That’s because in many capital cities, house prices have fallen since this time last year. Sydney was the hardest hit by falling property prices at 6.1 per cent but national values have fallen by 3.7 per cent according to Corelogic, the company which released the latest housing market statistics.
If you’re in Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart, there hasn’t been a fall but other than Hobart, there’s been only very modest gains.
In the last couple of months there have been numerous articles and even a recycled 60 Minutesprogram warning us to prepare for the longest and deepest housing downturn in modern history.
Shane Oliver, AMP Capital’s chief economist has said he believes property prices in Sydney and Melbourne may decline 15 per cent by 2020, suggesting they have another 10 per cent to lose given falls recorded. While Paul Dales, the chief economist for Capital Economics in Australia, said values could slide by 12 per cent over the next four years.
Maybe that’s why the most asked question I’ve faced this past month has been, is property still worth it?
My answer is, it depends. If you’re looking for a get rich quick, buy an apartment off the plan in a major city then I’d be having some sleepless nights.
But if you’re a young person or you’ve been desperate to buy your own home and have been scared off by galloping house prices, then surely softening house prices is a good thing.
Yes, you might face a small dip in your property price in the short term if you’re buying in Sydney or Melbourne but if that’s where you want to live and you’re in it for the long term, then a short-term drop shouldn’t deter you.
Certainly, with potentially rising interest rates and falling clearance rates, it’s a buyer’s market for the first time in a long time which should be good news for any potential purchasers.
If you’re determined to live in Sydney or Melbourne (which so many of us want to), then one of the alternatives you might want to consider is rentvesting. This involves buying a property you’re not intending to live in and renting where you want to live instead. This takes advantage of negative gearing tax concessions and allows you to potentially pay less in rent than you would to a mortgage.
But ultimately, it’s still including property as part of your wealth creation plan.
Property analyst and coach Pete Wargent suggests that one of the reasons owning a home is such as successful investment is because of the leverage involved. According to Pete, people generally use a deposit for 10 to 20 per cent of the purchase price and borrow the remainder from a bank or other lender in the form of a mortgage. And because most people see their home as a long-term investment, they don’t sell.
Part of the pain of having a mortgage is that you can’t skip a payment because you’d rather use the money to go away on holidays. We’re forced by a contractual obligation to make our minimum payments.
My concern is that if young people particularly were to be scared off by property because they’re worried by a possible 10 per cent slump, they won’t have that same compulsion (and obligation) to save. And there’s a lot of people (who already own property portfolios) trying to scare them off.
Instead, why not think of the softening as an opportunity, to be creative around how you consider property ownership or to consider rentvesting instead.
There’s been a lot of speculation about Sydney house prices.CREDIT:ROB HOMER
What is clear to me, is that home ownership and using it as our only means of wealth creation is potentially being lost to us. Particularly when you consider the huge gains in our major cities.
However, property ownership, especially when you factor in our willingness to hold onto it long term and the power of leverage, in my opinion, is still an option worth considering.
No matter what a fearmonger on 60 Minutes might tell you.
Melissa Browne is CEO of A&TA and financial planning firm The Money Barre
Belmont acreage sells at auction for $1.85 million but buyers still cautious
It was a quiet weekend in the Brisbane auction market, with only 54 scheduled auctions and a reported clearance rate of 38 per cent.
Despite this, a grand five-bedroom house on two and a half acres (about a hectare) was sold for nearly $2 million in coveted Belmont in Brisbane’s south-east.
About 50 people watched as none of four registered bidders made a play for the architecturally designed home. Then a vendor’s bid of $1.8 million led a family of four to try their luck.
After a short negotiation, the vendors accepted the bid, and the house was sold for $1.85 Million.
Agent David Green, of Harcourts Green Living, said the lack of initial bids spoke to a market that was slowing down.
“What we’re finding is that buyers are really hesitating in the market at the moment. They’re really fearful of overpaying for something,” he said.
“There’s definitely been a slowdown in buyer activity. They’re sitting back and waiting to see what everyone else does.
“That’s why we didn’t want to muck around with them. We put a strong vendor’s bid to start with, to find out if anyone was serious.”
He said an acreage property such as this was rare and usually popular in the area, with auctions often seeing many neighbours in attendance.
“Very few acreage properties have come to the market, so I think some [of the neighbours] were interested in what it was going to achieve,” he said.
“Have a look it themselves to see how it compared to their homes. Those acreage properties in Gumdale, Belmont [and] Chandler are always extremely popular.”
The buyers, a young family of four, were thrilled to pick up a property of this size in the area.
“They’ve lived in the area for a long time, and always wanted to get onto an acreage property.
“All the neighbours are multimillion-dollar houses, so they felt like the opportunity was there to buy a beautiful home on a great acreage. They were rapt.
“We’re seeing lots of refurbishment of some of these bigger homes that were very stately in their day. This is exactly what will happen with this home,” Green said.
