How to read the property market
The state of the real estate market is often a hot topic around the dinner table or barbecue. Is it a strong market? Is it quiet? How can you tell when there’s a change around the corner? It’s the source of much speculation, but when you consider that property is probably the most sizeable investment you can make, any insight into its nuances can be valuable.
There are multiple factors that can impact the property market, such as interest rate changes, seasonal events, new infrastructure, unemployment rates, changes in zoning, recent sales… the list goes on. With such a wide range of factors, it can be hard to read what the market is doing and, if you’re looking to sell, how do you know it’s the right time?
Do your homework
The first step is to arm yourself with the right sources to familiarise yourself with the property market as a whole. Sign up for newsletters, research recent sales online, attend open house inspections and go to as many auctions as you can. This will help you become familiar with the process and feel more comfortable with market values. This can help you decide if you are ready to sell or buy.
Get a feel for the market in your area
Once you’ve got a grasp on how the market works, you can start to focus more on your local area and get a feel for what’s happening around you. Speak to your neighbours and local friends about any nearby properties that are selling and ask their opinion – you might run into them at local open for inspections, which are always a good idea to take a look at.
The internet is also a great source of information, so set up email alerts in each of your search suburbs and ask an agent you trust for their observations on what’s happening locally.
Selling in a strong vs a quiet market
When you are selling in a strong market there are normally fewer homeowners doing the same thing. There are more buyers actively looking to purchase and the market enjoys high clearance rates with impressive sales records and high demand for property.
In a quieter market, there may be fewer buyers at open houses and a lower number of sales being recorded. The number of properties on the market can play a role in the sale prices being achieved. For many owners it’s a decision to sell now or wait until the market is stronger.
With pros and cons to selling in both markets, overall it depends on your expectations and objectives. Often, people aren’t given the choice if they’re selling to relocate for work or other lifestyle reasons, so the state of the market is neither here nor there to them. But that’s where choosing the right agent is important to help you look at your options, make the most of your sale and get the best price for your property, regardless of the market conditions.