Property: Is it a buyers’ or a sellers’ market?

With the spring property market in full swing, whether you’re a buyer or seller, you want to make the best decision possible.

So how do you know how the market has been performing?

We take a look at recent property market trends around Australia, as revealed by the latest CommBank and RP Data Home Buyers Index covering the June to August 2014 period, to help you make informed and confident decisions when it comes to property.


Improvement for buyers

Nationally, property market conditions have tipped slightly in favour of buyers. The level of total advertised property was marginally higher than the number of home loans funded. This indicates that in the current market, buyers have slightly better negotiating power than sellers.

However, when we look more closely at specific markets, variances jump out.


Details paint a different picture

Digging down into the details, there were differences from state to state, and areas/regions.

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory were found to be balanced markets, while in Western Australia and the Northern Territory conditions were in favour of buyers. In Queensland and Tasmania, buyers were found to be even better off, with the states classified as “extreme buyers’ markets”.


Capital city variances

City buyers looking in Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin had the upper hand.

In Brisbane, most sellers had to reduce their initial list price to secure a sale, and in Hobart the effective supply outweighed effective demand, maintaining preferable conditions for buyers.

In both Sydney and Melbourne – cities that experienced the strongest capital growth in the past year – markets were more suited to sellers.

In Sydney, the report found that appropriately priced homes have been selling quickly, and many for much more than the expected price. Areas such as Blacktown, Inner Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs have all been very good spots for sellers, while buyers found they had equal footing with sellers in the Canterbury-Bankstown, Gosford-Wyong and Outer Western Sydney markets.

In Melbourne, it is a similar story, with well-priced properties selling rapidly in what has predominantly been a seller’s market. However, while buyers appear to be gradually regaining some negotiating power in Sydney, in Melbourne, conditions have shifted further in favour of sellers.

Areas of Melbourne showing extreme favour to sellers include Eastern Outer Melbourne, Hume City, Melton-Wyndham, Moreland City, Northern Outer Melbourne, South Eastern Outer Melbourne and Yarra Ranges Shire . The Mornington Peninsula was the city’s only region where conditions were found to favour buyers.


Top markets for sellers

Even though conditions appeared to be slowly improving for buyers in Sydney, the city was still found to be the area where buyers have less negotiating power than anywhere else in the country, ranking number one for sellers. Following Sydney were Melbourne and Loddon in Victoria.


Top markets for buyers

No capital cities made it into the top 10 markets for buyers, most of which were coastal or lifestyle areas, or those linked to the resources sector. The top three buyers’ markets were Wide Bay-Burnett in Queensland, Southern in Tasmania, and Pilbara in Western Australia.

Source: Commbank

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