“It really is blue chip. It’s the last to go down in price, and the first to go up when the market returns.”
Nearby, a post-war home on 506 square metres in Camp Hill was sold under the hammer in a speedy auction.
Bidding started at $670,000, with the two registered bidders quickly bringing the price up to $735,000 in a minute or two.
At that point, bidding slowed down and negotiations began with the top bidder. Soon after, the final price was agreed upon.
A young couple walked away with the property for $760,000.
“It’s a perfect entry level home into the Camp Hill market,” agent Mel Christie, of Ray White Coorparoo, said.
“The people who have bought it are going to live there for 12months and then they’re going to renovate it, or knock it down.”
Christie said she had seen increased interest in the area from interstate buyers.
“Around 26 groups inspected the property during its campaign. Two of those groups were buying agents from Melbourne,” she said.
“I think they see Brisbane as a more stable market than the Melbourne and Sydney market at the moment.
“I just had another buyer from Sydney that inspected this property [buy] another one of mine this week before it went to auction.”
The house had been in the family since it was built in 1962. Having already moved to northern Queensland, the vendors were excited to see the property sold.
“I got a big hug and a thank you, so I think he was pretty happy,” Christie said.
Bargain buys: Prices slashed on 23,000 homes
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
The top 20 homes with the biggest price cuts on the market in Queensland right now have been revealed, giving savvy buyers a chance to snap up a bargain for up to $800,000 below market value.
Right now, a three-bedroom house on acreage in the Moreton Bay region has had its sale price slashed by half a million dollars and a beautiful five-bedder on a big block in Tarragindi is $150,000 cheaper than it was when it was first listed.
Death, divorce and desperate vendors are some of the reasons for the number of “distressed” listings, according to SQM Research, which puts out a report on its website that is updated weekly.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said 23,000 of the 330,000 properties on the market nationally were distressed, compared to only 18,000 a year ago.
Mr Christopher said the increase in distressed listings showed it was a good time to research the market and see what value was on offer.
“There is the potential to be able to buy at, or below, fair market value,” Mr Christopher said.
“Especially in a downturn similar to the one we’re having now, that probability has increased.”
Mr Christopher said sellers of discounted properties were also usually more willing to negotiate.
The Gold Coast usually has a higher number of distressed properties than any other region in the country.
MORE: Sold after one inspection
“I suspect it’s because the Gold Coast has a higher percentage of investors as a proportion of total buyers than most other regions in the country and it’s also a transient place, so people come in, live there for a few years and move out again,” Mr Christopher said.
Helen and Tim Stieler are selling their renovated, three-bedroom house in the heart of Chermside for offers over $565,000.
The well-presented home at 6 Monserrat St, Chermside, is on a larger than average 635 sqm block close to shops, a hospital and public transport.
The Stielers have already moved to a property on a bigger block of land to accommodate their growing family.
Mrs Stieler said she could not believe the property had not been snapped up yet.
“The convenience is amazing,” Mrs Stieler said.
“We’ve had a large number of people go through, but just haven’t found the right person.
“It really is a bit of a bargain.”
Marketing agent Jonathan Levey of Harcourts Connections – Stafford said it was the perfect buying opportunity for young families or a young couple.
Mr Levey said the sale price had recently been reduced by $10,000.
“It’s immaculate — no maintenance required,” Mr Levey said.
“It has a great street presence and is only a two minute walk from Chermside Markets.”
On the waterfront in Redcliffe, a luxury three-bedroom unit is on the market for $150,000 less than its original listed price.
Maureen and Steve Bennett are reluctantly selling the property in Mon Komo at 603/99 Marine Parade for offers over $1 million for financial reasons.
“We’re selling because we have other building projects on the go, and so instead of having money tied up in Mon Komo, we’re doing it just to free up some money — not because we want to,” Mrs Bennett said.
“We fell in love with it because we loved the design. We love everything about it, and still do. Nothing beats the position.”
Marketing agent Rosslyn Kennedy of Gateway Properties said the property was more spacious and better value than most newer units on the market.
“The trouble is people like shiny new, but this is so much better value for money,” Ms Kennedy said.
