Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Purple patch or the next cycle? Is it time to invest?

It's been three weeks since my last InsideStory and another three weeks of a phenomenal real estate market!

Properties under $1 million located close to the city or the beach are in very high demand. It has been quite exhilarating for sellers, with increasing numbers of surprise (positive) results at auction. As you head up the price ladder demand tapers off, but then you would expect that in a balanced market as there are diminishing numbers of people as it’s a smaller market.

The top end market, whilst smaller, is also now also starting to fire up by the looks. Since August last year, Toop&Toop have sold 46 properties over $1 million and we have seen first hand in 2014 a positive shift in sentiment.

Non-auction properties are selling typically within a day at, near or over the asking price (personally I feel some of these owners may have done even better at auction). We have regularly achieved results this month that are well over our clients’ expectations. Things are really moving fast. Auctions become very popular when vendors see these results come through. One of our top-end properties this month sold 20% over the reserve in a $1 million plus sale… that is incredible, a simply staggering result!

For those who remember "the good ol’ days", these conditions are as good as any of the ol’ days, if not better. I remember when it used to take 12 to 18 months to sell the average $1 million home, and that was just expected and part of the normal timeline of a sale. The equivalent today would be your $4 million property. While some of these high-end properties may be taking some months to sell, it’s certainly not years, and clients are seeing the results.

Nationally, over the past 12 months the top end of the market has been the best performer, with home values increasing by 10.3% across Australia. It's too early to call right now but given the market has been running hot since the September federal election, and 2014 has been phenomenal to date, we are starting to feel we are now into the next property cycle.

One thing appears certain; Adelaide's property market has bottomed out. While no one is predicting a massive boom, I think it would be credible to say that people entering the market now, or increasing their property portfolio of South Australian property are doing so at a very good time.

I am convinced that this is a great time to invest in Adelaide's property market, and a great time to have Toop&Toop help you do that.

Let's talk property, call us for a chat. It’s time to invest.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Should age and gender be a barrier to good business?

Sylvia (Mum) had an interesting conversation with a well-known and respected businessman last week around business leadership. It made Suzannah and I reflect on what we are doing at Toop&Toop.

What was interesting about this conversation was that without knowing us, he appeared to be passing judgment on our succession strategy and our ability to run a successful company based primarily on our age and our gender.

This conversation didn't anger me, it actually put a smile on my face and just made me more determined to prove him wrong, but more importantly, it got me thinking about business leadership in general and how far it has come over the last 10 years. 

When Suzannah and I took over leadership roles at Toop&Toop, it never occurred to me that we would fail as leaders because of our gender or age. I believe it will ultimately be our ability, character, passion and sheer determination that will prove to be the ultimate indicator of leadership success. The ability to motivate, engage and develop respect and loyalty with a group of people with a common goal and with common interests will determine our success.

I have observed the actions, behaviours, ethics and beliefs of my parents over my entire life and it has created a strong foundation for both Suzannah and I to draw strength of character and an excellent base to work from. I also believe our life circumstances and respect for others in no small part adds to the depth of our experience, which when combined, contribute to effective business leadership.

In today's business environment we are surrounded by successful leaders of all ages who are both male and female. Some of the most successful companies in the world were created or run by young people. You only have to look at companies like Facebook, Swisse and closer to home, Australian companies like Sweaty Betty, Sass & Bide and One Shift to see this. The CEO of One Shift is a friend of Suzannah's, she is 23 and is now expanding her $5 million empire to New Zealand and the US. The last 3 in this list also happen to be successful women in business. The idea that age and gender are still seen as barriers in today's business environment is quite foreign to Suzannah and I and has highlighted the fact we do have so much more to learn... but then again, perhaps so do some of the "well known and respected" business men.

Management styles vary dramatically and there is room for all types, but we feel that things are changing. Suzannah and I believe in working with our team, learning from them and pooling knowledge from staff and clients. We believe this is what will make Toop&Toop even more successful in the future.

Since stepping up into our new leadership roles Suzannah and I are now making our own mark. Anthony and Sylvia (Dad & Mum) are very comfortable with the succession strategy, as we embed our own style and expertise into this 28 year old business.

