It’s a tense time for buyers if you’ve set your heart on breaking into the market or upgrading to your new home. The shortage of properties coming on to the market, coupled with pent-up buyer demand created by Covid restrictions, has seen prices constantly rising. 

With a 2.8% rise in March, prices have been heading north at the fastest pace since October 1988 in Australia, according to leading industry researcher CoreLogic. 

All the capital cities have been red-hot, especially Sydney, Canberra and Hobart. The regions have also recorded monthly rises of 2% with Victoria and NSW leading the way in terms of quarterly gains.

What does this mean for you as a buyer?

The first thing to remember is that Australia comprises thousands of micro-markets, so big headlines and TV footage of popular auctions isn’t an accurate picture of your own buying situation.

You should consistently stay in contact with local agents to find out what is coming on to the market. Ask to go onto their email marketing list as this will often give you access to off-market properties which means the owner decided they did not want to invest in a market campaign. If you don’t ask about these properties, you’d never know they were for sale.

Buying a new home can be testing right now, but you will be successful with patience and perseverance. Here are some tips that will help you in your property search.

  • Stick to your plan. If you’re serious about your property quest, then stick with your plan and don’t panic. It’s not easy, but you will be successful eventually. 
  • Stay in touch. It’s a great idea to be connected to local agents to see what’s coming on to the market. Embrace going onto email lists so you receive all the updates about properties newly listed and updates on prices or open times.  
  • Ask about “off-market homes”. Some sellers don’t want to publicise the sale of their home. There are no ads, not even a sign outside. These can be good buying opportunities, but you need to know they exist!
  • Pre-arrange your finance. You should always be ready to move quickly when the seller has the momentum. Know how much you can spend and have your loan ready to go. 
  • Don’t try to time the market. Waiting for the market to go down can backfire. There is a wide range of research that shows the folly of this strategy. Despite the wisdom of doomsayers, the prices may continue to rise for some time.
  • The market won’t stay hot forever. There’ll be a correction, and prices will level out. The unknown is what this level might be. Could it be this week’s prices or those achieved in three months? So, don’t second-guess the market. Stay with your plan.
  • Keep doing your research. Remember, our property market comprises thousands of micro-markets. So rather than worry about media headlines, keep looking at the results being achieved in areas where you’d like to buy. Be mindful, too, of the style of property and how it is performing price-wise.

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