Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter, inflation and the market

We may only be four months into the year, but I think it’s safe to say that for most, the five day break was absolute bliss! It’s been an incredibly busy time across all sectors, and the real estate scene has been no exception.

The volume of homes available on the market continues to be at above average levels for this time of year, with lower demand causing days on market to be extended. So, it’s understandable that a lot of sellers chose to have last weekend off and simply enjoy the break.

The beautiful thing about open homes on long weekends is that it sorts the ‘wheat from the chaff’ so to speak. Those who have a tendency to look at homes simply because they enjoy it, or have always wanted to see inside ‘that one on the corner’ tend to steer away from the property scene, leaving the active buyers on the hunt.

Those who took the chance to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and open their property over Easter were rewarded with the attendance of quality buyers, real feedback from the people who are active in the market place, and in some cases, the hard truth around pricing property in line with buyer expectations.

In this softening marketplace, pricing continues to be the biggest hurdle between sellers and buyers. If you were to liken elements of the current market to that around the time of the GFC, you wouldn’t be far off. While not as severe, the market has softened and buyers have developed an incredible nose for knowing when a property is deemed as ‘good value’. Anything above this and the result is little enquiry and a rather lonely open inspection.

Meanwhile it begs the question, are property investors feeling the temptation to get back into the market?

We know they’ve been waiting for the right time, and right financial reasons, to step into the game. Consistently good yields (Adelaide dwelling average at 4.4%), a stable rental market (Toop vacancy rate is just 1.5%) and the return of some affordable investments may be just what they’ve been waiting for!

However the latest inflation rates released just this week may turn out to be the bigger influence and deciding factor. Against economists’ well founded predictions, inflation figures have come out much stronger than the anticipated 0.6-0.7%. With the trimmed mean published at 0.9% and the year-to-year inflation rate brought to 3.3% (way above the RBAs 2.5% target), we may be set for a rate rise as early as May.

The influence this will have on the market? We’ll have to wait and see, but for many it will be far from good news if this comes to fruition.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager
© Toop Real Estate Group

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