Well, what a difference a year makes. Just twelve short months ago we were talking about the FOMO effect and how absolutely everything was selling.  Now, we’re in a very different situation. 

We can probably describe the present situation as a kind of ‘hit and miss’ market where some properties sell quickly and some properties might take a little while to sell, and then all of a sudden we will have three or four properties that sell in quick succession and then things go relatively quiet again.

Purchasers are driving the market, and if a purchaser has their finance organised and they find the right property, they will jump quickly. If they are not financially signed off, unsure about what they want or just putting their toe into the water for the first time, then this can put a slow down on proceedings.

Numbers at open homes have declined, and there are less general enquiries now than this time a year ago. Nowadays too, people will just turn up to an open home, whereas last year they would call or email prior seeking information and to register their interest.

Certainly, there are more properties available to purchase than during the FOMO times of twelve months ago, but in tandem, buyers are now a bit choosier.

We are seeing some new to the market buyers with finance approved who are prepared to wait for the “perfect” house, and are then missing out on great properties because they don’t tick every box on their list.

As always in real estate, rumours about the state of the market are thick on the ground. And not all of them are based on fact. Some buyers are working off the presumption that the local market has plummeted (it hasn’t). And they are seeking a significant discount off the asking price to reflect this perception. But what they don’t realise is that most of the time, the price of the home on offer already reflects current sales for similar properties on the market, and is both considered and accurate. Buyers who are particularly picky or unrealistic can miss out on well-priced, excellent properties.

Presentation of a home for sale is more important than ever in this market. This is ironic as in the hot market of twelve months ago when prices were stronger it was less important to spend money on styling, but now, it can be the difference between getting interest or not.

The first impression components are the most important, so if you are selling, pay attention to the front garden and façade. And then once buyers come inside, you need to build on that first impression with five-star presentation.

Buyers are primarily seeking two things: 

  1. Lifestyle 
  2. Properties that are ready to move into, with nothing to do 

People don’t want the uncertainty and inconvenience of a major renovation. And with blowout building costs, long waits on building approvals (which can be as long as six plus months), and disrupted supply chains slowing progress, this is a significant factor in buyers minds.

Investors are presently missing in action, and no doubt they will return as the market rides out this current cycle. What we do know is that all markets go up and down and are locked into an eternal cycle. And rising interest rates are a significant part of this cycle.

Twelve months ago, property was more expensive but cheaper to finance. Now, we have cheaper property but it’s more expensive to finance. A bit like yin and yang, market forces will continue to do their thing, and for every downturn there is a silver lining.

And the biggest silver lining of all is the opportunity to live in the beautiful northern rivers. Nothing can beat that!

Read more in my Summer newsletter . . .