Predictions For 2017

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As 2016 quickly draws to an end, we start speculating on what 2017 may have in store for all those associated with the property market. While this year has seen the auction market really progressing with higher than average clearance rates and record prices achieved across the South East Queensland and Northern NSW markets, the fact of the matter remains, stock has been tight. With less housing on the market, it has been a tough year for agents having to work harder, negotiate commissions and justify their fees more feverishly than recent years.

The consumer confidence has certainly improved, with investors flooding back into the market, interest rates remaining astonishingly low and average time on market reduced as buyer competition intensifies, particularly within the entry level market. This sets us up for a promising 2017.

While indications suggest interest rates may rise, even if the Reserve Bank keeps them where they are, the big four will most likely start pushing upwards. Lenders in general will continue in their prudent fashion, with low or no deposit home loans still achievable through the right lenders and with the right preparation on behalf of buyers. The level of stock will likely increase come end of February to the start of March, as prices remain steady or increase slightly. The demand from interstate buyers will continue throughout the New Year and will improve property values in the South East Queensland region. The development and economic growth in markets such as the Gold Coast as they look towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Sunshine Coast as they become a big city by the sea will drive increased demand in these locations. Demand from overseas buyers is also set to peak on the back of increased tourism and activity in the international markets. Detached housing will perform well, as demand increases and the over-supply of units continues particularly in the Brisbane CBD area.  

Agents will need to remain extremely active in terms of prospecting and database work, while the need to extensively market properties to achieve the best prices will become a focal point for vendors. Agents are encouraged to use the auction arena to give serious buyers the opportunity to compete for the property of their choice. While remaining vigilant in systems and processes, agents will need to be completely aware of the expectations from sellers and buyers in the 2017 marketplace. Sellers want to be assured they are obtaining the best price for their property and will require agents to justify their fees, so having strong dialogue and evidence as to why you are the best agent for the job will be essential.

In summary, I am excited to be approaching 2017 with optimism and enthusiasm. I am looking forward to revealing some great new projects I have been working on and helping past, present and future clients to achieve some great auction results in the New Year.

DAVID HOLMES — INDEPENDENT REAL ESTATE AUCTIONEER