How can you trust a buyers’ agent is working for you? You may have noticed some recent press around ‘double agents’ in the property industry, following warnings from the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) about potential conflicts of interest from these operators. Essentially this refers to real estate agents ‘double dipping’ and blurring the lines between whether they’re acting for sellers or buyers, particularly with some agencies expanding their services to incorporate both selling and buying as the market quietens a little.
It’s snuck up on us again. That’s right, we’re already halfway through the year, which means it’s tax time. Hopefully you’ve been organised throughout the financial year, and have kept good records to show the taxman and to ensure you maximise the deductions – and therefore profits - for your investment properties. Deductions include property management fees, interest, any bills or outgoings such as council rates, body corporate fees, insurances and all repairs and maintenance of the property. Depreciation is also a deduction.
Another month has gone by and we now find ourselves with a new Melbourne Lord Mayor – Sally Capp, who was head of the Property Council’s Victorian arm. The impact she will has on our city will be seen in time to come, but in the meantime, what else is happening in the market?
We’ve seen property prices in Melbourne rise significantly in recent years, but the market has now stabilised, with one of the key markers being falling clearance rates. Melbourne clearance rates have been sitting at between 60% and 70% so far this year, according to Domain Group data, but it does vary on a suburb-by-suburb basis.
First of all, happy Easter! We hope you all have a well-deserved break. But before we shut up shop for the long weekend, we wanted to ensure you’re up to date on the latest goings on in the property market. What’s topical at the moment? Infrastructure. And we’re happy about it. Infrastructure, and particularly public transport, is the key to a great city, so the recent announcement that the Melbourne Metro Tunnel is on track to operate a year earlier than estimated is welcome news indeed.
The Melbourne property market has softened, due to both the APRA effect (the reduction in buyers caused by a tightening of lending restrictions and reduced availability of interest-only loans) and caution being exercised by buyers in case the market starts to fall. With fewer buyers around, auction attendance is down and more properties are passing in. This means vendors are having to manage their expectations - we’re coming off a hot market so many still want top dollar, but conditions have cooled. A recent survey by auction streaming service Gavl actually found managing vendors’ expectations was the biggest challenge identified by real estate agents this year.
The results are in for total growth over 2018, with Melbourne almost tripling that seen in Sydney. Our city had annual growth of 8.9%, compared to 3.1% in Sydney, according to CoreLogic figures. Melbourne was second only to Hobart, where the median dwelling price came in at 12.3%, but far ahead of Canberra, which had the next highest growth at 4.9%.
The silly season is almost upon us, and activity in the property market is proving to be strong in the lead up, with buyers and sellers both looking to transact before everything shuts down later this month. With only a few weeks to go before Christmas, now is an opportune time to see if you can bag a bargain before the year is out. Given the deadline, both real and psychological, many vendors want to ensure their property is sold by then, so they can switch off from ‘selling mode’ and enjoy their well-deserved holiday break. This means no more open for inspections, keeping the house clean or appeasing unhappy tenants, and it’s often a great start to the new year for them.