April 2019 - How sentiment drives the property market


The property market unlike share markets does not respond in fractions of seconds as buyers and sellers trade positions to eke out fractions of cent gains. Property is a considered and emotional purchase, with sentiment playing a large part. That sentiment drives the decision to sell, and it’s so interesting to note the changing sentiment in the the local market over the past year.

This time last year the market was bubbling along with sales up 6% and prices up 2%. However, the market was already showing early signs of slowing. By October the market had experienced a significant correction, sales were down 9% and prices down 16%. Despite these headwinds, property listings driven by sentiment and seller expectations remained strong. The next 6 months bore witness to these impact of this continued confidence as the inventory of properties for sale grew and grew. From just 43 at the start of October to peak at 83 at the end of March.

The latest data now clearly shows that the market has corrected. Sales levels remain quiet with 44 in the past 3 months, down 17% compared last year. In April alone there were just 11 sales, down slightly from the 13 last year. New listings though have never been scarcer, with just 11 new properties listed in April, that’s less than half the number listed this time last year.

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There is now a clearer sentiment in the local market. Sellers are cautious, but at the same time far more realistic when deciding to sell. Buyers equally are weighing up all the options to make the right decision. This is a market where there is time to consider the right move. If you need help in making that decision; be it looking to buy or sell, then please feel free to give me a call and let me help you make the right decision by leveraging my experience and market insight to get you the best price in today’s market.

Overall Market Summary

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The inventory of houses for sale has fallen significantly over the past month as new listings have been scarce. Just 6 new houses were listed in April as compared to 17 this time last year and 31 in February this year - such has been the correction in the market.

As far as sales are concerned there were 7 sales in April as compared to 9 sales last year - this reflects the trend of the past 6 to 9 months of quieter sales. The impact on the median price as shown in the chart below has been to see prices continue to ease - down 8% as compared to last year at a median sale price for the 3 months to April of $1,697,500.

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The market for investor and owner-occupied units continues to improve, albeit with volatility as the scale of this sector of the market remains so small. As far as sales activity goes there is brighter indications with 3 sales in the past 3 month, whilst far from massive this has added to sales over the past year to lift annualised sales by 19% as compared to prior year. At the same time the median sales price for the past 3 months continues to hover around the same level of $760,000 representing a fall of 3%.

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