Melbourne property market

Market Update: October

It may surprise some people given that many of us are probably feeling like Spring has only just arrived, but for anyone who has been considering selling and making a move in 2017, the most critical issue for you right now is your timing.

Now that the AFL Grand Final and the school holidays are behind us, the Victorian property market will now have a relatively distraction-free run through to the end of the year, (apart from the odd horse race or two). However, one look at your calendar will show you that we are already half way through Spring, so there are now just eight (or at most nine) weekends left before the focus of most buyers turns to Christmas gatherings and holidays rather than the property market.

The good news for anyone wanting to sell is that conditions remain positive in most areas. The arrival of daylight savings has made mid-week property inspections more enjoyable, and with the possibility of any increases to official interest rates looking increasingly unlikely until some point in 2018, buyers have been approaching the opportunity to purchase with confidence. In fact, the Melbourne Institute’s Index of Consumer Sentiment showed an increase of 3.6% in October, reaching its highest level in close to a year.

The Melbourne auction clearance rate has continued to outperform the rest of the country, consistently remaining within the 70%-plus bracket. The latest data from Corelogic indicates that Melbourne’s median property value has increased by 11.9 percent over the past 12 months, ahead of Sydney at 10 percent.

However, it is worth noting that the level of demand from buyers is not what it was six months ago, whilst the rate of growth in property prices has been slowing. Agents are finding conditions tougher, so between now and the end of the year we expect to see more properties selling before auction when one strong buyer emerges, whilst negotiations after auction are also likely to become more common. House prices have risen every quarter for the past five years, but the rate of growth in September was the lowest reported since 2014, suggesting that we can expect to see more predictable prices for the foreseeable future.

As I touched on in last month’s Update, increased predictability in the market is good news for vendors and buyer alike. If you are buying and selling in the same market, this means you can approach your move with a great deal more certainty about the likely ‘changeover cost’ than was possible just twelve months ago.

Of course, an additional reason to get your property on the market sooner rather than later is that time is getting tight is you would like to be able to settle and move during the holiday period in December/January. This is particularly important for families who may be looking at a change of schools, but many people prefer to change addresses whilst they are on holidays, rather than trying to juggle work commitments with removal vans!

So, if you still have plans to make a move in 2017, the window is still open, but you do need to keep an eye on the calendar. If you need any help to get your property ‘market-ready’, or you want some experienced guidance on getting your timing right, don’t hesitate to ask one of our team for assistance. We are always happy to help.

We look forward to being of assistance.

Best wishes,

Ben Reid

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