It’s been an eventful financial year for all industries – with property no exception.
Victoria’s property sector is continuing its gradual recovery from repeated lockdowns and the lingering effects of coronavirus – though a 10% year-on-year settlement growth has indicated a pleasing degree of resilience within the market.
With a refresh of first home buyer incentives and strong listing numbers, the months ahead appear bright for first-time buyers and those looking to adjust or expand their portfolio.
Adam Docking, Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) Senior Vice President said that while the outlook ahead is generally positive, the impacts of coronavirus will continue to be felt for a while to come – with the stop-start element of persistent lockdowns influencing purchase desires and behaviour.
“People have realised they don’t have to come into work, so they’re looking at a wider range of local suburbs,” Docking said.
Having endured the nation’s longest and harshest lockdowns, many Victorian buyers are turning away from the CBD and seeking the more spacious surrounds of the suburbs.
“I think people’s attitude is that suburbs extend almost all the way down to Portsea,” Docking said.
Unfortunately for those looking to enter the market, many buyers are seemingly chasing the same vision.
It’s this consumer competition that is creating price growth across the state – and buyers will have to work smarter, not harder, to secure a property.
“It’s almost been a vicious circle that makes people want to transact,” Docking said.
Casting an eye to the future
As Victorians emerged from a tumultuous winter in 2020, there’s certainly been an element of FOMO (fear of missing out) – with buyers flocking to join the market rush.
And in the months ahead, Docking believes the market will remain healthy. Notably, July is traditionally a time for vendors to begin preparing their properties for a spring sales campaign, but this year could see them pulling the trigger on selling earlier.
“Generally, winter is when you start to see volumes of sales slowdown, but this time we’re expecting that winter will be almost an extended spring, with continued higher volumes,” Docking said.
However, Docking believes the inner city and apartment markets will take a little longer to liven, with a slower recovery rate predicted for this area.
On the lookout for property
For those looking to make the big step, Docking’s advice is to keep an eye out for properties that have been passed on at auction, as there can be an opportunity to negotiate for a better outcome.
“The only thing that would be detrimental to the market is if vendors get a bit greedy and think that this growth is going to continue,” he says of potential negative effects.
First home buyers looking to break into the market under new incentives will also have to work a little smarter, as most suburbs have a median house price well over where grant schemes finish.
“In the main suburbs they’re really not beneficial at all” Docking says, adding that they’re definitely a bonus if buyers can use them.”