Opinion February 2016

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This time every year, with the close of February approaching, we all dream of an endless summer. But according to our agents, the sun hasn’t set on the marketplace, and won’t for some time,

Spring and summer have traditionally been the major selling seasons for vendors, but conditions could turn that tradition on its head in the coming cooler months.

The numbers of people turning out to open-for-inspections has been very strong since the holidays wound up. Many buyers have been enticed by a slowdown in price growth across certain markets.

It is this very demand combined with positive economic fundamentals that will keep real estate markets humming along in 2016.

However, overzealous commentators trying to capture media headlines and mountains of data risk overloading and confusing consumers. It is therefore important that buyer and sellers not be swept up in the short-term outlook.

Ensure that you do what is right for your situation and your own investment strategy rather than trying to second-guess the timing of the market.

The best data to keep an eye on is that from your own street and neighbourhood.

Strong employment figures combined with the share market volatility and already historic low interest rates should negate any “gloom and doom” talk directed towards property markets.

While buyers are out and about, listings are tightening in parts of the country.

We can see this in Melbourne where a lack of stock has resulted in price growth of 2.5 percent In January, outperforming even Sydney (+0.5%). The figures from CoreLogic RP Data, released last week, could well indicate both these markets are bouncing back following a slow down at the end of last year.

Overall the economic outlook remains positive with retail spending increasing and cheaper petrol adding more money to family budgets.

Homeowners have income to pay mortgages, interest rates are still low and affordability is improving. Some of these savings will be used by people to try and pay down their debt quicker.

Homes will spend longer on the market as we return to more normal conditions but it doesn’t necessarily mean sellers will be disappointed with the final result.

In fact, it could prove to be similar to what I have seen from our Harveys real estate business in New Zealand where prices in Auckland skyrocketed over the past 12 months, driven by migration. Prices there are now starting to moderate to a more sustainable level, as buyer demand turns to more affordable regional markets.

 

About LJ Hooker

Established in 1928, LJ Hooker has grown to become Australia’s best-known and most trusted real estate brand.

LJ Hooker features one of the largest residential and commercial sales and property management networks in the industry with more than 8,000 sales professionals, property managers and support team members.

With a franchise network of more than 700 offices across the Asia Pacific including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, Vanuatu, Dubai and Hong Kong, LJ Hooker sold more than AUD$19 billion in real estate last year. The company is one of the largest property managers in the region, managing 130,000 properties totaling $75 billion for investors across Australia and New Zealand.

LJ Hooker also provides a full suite of commercial services across Australia and New Zealand including buying, selling and leasing real estate for commercial or investment purposes. Under its LJ Hooker Commercial brand, LJ Hooker has 28 commercial offices supported by 300 commercial experts across the office, retail and industrial sectors.

LJ Hooker is the only real estate agency to offer its own brand of home loans. Established in 2005, LJ Hooker Home Loans is experienced in the non-bank mortgage market with a unique business model of home loan franchisees and loan writers who operate nationally. The LJ Hooker Loan book tops $4.9 billion with more than $1 billion in loans settled annually.

For more information visit ljhooker.com.au

 

Grant Harrod

Grant Harrod

 

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