It’s a sign of the times that each week as I sit down to write this column on a Monday (ok occasionally it creeps into a Tuesday…..afternoon) one of my first concerns is whether what I put to paper is going to be out of date by the time it’s printed. In an industry built on bricks and mortar its quite confronting to think about the pace of changes we are currently living among.
On the not so positive side, the last 7 days has seen an escalation of responses to COVID outbreaks in the southern states, with trips to Sydney now off the table, and more importantly to our local economy, we (and the rest of QLD, and much of Australia) are off the holiday list for Sydney-siders. We’ll just take it as read that we won’t be seeing too many Victorians any time soon either.
What has this done to our local market? Well, the biggest impact (which remains milder than anticipated) is a reduction in active property investors from those sectors. While buyers can still make their purchases sight-unseen, this remains a relatively uncommon occurrence and aside from the technical possibilities, with chaos closer to home, I suspect our southern neighbours will be focused inwards for some time. For the owner occupied market, especially in the $300,000 - $500,000 range, properties are still ticking over, with again, some surprisingly positive results coming through. Even the top end of the market has had its green shoots, with $1M+ contracts popping up in recent weeks, though there are still areas seeing more challenges than others.
While things are running well for now, timing is more than ever, critical for both buyer and seller in this market. For buyers looking to get into what is becoming a market of tight supply, you need to be quick when dealing with brokers and banks as backlogs are only going to get worse as Capital based staff have hours reduced or go back to WFH. Don’t miss out because of an extended finance clause!
For sellers, we are more and more often seeing the best buyers in the first 7-10 days on market. Focus your energy on having your property at its absolute presentation and marketing peak from day 1 to make the most of this activity and not only sell, but sell for more.