All eyes are on the property market this year as the country bounces back from a tumultuous year of restrictions and COVID-19. Each state is experiencing its own unique recovery patterns, including Queensland.
Recent insights from PEXA show the state spearheading an early year surge in Australian property transfers, recording an increase of more than 30% year-on-year in all sales settlements for January and February.
The sunshine state has outperformed other traditionally strong markets on the east coast with more than 31,000 property sale settlements being finalised in the first two months of 2021. New South Wales and Victoria have also started the year with positive momentum.
Mike Gill, Senior Research Manager, PEXA, said there are a number of contributing factors to Queensland’s strong performance throughout the summer period.
“These results are indicative of heightened sales activity and price growth in the second half of 2020 for Queensland, leading to a positive flow-on effect for 2021 settlement volumes across the state.
“Furthermore, there’s been an unseasonable shift in selling behaviour with the season starting much earlier to meet increased buyer demand,” said Mr Gill.
Since 2014, more than 7.2 million transactions have occurred via PEXA, and today, more than 80% per cent of all property transfer settlements in Australia are processed on the PEXA platform. PEXA experienced a significant uplift in digital transactions across Queensland in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are proud to play a role in providing digital, secure and importantly non-contact property exchange to facilitate the rapid growth of these transactions in Queensland, with more than 50% of Queensland property settlements now completed digitally via PEXA.
“Special mention must go to the lawyers, financial institutions and all those in the property settlement process who displayed flexibility, innovation and collaboration to make the buying and selling of property as seamless as possible during an extraordinary 2020 and into 2021,” said Gill.
The rapid growth of digital transformation across the industry is certainly not going unnoticed by leading industry members. Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says, “with widespread recognition among industry leaders that the role of digital technology is rapidly shifting, from being a driver of marginal efficiency to an enabler of fundamental innovation, it’s pleasing to see such a significant uptake of settlements across Queensland to the tune of 30% year-on-year in all sales settlements. And that’s just the last two months!”
And Antonia is eager to see continued progression of the digital movement in Queensland.
“PEXA has already revolutionised the transfer of real estate by removing the need for physical attendance at settlement and facilitating the secure, electronic exchange of documentation and funds online. The REIQ is actively working on behalf of its members towards the goal of industry digitalisation post COVID-19 with a view to bringing it into line with contemporary legislation. And with Queensland’s property market currently outperforming other major jurisdictions across Australia, now is the time to advance digital technology across real estate so as to keep pace”, said Antonia.
The Australian property sector’s promising recovery from COVID-19 places us in an enviable position in contrast to many countries across the globe.
While the next few months will be key, these trends are certainly encouraging, thanks to the country’s progressive, digital-first focus.