couple of years, we are advising our clients to give this decision a great deal more thought at the moment. There are several options available that are producing good results when dealing with the current thinner buyer pool.
What many home owners don’t seem to have realised yet is that in a balanced market there are always segments of that market that tend to do better than others. For example, if you are selling in an area or price range where first home buyers are active, you should find that a good result is quite likely. Similarly, we are seeing a real step-up in activity from downsizers who have been encouraged to make a move now that new Government incentives to assist older Australians came into effect since July 1st this year.
Another important factor for anyone considering selling in 2018 is that if you would like to take advantage of the early Spring market, the time to start preparing your property is right now. History has shown that many of the strongest results of the Spring market will be achieved in September, prior to the AFL Grand Final. This is usually the period when buyer numbers are at their highest, and stock levels are still tight. As a result, increased competition between buyers tends to push sale prices up.
In contrast, if you leave your sale to the end of Spring, you are more likely to face increased competition from other sellers as more property becomes available. If you want your property to be on the market when conditions for sellers are at their best, (and then be ideally placed to make the most of buying opportunities as a cashed-up buyer who has already sold their property), then the window of opportunity is not huge.
Please keep in mind that our Advocates are a great source of experienced advice when it comes to deciding what to do in order to make the biggest impact on potential buyers, (and how to avoid spending money on changes that will have no impact whatsoever). So, feel free to call on that advice if you are considering a sale.