Where to Research to Find the Best Property For You

Where to Start Your Research

  • There are many ways to find out what the property market is doing as well as the impact of what current market conditions may have on your purchase. So before hitting the Saturday open house trail it is best do some prior research. This will save you a lot of time and money in the process.
  • Over the past decade, the internet has transformed the way we search for property. There are many excellent real estate sites with sophisticated search engines, as well as comprehensive facts and figures
  • Websites like www.domain.com.au, www.realestate.com.au and agent sites like www.ljhooker.com are another good place to find out what is for sale in your neighbourhood. These sites also provide commentary and articles relating to current market conditions. By entering your details and buying criteria you are able to receive the latest listings in your In Box as soon as they hit the market.
  • The weekend paper’s property lift out as well as your local community paper will also advertise current properties on the market, as well as up to date market information, like auction results.
  • Australian Property Monitors and RP Data are online providers of property data and information, who are highly reputable and for a small fee will supply you with the same reports agents and banks use to assess property values. Reports worth purchasing are postcode data, street history, auction results and market trends to name just a few. You could check in with your local real estate agent first as they may be willing to provide these reports for you free of charge.
  • Check the times and dates of local open homes and up-coming auctions and attend as many as you can. The interest in these properties will help you understand the market conditions and also help you gauge what properties are worth and which are the features that attract the most buyer interest.
  • Talk to local real estate agents about property in the areas you are interested in sell my home information. They should be able to give you a rundown of market conditions and current buyer activity. They are also likely to list your details on their database so if a new property comes on the market you’ll be one of the first to know about it. Tree Trimming and Removal

Create a Shortlist

  • Once you have a list of properties that look promising, it is a good idea to refine this search before setting out in the car on a Saturday. Try to research each property as much as possible. Speak to the sales agent, ask them what the property last sold for and to describe the property’s strengths and weaknesses (although they may be reluctant to share too many weaknesses).
  • It is also important that you research the immediate area in which the property is located. Where you buy can often have a greater effect on price than what and when you buy. Consider lifestyle attractions on offer such as parks, beaches and other outdoor recreational spaces. Also amenities and daily conveniences like schools, public transport and shopping centres. Proximity to these places can have a significant impact on the price of a property and what you can potentially sell it for in the future.
  • Be aware of buying a property under a flight path or on a major arterial road. While there is nothing wrong with buying a home in such a location, just make sure it is priced appropriately. Poor access to a property may also have an impact on price and its resale potential when it comes time for you to sell.
  • If you can, try to buy in property hotspots, particularly if it is an investment property you are buying. Hotspots tend to be close to a CBD, beaches, amenities, family-friend neighbourhoods and plenty of infrastructure. Views are another feature that buyers tend to pay a premium for. If you do buy a property with a view, check that it cannot be built out in the future which could greatly affect your resale value.
  • Ask other real estate agents that are active in the area what they think of a particular property you are interested in. Most agents will be only too willing to share their advice with you as you may be a potential seller one day so forging a relationship may pay in the future.
  • Use our Open for Inspection checklist to assess each property. Click here to download
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What if You Have To Compromise?

  • This is a reality most of us are faced with at some point in time when it comes to buying a property. Often buying the house of your dreams in your preferred location is not always attainable, meaning you may have to compromise space for location or vice versa.
  • If you have undertaken the above research you probably have a good idea by now just how much ‘home’ you can afford in the suburbs you would prefer to live in. If you cannot afford the home of your dreams in your desired neighbourhood, then it may be time to readdress your expectations or save some more money. However, saving money takes time and it may be better to settle for something less than perfect as prices will often increase while you wait.
  • Staying flexible with your housing criteria is important and is often a great way to climb up the property ladder. We’ve all heard that it is best to buy the worst house in the best street, however if you’re about to start a family or not in a position to renovate then undertaking major renovations may not be the best way to go.

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Where are all the For Sale Signs?

Why are Sellers Holding off?

It’s the million dollar question every real estate agent and buyer is asking, where are all the listings?

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Venture out on a Saturday and you’ll see a force of buyers drifting between the same open for inspections, and it’s not uncommon for our agents to be selling property in suburbs that have just two or three listings available.

The real estate atmosphere is strong due to the high demand from buyers thanks to record low interest rates and strong economic fundamentals such low unemployment rate.

Auction clearance rates continue to perform admirably in capital cities. However, the number of properties going under the hammer is considerably fewer than last year.

Take for example the Sydney market, which is seeing consistent clearance rates as a percentage in the late 70s and early 80s, is averaging between 500 to 600 scheduled auctions each week, whereas at the end of last year over 1,000 properties would go under the hammer each weekend at a lower clearance rate.

New listings are down across the country too; Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Tasmania and Canberra are all experiencing a shortage of new listings, while Adelaide and Perth have seen modest rises in new stock with a 0.9 per cent and 6 per cent growth respectively. Queensland is the strongest market regarding new listings with an 11 per cent upswing.

There are three main reasons why sellers are holding off putting their property on the market;

The buy before you sell conundrum

For many years, and definitely when I was first in the market, vendors were encouraged to sell their home before they purchased their next property – after all, you didn’t want to be paying two mortgages!

However, with the shift of the market many sellers are trying to buy before they sell their property, which in turn is holding up the flow of supply in many markets across Australia.

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Price growth

Price growth expectations are seeing potential homeowners sitting on their hands with the anticipation that their property will accrue more capital growth.

Investors short of choice

Savvy investors are fluid in the investment choices they make. Traditionally they would sell if another asset class such as the share market, term deposit and bonds offered a higher return on investment. However, these other asset classes are underperforming at present.

The combined capital growth and income return for residential property in Australia and the security of bricks and mortar are currently more attractive to investors than alternative investments.

However, despite these three limitations in listings homeowners are still reaping the benefits of active markets; with Sydney (11 per cent), Melbourne (8.5 per cent), Brisbane (3.1 pec cent), Adelaide (3.6 per cent), Canberra (6.1 per cent) and Hobart (2.1 per cent) all experiencing house price growth.

While investors may not be selling, they are still buying. Investor activity will continue to move as investors look to grow their portfolios, which will bode well for homeowners putting their property on the market this spring selling season. Tree trimming and removal

First home buyers will also be drawn back into the market after August’s rate cut to take advantage of mortgage affordability.

When considering whether now is the right time to sell do your research to understand what the level of competition is in your local area and, some homeowners who have not had their property appraised in the last 12 months will be surprised to see the current worth of their home.