Hows the market? New patterns emerging

How’s the market?

I’ve been in real estate 9 years, 10 in December and I’ve never seen a market as unpredictable as this. But there have been some patterns.

3 bad.

Having done just under half the number of sales transactions from this time last year, there’s no denying it’s been tough 12 months as an agent. But also, for sellers. Having a front-row seat, I’ve lost track of the number of difficult conversations I’ve had this year. I’ve been the bearer of bad news more times than I care to remember. Most frequently telling people their home isn’t worth what they paid for it 12 months ago and listening to their struggles as their savings have been obliterated from 13 interest rate increases in as many months. As they relied on the advice from the Pollies that “we won’t see interest rate increases until 2024”. Turns out that wasn’t quite right.

The hardest part has been as the pool of motivated, realistic sellers shrinks, watching hungry, unethical agents crawl out of their holes and over-promise as a way to guarantee they “win” the business and then go on to blame the interest rates for the property not selling rather than being honest about the state of the market. Then standing by as sellers reduce, reduce, reduce, and then sell. But I guess dodgy real estate agents aren’t a new concept. A saying I learned from a previous director “As a sales agent there are no prizes for 2nd”

One thing I’m seeing that backs this hypothesis up is the amount of reviews and testimonials agents are receiving has dropped right off a cliff. Usually, the agents request this after the sale has been finalised. Once upon a time, those 5-star reviews were being thrown around like confetti. I imagine the agents are feeling less confident that their sellers are going to leave a glowing 5-star review after sitting on the market for 60 days and having to reduce their real estate promised price by 10-15%

3 good.

Amongst the long days on the market and painful slashing of prices, there’s been a sprinkling of unexplained, highly competitive & big-priced results. On multiple occasions multiple buyers offered at full price or more, and even some unconditional (not subject to finance) offers.

I have no idea when it will be, but I feel like we’re one interest rate cut away from a tsunami of buyers ready to pay overs, as they have put off buying for fear of overpaying in a down market. Buyers are looking like sprinters at the start line. There’s so much nervous energy waiting for that loud bang of unanimous confidence, in the economy, house prices, and interest rates. Textbook flock mentality, safety in numbers.

Spring is just around the corner, in less than 30 days, that traditional selling season will be upon us. Bringing warmer weather, vitamin D / serotonin-fueled buyers, and houses that the sellers have been furiously working on over winter.