• March 2, 2020

February was a big month of property sales across our region, culminating in the highest volume of auctions (510) on a weekend so far this year. The ‘Super Saturday’ of auctions on the 22nd of February tested the overall strength of the buyer pool and returned a respectable 82% clearance rate. During the month buyers were really moving swiftly to secure property. We also recorded an overall increase in the number of bidders registered at each auction and 85% of our auctioned properties sold above the set reserve. These metrics suggest buying demand is outweighing the volume of property available and there is evidence of upward pressure on property prices.

While buyers and sellers moving through the market were deciding to trade for the typical reasons, the overwhelming confidence buyers displayed to secure property was quite staggering. Properties sold within days of being listed with our average time spent on market dropping to just 16 days for the month and our off-market sales increasing by 36% compared to the same period in 2019. Overall we saw the return of FOMO (fear of missing out) in the market as many buyers jostled to make a first offer and lock down a property before the campaign extended into a second week.

We saw a steady run of new properties entering the market during February, although the overall sentiment from buyers was that opportunities still remained scarce. This may have be down to properties selling much faster and off-market sales accounting for a good portion of transactions. Given that buyers had the assumption that we are in a tight market, this contributed to the increased speed in which they chose to transact. It was locals again who took the mantle as the strongest buyer pool, being quick to identify a new listing and the nuances of the offering at hand. However, we did see respectable numbers of buyers continuing to move through the market from the North Shore, pockets of the Eastern Suburbs, the Hills district and some ex-pat purchasing given the low Aussie dollar. For the frustrated purchaser we do expect to see a reasonable wave of new property come onto the market in early March as many sellers aim to secure a sale prior to Easter.

While the strong property market is the standout performer in the economy right now, there are certainly a few things we are keeping a close eye on. There is nothing larger right now though than the Coronavirus which has broken containment and is now popping up globally. We’ve seen its impact on the global share market during the month and the ripple effect through the economy is occurring right now. It’s fair to say that no-one knows the full extent of this virus, how widespread it is, when a vaccine will be available and how to contain it, so this could become a larger conversation in the property world during March. We didn’t see any immediate impact with decision making during February but the conversation in the market has been increasing weekly. As always, we’re across every movement in property and if you’re after sound advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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