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February 2014 - Strategies for Buying in a Hot Market! propertybuyer Market Update

February 2014 - Strategies for Buying in a Hot Market! propertybuyer Market Update

By Rich Harvey, Managing Director propertybuyer

Welcome to your February propertybuyer market update.

In this edition we look at:

  1. Strategies for Buying in a Hot Market
  2. Days on Market Record Lows
  3. Hot Property Alert

1. Strategies for Buying in a Hot Market

As a home buyer or investor in the current market it can be so frustrating missing out.  You’ve  spent months (or years) searching for that “right” home only to find that it sold after the first open or just prior to auction day.  You feel like you are on a merry-go-round spending all your spare time searching the web or calling agents.

As seen in the article below, RP data’s latest figures show that the average days on market for the combined capital cities are at historic lows of 38 days for houses and for units 35 days.  In Sydney houses are selling on average at 54 days on market and units 49 days. In Melbourne it’s 66 days for houses and 72 days for units.  Bottom line is you need to be thoroughly prepared and move quickly.  So what does this mean on a practical level?

  1. Get your finances ready to roll.  You must have your bank pre-approval up to date and your cash deposit in clear funds ready to use for exchanging contracts.  Don’t try and negotiate a 5% deposit if you don’t need to – this will just put up another road block for buyers willing to put down 10%.
  2. Have your support team ready.  Have your mortgage broker, solicitor, building and pest inspector (or strata), buyers’ agent, accountant at the ready. Your ability to move quickly on an exchange is critical to securing a property.  In a hot market there could be two or three buyers at the same level and it will all comes down to timing.
  3. Increase your searching efforts.  Let’s say you spend a few nights a week trawling the web and then spend 4 hours on the weekend at opens.  You would have obviously registered to get the email alerts and contact a few agents.  However, it’s the scope and depth of your agent network that will determine how many properties you actually see.  Physically inspect as many properties as possible to get an accurate guide on the market demand.
  4. Consider fringe suburbs. Buying in a hot market usually means prices are rising and this means you could eventually be priced out of a suburb. Look at the surrounding suburbs as these will typically experience the “ripple effect” of capital growth as buyers unable to enter a market look further afield.
  5. Get the value right.  One of the most important things you can do in a hot market is to ensure you do not over pay.  You must evaluate the long term value of the property you are buying.  Property markets move in cycles so while the demand is very strong now, consider the pricing impact of a slower market.  Assess the historical data to see the longer term trends and volume of sales.  Tightly held areas with relatively low turnover are more resilient to market fluctuations.  In contrast, very high volume turnover suburbs with low demand are more susceptible to a price decrease. Look at relevant comparable sales within the last 3 months.  Don’t go too far back with sale purchase prices, look at the most recent sales and comparable properties (land size, features, bedrooms etc) so you get the best comparison.
  6. Show your interest.  If you are genuinely interested to buy, then advise the agent – don’t play games and feign interest, otherwise they won’t take you seriously as a buyer.  Be prepared to make an offer once you have worked out the appropriate value. Pre-auction offers can sometimes work, but you will need to have all your inspections completed as there is no cooling off with these deals.  Low-ball offers in this market will simply be ignored. There is no point trying to drag out a negotiation in a hot market. Your offers need to be in line with recent sales and close to your walk away price.
  7. Buyers' agents will give you the edge.  Engaging a professional buyers’ agent can save you huge amounts of time, money and stress.  A buyers’ agent will access more on market, pre-market and off- market properties via their agent database.  They can quickly appraise the value and negotiate at a professional level at auction or private treaty without emotion clouding their judgement. Most importantly a buyers’ agent can move lightning fast to exchange on the contract.
  8. Keep your emotions in check. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy of an auction or private bidding war just because you’re sick of searching.  Know your financial limits and buy a property that will suit your future needs – don’t compromise and suffer from buyers remorse!

Final thoughts.  Recognise that while there is competition in a hot market this situation is likely to arise during the next property cycle.  As an owner, you get to enjoy the benefits of capital growth over time and can look forward to a day when other buyers compete for your property.  The trick is to buy the right property that will be in high demand in the future. Even if you have to pay a slight premium to get into a suburb, take heart in the fact that property prices have risen significantly each decade.

While some commentators are saying “don’t participate” in this market, this advice could mean you may eventually be priced out of the market.  Property prices are very resilient in Australia due to our prudential banking system and overall undersupply situation.

If you are in the market to buy a home or investment property we would love to assist you.  Call my friendly team of buyers agents on 1300 655 615 today to get the upper hand in a hot market, or email your inquiry. We would be delighted to help.

Rich Harvey is founder and Managing Director of www.propertybuyer.com.au, Australia's most awarded Buyers' Advocates. Propertybuyer helps property investors and home buyers search and negotiate the right property at the right price, everytime. Visit www.propertybuyer.com.au or call 1300 655 615.

2. Days on Market his Record Lows

RP Data has been tracking the average number of days properties take to sell and the average vendor discount since the beginning of 2005.  Both measures have recorded a significant improvement throughout 2013 and the average number of days on the market is currently at a historically low level.

