NEW LISTINGS LIFT SUBSTANTIALLY
If you’ve been holding off selling your home, for fear of becoming homeless, the market is finally sending the signal you’ve been looking for according to CoreLogic’s latest national home value data.
You’d be hard pressed to find anybody in Australia who isn’t aware that it’s a ‘vendor’s market’, and has been since June last year. Until now, one of the reasons is that so many homeowners are not prepared to sell, frightened they’ll not being able to find another home in a reasonable timeframe. That’s because advertised stock levels have been running at 25% below the five-year average, until late April at least.
However, now the pendulum has swung somewhat, with new listings to market now well above average, relative to the past two years. This is positive news for those that would like to move, but have been discouraged by the degree of buyer competition they read about.
While advertised stock levels are still low, more property is flowing onto the market and relationships with local agents have never been more important. A substantial number of those new listings are not being advertised, either because vendors are preferring discrete sales, or because agents are able to strike agreements between seller and buyer rapidly.
Monthly change in capital city home values
Sydney p 2.4% p 7.5%
Melbourne p 1.3% p 2.2%
Brisbane p 1.7% p 8.3%
Adelaide p 2.0% p 10.3%
Perth p 0.8% p 6.7%
Hobart p 1.0% p 13.8%
Darwin p 2.7% p 15.3%
Canberra p 1.9% p 14.2%
National p 1.8% p 7.8%
Housing values lift 1.8% in April
CoreLogic’s national home value index recorded a 1.8% rise in April, with the monthly pace of gains easing from a 32-year high in March of 2.8%. Although the pace of growth has slowed, housing values are still rising rapidly, up 6.8% over the past three months alone – now 10.2% higher than last year’s September COVID low.
Small fish are sweet
The four smallest capital cities recorded double digit annual growth (Adelaide 10.3%, Hobart 13.8%, Darwin 15.3% and Canberra 14.2%), reflecting a smaller COVID-related disruption and an earlier start to the growth phase last year. Melbourne is recording the lowest level of annual growth (2.2%) due to a larger downturn, attributable to the extended lockdown period last year.
Preference for houses over apartments
The trend of houses outperforming units continued last month, yet again, as Australians demonstrated a preference for more space, a backyard, or a regional relocation – tree change/sea change.
This shift away from higher density housing during a global pandemic is understandable, however a rise in flexible working arrangements also seems to be supporting greater demand for houses around the outer-fringes of capital cities. Relatively weak investor activity, compounded by a supply overhang in some CBD high-rise precincts, is also dampening price growth in unit markets.
Upper quartile still leading growth
Continuing the opposite of last year’s trend, the upper quartile of the housing market rose 8.8% in the last quarter, compared with a 4.1% lift in values across the lower quartile.
TOP 5 FRAGRANCES TO SEDUCE BUYERS
Viewing a property is a multi-sensory exercise and nothing will deter a buyer more than a bad smell. Fragrances need to not only create a welcoming, clean and friendly atmosphere, they also need to have a top note of aspiration.
Coffee and a crackling fire: The days of scented candles and baking cookies are over. Freshly brewed coffee and the hint of smoke from a cosy crackling fire are evocative of a future life being lived.
Fresh flowers: Placing a bunch of colourful and lightly fragranced fresh flowers on an entry table provides immediate sensory pleasure as buyers enter. Roses are great – especially if they’re from your garden, as are some varieties of lilies, or a posy with lavender or rosemary in it.
Essential oils: Oil burners and diffusers are a useful way of dispersing fragrance through the home. Stick to plant-based scents that bring a sense of nature into the home. Citrus based smells like lemon myrtle and mandarin are widely popular. Scents like ylang ylang and geranium may overpower.
Freshly cleaned: Dousing everything in bleach will leave a cold, clinical smell, so schedule the deep clean in advance of the open house. Give everything the ‘once over’ the day before with cleaning products that contain lavender, eucalyptus, or lemon. Bicarbonate of soda absorbs odours.
HOW TO FAST TRACK PAYING OFF YOUR MORTGAGE
Knowing you are chained to a mortgage for 3 decades or more can be daunting. There are ways you can mix up your strategy, however, with the reward of reducing the balance of your mortgage, as well as the time y0u’ll take paying it off.
Adjust your psychology - Nobody likes the idea of short-term sacrifice for long term gain but thinking about pockets of sacrifice throughout the lifetime of your mortgage can make it more digestible. Over 30 years there will be as many lean times as there will be times of prosperity. Career aspirations should be considered in line with your mortgage too – double income households that are both benefiting from pay rises as they progress professionally will be in a great position to really carve a chunk out of a mortgage by living off one salary and directing the other to the loan repayments for example. Tightening the budget for 2 to 5 years and reducing the mortgage as much as you can during that time, then relaxing into a more manageable balance, is much easier than living a restricted lifestyle for most of your life.
Tighten the purse strings - Whatever strategy you choose in terms of repayments through the lifetime of your loan, tightening your budget will always make a difference. If you don’t currently track your spending, make the change now. There are plenty of apps that will do the job, or you can use the humble spreadsheet, or even handwrite it in a notebook. Every month there will be something that can be skipped, reduced or removed altogether. Delaying things from one month to another to spread the expenses across the year will help boost your month-to-month repayments, without impacting on your lifestyle too much.
Maximise an offset account - If you don’t already have an offset account for your mortgage, you should get one! The balance of your offset account is used to calculate the interest payable on your mortgage – if you have $10,000 in your offset account and a $600,000 mortgage, then interest will be calculated against $590,000 instead. The higher the balance of your offset account, the less interest you will pay. Getting a salary paid into your offset account is a great way of increasing its balance, as is transferring savings or your buffer account balance.
Increase your mortgage repayments - Paying more off your mortgage from month to month is of course the best way to fast track paying off your mortgage, but it’s also the most challenging. If you tighten your budget and pay a big chunk of it down early on, then reduce your interest via your offset account, you’ll definitely make some progress. Finding ways to increase the money you’re actually paying across will also make a big difference. This isn’t always easy, but as mentioned previously, identifying blocks of time across the lifetime of you mortgage where you can boost your payments, such as when your salary increases or once block expenses like school fees are finished will all make incremental but rewarding differences
So, what does all of this mean for the value of your home in Mittagong, Bowral, East Bowral or Burradoo?
With the market in this state, it is hard even for us to keep up. But, as always, because our sales executives are in it all day, every day, your best source for information is them. So please call Allan (0408 448 240), Anna (0457 448 240), Reece (0423 851 197) or Julie (0432 642 665) if you’d like to know how the value of your home has changed. We'll be happy to provide an appraisal, whether you’re ready to sell or not.