Happy (?) New Financial Year

Turbulent past 6 months

So if anyone accurately predicted that last half, can I please have your recommendations for Lotto numbers this week? It has been a turbulent past 6 months by any stretch and the short term is likely to offer similar volatility (though hopefully in more positive fashion) as 2020 becomes firmly the year of COVID-19.

After starting with promise in January with sales picking up pace and rentals continuing a strong market trend, all bets were off in March, as economic and travel restrictions piled on and we saw businesses close and planes leave our local skies. Unemployment skyrocketed and sales numbers dwindled as sellers fled the uncertainty of the market and buyers became understandably hesitant to commit when job security was hard to come by.

Then as flattening the curve became the national catchphrase, the anticipated health disaster was averted and we have now seen several months of the government firing (on most cylinders) to get the economy back on track, with JobKeeper sustaining employment through the worst of things, and significant stimulus now on the table across a variety of sectors, most visibly for construction with the introduction of HomeBuilder and its $25,000 boost in June.

As restrictions on inspections have come off (from essentially a 1 on 1, socially distanced viewing to now up to 20 visitors at a time), sellers have regained confidence and buyers are now taking advantage of record low interest rates to make a move. Listing numbers remain well down on usual levels though, creating an interesting environment where some properties are actually seeing better results than Pre-COVID as buyers vie over those few suitable homes that do come to market.

“Land Ahoy!” Will be the cry of builders, developers and above all first home buyers for the next 6 months as the combination of $25,000 Homebuilder and $20,000 First Home Buyer Grants has seen land sales take off and some developers sell out of entire Stages within a week – a far cry from the sometimes months it has taken historically. This week should see the confirmation of the detailed roll-out of this much advertised boost which hopefully will do what it is designed to do – make entering the property market more affordable and keep construction going.

The re-opening of borders remains on the wishlist of most locals and hopefully by the time this column runs we will have some good news on a date – allowing southern investors and relocators back into our market. In the meantime, as always, presentation, promotion and pricing are your keys to property sales success (that and the right agent!).