MORE RE­PORTS

UPTICK IN MAR­KET SEES AGENTS EX­TEND AUC­TION RUN

The Australian - - FRONT PAGE - MACKEN­ZIE SCOTT, LISA ALLEN

Surg­ing prop­erty prices are ex­pected to con­tinue to re­bound through the usu­ally sub­dued Christ­mas pe­riod and into next year, prompt­ing a rush of newly listed prop­er­ties to flood on to the mar­ket as ven­dors cap­i­talise on the sharpest uptick in val­ues for 30 years.

Syd­ney and Mel­bourne prop­erty prices have rock­eted by 7 and 6.9 per cent re­spec­tively over the last quar­ter — the big­gest in­creases since the late 1980s, driven by vastly im­proved sen­ti­ment and eased lend­ing re­stric­tions.

Agents in most cap­i­tal cities are record­ing an in­crease in prop­erty num­bers as they pre­pare for a busier than usual fes­tive season, in­clud­ing a raft of ven­dors hop­ing to close deals be­fore Christ­mas.

Pent-up de­mand from buy­ers that pro­pelled the mar­ket for­ward through the lat­ter half of the year is likely to be sus­tained into the year ahead.

Bou­tique in­ner-Syd­ney real es­tate agency Bresic Whit­ney has ex­tended its auc­tion run and is still bring­ing prop­er­ties on­line in the hope they sell be­fore the end of the year.

Although list­ing rates are down 15 per cent year-on-year, al­most nine in 10 prop­er­ties are be­ing con­verted to a sale. The mar­ket achieved a 62 per cent sales rate last year.

Co-di­rec­tor Shan­nan Whit­ney said the mar­ket was be­ing driven more by emo­tion than prices.

“Ba­si­cally, what we are list­ing, we are sell­ing,” Mr Whit­ney said.

“It’s not re­ally about prices, it is about what peo­ple think will hap­pen in the com­ing months. That has an im­pact on sen­ti­ment and be­hav­iour. Given the en­ergy now and the mind­set of buy­ers at the mo­ment, we are ex­tend­ing our cal­en­dar and op­ti­mis­ing for December and Jan­uary.”

Econ­o­mists and prop­erty ex­perts have pointed to sus­tained, high auc­tion clear­ance rates in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne de­spite stock lev­els al­most dou­bling since July. In­quiries for prop­er­ties are also up, with data from realestate.com.au show­ing a sig­nif­i­cant spike through Oc­to­ber.

Philip Hakim, 47, listed his wa­ter­front Rose Bay man­sion in Syd­ney’s pres­ti­gious east­ern sub­urbs four days ago.

The prop­erty de­vel­oper built the home when he was 26 and hopes it will fetch up­wards of $11m. The five-bed­room prop­erty of­fers views across Syd­ney Har­bour from the glass-lined open-plan liv­ing space and rooftop deck.

Mr Hakim ex­pects favourable ex­change rates and de­mand for ex­pats look­ing to re­turn home in the new year to en­cour­age buy­ers.

“For me, it was ad­van­ta­geous to sell it now. With the mar­ket go­ing up, it was a for­tu­nate co­in­ci­dence,” Mr Hakim said.

In Syd­ney’s trendy in­ner-city sub­urb of Surry Hills, Angie and Ben Wain, aged 37 and 47, are sell­ing their ter­race home off-mar­ket to re­turn to their na­tive UK. They pur­chased the three-bed­room home for $1.67m ahead of the price gains in 2014 and are now hop­ing for up­wards of $2.3m.

Ms Wain said if they weren’t look­ing to re­lo­cate so soon, it would be tempt­ing to see how far the mar­ket would climb.

“We are very for­tu­nate prop­erty prices are go­ing up. It would be tempt­ing to wait and see what hap­pens but from what we have heard, now is a good time to sell be­fore things plateau out next year,” Ms Wain said.

Syd­ney and Mel­bourne have con­sis­tently led the im­prove­ment in hous­ing prices since June when the mar­ket bot­tomed out, with the con­fi­dence slowly spread­ing through the broader mar­ket.

This was ev­i­dent in Mon­day’s hous­ing value fig­ures from prop­erty re­searcher CoreLogic, with all bar one cap­i­tal city record­ing price growth through Novem­ber and push­ing the mar­ket into pos­i­tive an­nual growth ter­ri­tory for the first time since April 2018.

Real es­tate agency Ray White recorded $4.6bn in un­con­di­tional sales through Novem­ber, a twoyear record for the network, with chair­man Brian White not­ing a marked in­crease in pres­tige sales.

Mean­while, My Hous­ing Mar­ket chief econ­o­mist An­drew Wil­son de­scribed the re­cent Syd­ney and Mel­bourne price surges as “re­mark­able”.

JOHN FEDER

Philip Hakim and part­ner Sarah Al­dred at the Rose Bay man­sion in Syd­ney Mr Hakim built when he was 26. He hopes to net at least $11m for it

Source: CoreLogic

The five-bed­room Rose Bay prop­erty has har­bour views and a rooftop deck

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