Average vendor discount excludes properties sold at auction and those which have sold above their list price and measures the difference between the first advertised price and the ultimate selling price of a home.  The figure is then expressed as a percentage.  As at December 2013, the average discount for a capital city house was -5.7% and for a unit it was -5.5%.  At the same time in 2012, discounting levels were recorded at a much higher -6.9% for houses and -6.3% for units.  The current levels of vendor discounting are the lowest they have been since early 2010 for houses and mid to late 2010 for units.

An analysis of sales across the combined capital cities found that over the final quarter of 2013 29.5 per cent of all houses and 37.5 per cent of all units sold, transacted at a price which was at or higher than the original list price.  These figures were greatly improved from the 25.3 per cent for houses and 30.8 per cent for units at the end of the September 2013 quarter.  Although a relatively high proportion of properties are selling above the list price, the majority of homes continue to experience price negotiation and ultimately sell at a reduction from their original list price.

The average time (days) on market figure excludes properties sold at auction and is measured by looking at the difference between the first advertised date of the property and the contract date once sold.  Based on a data series from the beginning of 2005, the average days on market figures for the combined capital cities are at historic lows of 38 days for houses and 35 days for units.  At the same time in 2012 the average days on market for capital city houses was recorded at 56 days and for units it was 53 days.

With homes seeing lower levels of reductions to the original list price it is no wonder that we are seeing an improvement in the average number of days on market.  Lower discounting levels mean that buyers and sellers are generally able to come to an agreement on price quicker.

Looking at the level of discounting taking place in the market across the average time on market we see that well priced new stock is selling quickly at a very low discount level.  Across house and unit sales, homes that sold in less than 30 days had an average vendor discounting level of -3.3% in December 2013.  At the same time, those homes that sold between 30 and 60 days had an average discount of -4.7%, -4.9% was the average discount for homes selling between 60 and 90 days, homes sold between 90 and 120 days on the market had an average vendor discount of -7.2% and homes which sold after more than 120 days had a typical discount of -8.5%.  The data highlights the importance of setting an appropriate initial list price, homes which are appropriately priced sell quickly and with a low level of discounting whereas the longer you keep the property on the market it generally results in a larger discount in order to achieve the sale.

The improvement in both discounting and time on market is reflective of the broader housing market conditions.  Property transactions have increased measurably over the past year and home values have also risen.  These conditions are reflective of the increasing level of competition for those properties available for sale and have undoubtedly contributed to the improved discounting and time on market figures.

With mortgage rates likely to remain at their current low levels over the coming months and housing market activity likely to rebound from its usual December and January slumber we would anticipate that discount levels will potentially improve further over the first half of 2014 and that the average time on market is likely to remain at current low levels.

From a sellers perspective, setting an attractive initial list price will help to ensure that the selling process is a quick one and who knows, you may be one of the circa one third of the market that is selling their homes for more than their initial list price.

Source: RP Data

4. Hot Property Alert

This month we have uncovered some fabulous off market opportunities for our subscribers. As buyers’ advocates we are constantly searching the market for solid investment property deals.

NOTE:  We have access to a wide range of established properties and brand new properties (both on and off market) from which we can hand pick the best opportunities. For developer stock, don’t forget that we can get all the sales commission rebated to you so you end up paying a wholesale price – call us today and ask us how.  Our specialists cover both residential and commercial property.

Brand New 4 bed from $329,000
Brisbane is one of the key markets that we have identified for investment opportunities in the next property cycle.  We have uncovered a motivated vendor that has secured 21 house and land packages from a mortgagee sale in Sovereign Park, Brassall.  Now you can benefit from buying at a price that is around 10% less than the median house price in Brassall.
These are off-market opportunities.

Brand New 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 car House and Land from $329,000 and renting from $340-$360per week. These are some of the most affordable prices I have seen in this area.

Sovereign Park is located in the heart of Ipswich within the major suburban centre of Brassall, only 4km from the city centre and located within 2km of schools, major shopping centres and only 1 minute from the Warrego Highway for easy access to the Brisbane CBD and Gold Coast.  This is a limited release of generous sized lots that range between 450m2 to 700m2+, with internal parkland and building covenants that will ensure the highest quality build standards.

In addition to being the best value house and land packages in Brisbane, Sovereign Park has strong capital growth prospects based on the following growth drivers:


  • Prices that are 10% below the median new house price in Brassall
  • A shortage of developed residential lots in Brisbane
  • The most affordable house and land packages in Brisbane
  • 2.5km from Riverlink Shopping Centre that includes Woolworths and over 100 specialty stores
  • 2km to Brassall Primary School
  • 2km to Ipswich High School
  • 3km to Ipswich Grammar
  • 4km to University of Queensland
  • 5km to Amberley Air Force Base with expenditure of $285M for the relocation of the F18 Fighter jets and relocation of 3,000 personnel
  • The fastest population growth of any region in Queensland

I believe that now is an opportune time to be investing in South East Queensland. The market is picking up, demand is increasing and land and housing stock is now in short supply. Rents are rising and building costs are increasing. We are confident that well located detached house and land packages priced under $450,000 will achieve strong capital growth over the next 3 years.

If you are interested in any of the above please contact Jason Low (Manager- Client Relations & Strategy) 1300 655 615 or 02 9975 3311 or email your enquiry to info@propertybuyer.com.au

To review the full details of these opportunities you will need to sign a simple confidentiality agreement which protects our interests in the property.  If you purchase a property, a fixed sourcing fee will apply.
We look forward to assisting you.

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