We believe "being the boss" and having people work "for you" is becoming an outdated way of thinking, and it's not something that we aspire to. It feels limiting on our and Toop&Toop's true potential.

We may be proven wrong, but our leadership style and beliefs feel right and are helping Team Toop achieve unprecedented results.  So instead of focusing on gender or age, we are concentrating on our business, our team and our clients - this is what's most important to our family.

Genevieve Toop

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heating Up

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released this week reveal Australian capital city property prices went up by 3.4% for the December quarter. Adelaide has increased by 2.8% over the quarter which is a staggering result! We are also finding that the top end is now also starting to improve. With 82 bids at one of our high end properties in Hazelwood Park last weekend, we too are feeling the market heating up and buyers are ready to act. The fear of missing out is now heavily planted in buyers' minds and we are experiencing this first hand and seeing it
in our sale results.

In the last week a number of friends have wanted to talk property investing - what to buy and where - and hear how the market is going. They have been bidding at auctions and seen prices soar well over what they hoped to pay. We are finding that properties are moving extremely quickly in the $400,000 - $550,000 range, especially the character homes close to the city.

My friends, like a number of first time buyers, have a set budget and can be left feeling disappointed that they were unable to purchase great property. So have they missed the boat?

The short answer is no.

There will always be opportunity to buy well and if your strategy is long-term, this can prove to be very profitable. But you can rarely predict the exact turning point in the market, only when it has started to. A Property Fund Manager (and my mentor at AMP Capital) explained to me that you can feel this change when it starts to happen. Quite simply, it's when you either have the seller calling you every 5 minutes for updates, or when things start to heat
up, its the buyer calling.

So what are we experiencing? Buyers are more active and on the front foot. The inner west is becoming more and more popular as buyers are seeing great value for money so close to the city. We are seeing quality stock, that's priced right, move very quickly. Our average time on market for our core areas in February so far is 17 days!

Now is the time to act. If you're thinking of selling, give our guys a call today!

Suzannah Toop

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

What's happening out there?

So many sales, so many buyers out and about despite record heat, power losses and a stormy week. Tuesday saw interest rates on hold remaining at an historic low of 2.5%. There is a genuine stock shortage (houses available for sale) and a property market that once again is getting plenty of positive media across the country. Little wonder real estate agents have developed a spring in their step.

Much is also being said this week about the property activity of Chinese buyers in Australia, and Adelaide sellers are benefiting from the added activity of this community, no doubt about it! But let's be clear, it's not just the Chinese who have become active in our local property market, in 2014 the market has sprung into life!

Investors, first home buyers, apartment buyers and pretty much all categories of property buyers are back in town. Even developers have come out from under their rocks and are circulating the opens.

So will we see a boom?

2014 has started like a boom and Toop&Toop's decision to "open for business" right from the first week of January was the right one. January marketing has paid dividends for our sellers and we have witnessed an absolutely red hot market, as hot as the weather right now!

No one can predict if this level of demand is sustainable, but if interest rates, unemployment and property prices remain stable, as they appear they are, it may be a very busy year.

So where are the best buys? Personally I feel that our best buys are at the very top end of Adelaide's market. I believe our $2million plus properties are under valued when compared with all mainland capitals, and in that category Adelaide has a tremendous upside. It would not surprise me at all if our TOP END doubled in price in the coming 5 years. Seriously, how is it possible we haven't seen a $10million residential sale? My personal goal is to be the first agent to achieve a residential $10million sale in Adelaide for our top end property owners. Surely this is the year?

We sell amazing and historic estates for $4-5million, and frankly they are incredible value compared to all other mainland states.

For the $300,000-$900,000 property owners it has been a red-hot market in the inner suburbs and prices seemed to have moved in recent weeks. The statistics will tell the story officially in a month or so.

So to answer the age old question "What's happening out there?"….it's damn good for both sellers and buyers - fairly priced property is selling easily and both parties seem really happy - a very pleasant and exciting time to be involved in real estate. YEAH!

Anthony Toop

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