Tough time for sellers

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

Al­though the drop in the hous­ing mar­ket is good news for buy­ers, there are still many home­own­ers strug­gling to sell and tak­ing big losses.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA fig­ures show the me­dian house price in the Kar­ratha ur­ban area is now $387,500, com­pared with $900,000 in 2012.

REIWA Kar­ratha chair­man and Ray White li­censee Richard Naulls said with such a big drop, many sellers were los­ing $200,000 to $300,000.

Mr Naulls has also seen many mort­gagee-in-pos­ses­sion sales.

“I’ve just worked out that in my of­fice alone, it’s about 18 per cent of our list­ings are mort­gagee in pos­ses­sion sales,” he said.

“You have to think, if that’s re­flec­tive in our of­fice, it’s prob­a­bly fairly sim­i­lar in other of­fices and across the mar­ket in gen­eral.”

How­ever, Mr Naulls said the mar­ket had sta­bilised and he ad­vised sellers, if pos­si­ble, to hold on to their prop­er­ties un­til prices start to rise again.

“My ad­vice (to sellers would be) if they don’t have to sell, try and hold on to it for at least — I think we’re go­ing to be in this mar­ket for at least two years in a sta­bil­i­sa­tion pat­tern,” he said.

“If they can hold on and keep it, it would be more ben­e­fi­cial to them, but if they have to sell, un­for­tu­nately they may have to try to take the emo­tion out of it and go with what their head says, take what they can get and move on and make the most of not a great sit­u­a­tion.”

The mar­ket shift has also taken a toll on the rental mar­ket, with prices drop­ping more than 60 per cent in the past few years since the boom.

Mr Naulls said renters were tak­ing ad­van­tage of the drop by tak­ing out longer leases to hold on to low rent prices.

“We’ve no­ticed in the last cou­ple of months that there has been a sta­bil­i­sa­tion in prices and more and more peo­ple, renters, are tak­ing longer leases of 12 months be­cause they see that the prices prob­a­bly aren’t go­ing to drop any fur­ther,” he said.

“That’s the in­di­ca­tion where the mar­ket has sta­bilised.

“Rents tra­di­tion­ally will move first and then sale prices fol­low.”

Al­though sellers are do­ing it tough in the cur­rent mar­ket, Mr Naulls said buy­ers had been given a good op­por­tu­nity to snap up a bar­gain.

“I think the stats are show­ing that we’ve reached pretty much the bot­tom, if not al­ready got to the bot­tom of the mar­ket,” he said.

“I think that we’ll stay in this sort of mar­ket in a sta­ble mar­ket with some reg­u­lar turnover of sales for at least two years.

“Then po­ten­tially we’ll start see­ing some slight in­creases up­wards in prices af­ter that, which would be a more tra­di­tional real es­tate mar­ket.”

Pic­ture: WA News

Many Ku­nunurra own­ers are strug­gling to sell.

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