THE 20 MOST DISCOUNTED PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN QUEENSLAND
Address Suburb Current Price First Price Discount
1. 1-15/14 City Rd Beenleigh $4.6m $5.425m $825,000
2. 1 Yebri St Kallangur $789,000 $1.3m $511,000
3. 96 & 98 Tenby St Mt Gravatt $1.089m $1.485m $396,000
4. 354 Samsonvale Rd Joyner $895,000 $1.2m $305,000
5. 195-197 Andrew Rd Greenbank $1.9m $2.2m $300,000
6. 231 Marsden Rd Kallangur $750,000 $999,000 $249,000
7. 203 Gaskell St Eight Mile Plains $678,000 $900,000 $222,000
8. 2 Limmen St Pimpama $650,000 $850,000 $200,000
9. 35 Queen St Goodna $2.3m $2.499m $199,000
10. 4 Jaidan Plc Victoria Point $719,000 $899,000 $180,000 11. Lot 15 Briscoe Rd Dayboro $990,000 $1.155m $165,000
12. 603/99 Marine Pde Redcliffe $1m $1.15m $150,000
13. 28 Andrew Ave Tarragindi $950,000 $1.1m $150,000
14. 218 Beams Rd Zillmere $349,000 $499,000 $150,000
15. 5 Fradgley Ct Ormeau Hills $500,000 $649,900 $149,900
16. 607/18 Longland St Newstead $749,000 $888,000 $139,000
17. 23 Kennedy Esp Scarborough $1.595m $1.725m $130,000
18. 22 Dean Dr Ocean View $860,000 $985,000 $125,000
19. 4207/222 Margaret St Brisbane City $560,000 $685,000 $125,000
20. 162 Queens Rd Everton Park $1.08m $1.2m $120,000
(Source: SQM Research)
TIPS FOR BUYING A DISTRESSED PROPERTY
1. Look for key search terms like ‘mortgagee possession’, ‘deceased estate’, ‘bank forced sale’, ‘owners moving overseas’.
2. Find out why the listing is ‘distressed’. Why is the vendor so keen to sell?
3. Do your research into the property, always get a building and pest inspection done and do a title search to ensure the seller is actually the owner of the property.
(Source: SQM Research MD Louis Christopher)
Originally published as Big bargains for home buyers
Million-dollar winners and losers
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprises among the whopping 27 suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures. But, while many have risen, some long-time stalwarts have tumbled below the $1m mark.
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprise suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures — just as several seasoned ones drop out.
A whopping 27 suburbs in the Brisbane region were in the millionaire club when it came to median sales price in the latest CoreLogic Market Trends report for February, released this week.
Seven of those were not there in recorded figures for 2017 — a period when there were more million dollar suburbs nationally than there are at present (651 versus 649 now).
Brisbane’s surprise entrant was Camp Mountain in Moreton Bay where the median house price climbed 16.4 per cent in one year to hit $1.1m in latest data.
The suburbs that jumped the most to get into the millionaire club were South Brisbane which rose a massive 27.5 per cent to $1.07m, closely followed by neighbouring Dutton Park which was up 26.5 per cent to $1.028m.
In among suburbs that were not among the elites in 2017 were Upper Brookfield (now on a median house price of $1.4075m), Hendra (up 13.1 per cent to $1.1m), Balmoral ($1.0185m up 7.8 per cent) and Bardon ($1.0025m up 9.3 per cent).
Some big movers and shakers dropped off the millionaire list though, including blue chip suburb Chelmer whose median house price fell to $985,000 (down -1.5 per cent). Samford Valley was $70,000 below the million mark at $930,000 (down -7 per cent).
The biggest falls of the losers came out of Wilston whose median dropped (-22.1 per cent) to $880,000, andFortitude Valley which was down (-19.5 per cent) to $825,000.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said although the millionaire suburb figure had jumped substantially in Australia “from 123 suburbs a decade earlier, it has actually fallen from 741 suburbs in January 2018. In fact, more suburbs had a median of at least $1 million in 2017 (651) than do currently”.
“This increase in million dollar suburbs has occurred despite ongoing weak overall housing conditions across the state,” he said.
Teneriffe $1.67m Down -31.6%
Ascot $1.6m Up 3.2%
Chandler $1.58m Up 7.6%
New Farm $1.52m Up 11.2%
Bulimba $1.335m Up 5.1%
Hamilton $1.305m Up 0.6%
St Lucia $1.2035m Up 2%
Tennyson $1.1875m Down -2.7%
Pullenvale $1.18m Up 8.8%
Hawthorne $1.15m Down -1.2%
Paddington $1.15m Up 11.1%
Burbank $1.15m Up 15%
Auchenflower $1.135m Up 0.9%
Clayfield $1.13m Up 0.4%
Brookfield $1.105m Up 8.3%
Robertson $1.075m Up 23%
Fig Tree Pocket $1.05m Down -13.2%
Carbrook $1.0485m Down -3.1%
Kalinga $1.016m Down -13.9%
West End $1.01m Up 0.7%
Upper Brookfield $1.4075m
Hendra $1.1m Up 13.1%
Camp Mountain $1.1m Up 16.4%
South Brisbane $1.07m Up 27.5%
Dutton Park $1.028m Up 26.5%
Balmoral $1.0185m Up 7.8%
Bardon $1.0025m Up 9.3%
Chelmer $985,000 Down -1.5%
Samford Valley $930,000 Down -7.0%
Wilston $880,000 Down -22.1%
Fortitude Valley $825,000 Down -19.5%
(Source: CoreLogic data)
Originally published as Million-dollar winners and losers
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