Property pointers for 2013

January 11th, 2013

The outlook for 2013

No matter what other factors may be influencing property prices, without market confidence, little growth can be expected. The good news is that buyer confidence is on the increase. The end of 2012 saw a return of investors to the market, an excellent sign of increased confidence. This trend is expected to continue.

It's presumed by most financial commentators that interest rates will decrease in 2013, encouraging investors to put their money back in property. In the instance that the global market sees a recovery, we may not see interest rates drop any further than they already have. Either should inspire a surge of confidence on home shores.

Large rises in property values are not foreseen in the next year. Instead, small but steady increases are expected. While it's not likely we will see another price drop, the quick gains of years past are not in sight either.

Perth, Darwin and Sydney have the strongest outlook of the larger cities. Regional growth is expected to experience slightly greater gains, worth keeping in mind if you are looking to invest but are undecided on location.

For purchasers

While the market is improving, some areas are doing better than others. The best way to pick up a bargain is to ensure you have done as much research as possible, and that you know the area well.

Researching price is important, but if you're buying your place of residence, it's just as important that you're going to like where you live. Making a compromise for the sake of a bargain buy may see you moving again sooner than you expected, and losing out when paying stamp duty.

If you're investing, don't be afraid to look further afield than you intended to. Some areas which are favoured by investors are experiencing a glut in the rental market. Other areas, in particular in the outer ring of capital cities, have a lack of available properties, bringing a better return and lower vacancy rates.

For vendors

As with buying, research is also important when selling a property. Knowing the local market well is imperative. Many vendors will still market their home with a high asking price, so it's important to know what homes are selling for, not just marketed for. Selling agents are happy to disclose prices in most instances, and websites such as RP Data and also make for good points of research.

In a slower market, saleability is more important than ever. This means presenting your home at its best. Things like de-cluttering, cleaning windows and mulching garden beds can make a big difference. You may even consider getting in an expert for a second opinion.

Marketing your home correctly is of the utmost importance. Make sure you're priced right from the beginning. If an agent gives you an expected selling range, ask them to back it up with comparable sales. Investing in photography and media advertising is also essential.

While the property market has improved, and will likely continue to do so, it's still imperative to approach any major buying or selling decisions with vigilance. If you're unsure about your next move, it's wise to seek professional advice.