Market Update Spring 2020

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PROPERTY MARKET ON THE SUNSHINE COAST & IN BRISBANE

Hi Everyone & Welcome to our Spring 2020 Newsletter.

This year so far has been a series of ups and downs for many Australians who have and are continuing to struggle through Covid-19 restrictions, especially in Victoria & NSW.  Here on the Sunshine Coast & Brisbane we are in a huge bubble of security as regards number of cases of Covid that have hit our region.  However, with job insecurity many people are looking towards what the country will be looking like going into 2021 and beyond.  Let’s be honest, if someone had told us this time last year what 2020 was going to look like not just in Australia but globally, they would probably have been put in a straight-jacket and locked up!

Nevertheless, against all odds and the scaremongering over the potential 40% drop in property values, it is good to know as we write this newsletter, that both on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane house prices have held strong and in some areas there has been significant increases in all price brackets and multiple offers on property sales due to lack of stock, so supply and demand is clearly driving the housing economy in this part of South East Queensland.

During the last 8 months we have been mentoring buyers especially those wanting to move up to Queensland from Victoria, NSW, Tassie & WA.  For some it has been a woeful time of decisions. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Can we? Can’t we? and the inevitable conversation about how the markets might change in the coming months.

Like everyone involved in the real estate industry, and certainly talking frequently with Mortgage Brokers, Private Lending companies, Conveyancers, Surveyors, Building & Pest Inspectors and the list goes on, we are all saying the same thing and that is, we can only tell the truth to our clients about what is going on in our part of SE Queensland and the effects that interstate migration has already made to the market even before the borders opening.

There has always been an annual interstate migration to the coast mainly for people just wanting a better climate and a more flexible work life balance or to retire.  This will probably remain the same for the foreseeable future, if the number of enquiries we are fielding on a daily basis from singles, couples, families as well as retirees, is anything to go by.  The number of enquiries has grown considerably over the past 6 months, and not looking to be reducing any time soon. Some people are just wanting to talk about the opportunities for them to buy in their price bracket, schooling questions are always high on the list, and wanting a professional working on the ground to guide them into their plans from now until 2021.

Unlike Melbourne & Sydney who have seen over the last decade huge peaks and troughs, Brisbane the beautiful “River City” and the Sunshine Coast have remained relatively stable throughout the not so distant GFC and now this global pandemic. This is encouraging more and more people to look at lifestyle changes and moving from high density city areas to more regional areas. Work life balance has never been so cherished, especially now more and more people can work from home, get their children into great schools, and enjoy a more relaxed living environment.

That is great for our local economy, especially as it looks like international tourism and immigration is going to take a lot longer to get back to pre-covid times.  There are always pro’s and con’s in any situation.  However, this period of time has shown us already that people do want to move on with their lives and are planning for the future regardless of Covid which will not get a quick fix for some time.

Since late 2018 trends of low property stock and high buyer demand has been growing and Covid has only increased the need for more and more stock to become available across all price bands and locations. It is estimated that there will be approximately a 30% under-supply of properties and less auctions which has already created a market of multi-offers. Properties are selling often after the first open home or a few days later and those who miss out have little other comparable properties to buy, as the average person only has the option of seeing what the real estate internet sites can offer them.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland properties have become a great drawcard for people working from home wanting more space to breath and homes that can accommodate, in some case, 2+ people needing home workspace. The other growth area are properties that are either ready for dual occupancy or with a few modifications can quickly accommodate larger family groups.  We are also seeing friends, especially older women, looking to jointly share a property with the cash they have available, so properties with either 2 en-suited bedrooms or 2 bathrooms are really in high demand both near the coast and in the hinterland and a great option for our investor clients

The other great driver is the fact that interests rates are at an all-time low, and our local mortgage brokers have been increasingly busy with both new borrowers and those wanting to refinance for a better deal to allow them to invest in another property, and some wanting to extend or improve their existing properties.  There is always the situation where people can over capitalise on a property. However, if they are planning to stay in a property for several years their land value will potentially grow, and  therefore, they are prepared to make their home their castle to accommodate their current needs and wants and let the future look after itself.  Once you are on the stepping-stones of property buying, you are then buying and selling in the same local market.   That’s why it is so important that First Home Buyers get a head start by using the government incentives currently available.

The days are long gone since the buy & flip era. Investors are far more savvy about their ability to support a mortgage during this period and many who made large profits in previous years, are finding it hard to find suitable properties to sub-divide, plus the costs associated to get blocks “sale ready” is often prohibitive for many.  We are not saying there are no opportunities, but they are getting less and less by the day, especially in Brisbane. Properties in the Brisbane City Council area for example, just over 18 months ago had many opportunities to buy splitter blocks (1 house on 2 titles) so comparatively easier and less financially draining to get planning approval, whereas now the options are more often than not, properties that still require house demolition, but then having to going through the costly sub-division challenges.  For many Mum & Dad investors the figures don’t stack up but builders prepared to sell house and land packages, they can turn a profit but margin are not what they were 2 years ago.

Without doubt there are still some “golden nuggets” available in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and we are still sourcing Off-Market and  Pre-Listed properties which suit our clients who are ready to buy with limited contract conditions, which is always great for the vendors saving them marketing costs and knowing that people we are inviting into their homes to view, are financially pre-approved or cash buyers, who are contract ready.

The Government grants for First Home Buyers has also been well taken up.  However, we are finding our clients are more inclined to waive some of the grant benefits and buy more established properties due to larger block sizes, location to schools, public transport, road infrastructure and good social hubs and shopping centres.  Every style of property and block sizes are about choice and for some, the newer small block house and land packages are in budget to get a foothold into the market.

The other drivers for people moving interstate, is the close proximity to either the Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore, that now has it new international runway operating albeit very limited at the moment, but will increase dramatically in the future, when long-haul international air travel will starts flowing again, and the ever-expanding Brisbane Domestic & International terminals. The other popular buying area especially for hospital staff and allied services is new Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Private Hospital in Birtinya, and rentals are in great demand.

The Sunshine Coast Council and the Noosa Council are continually upgrading and growing infrastructure. The Sunshine Coast Council is expected over the next 12 months to grow to over 350,000 residents and more interestingly a strong growth in the 20 to 54 year old property buyers.  A good example of how some locations have changed over recent years is the township of Buderim.  Being 10 to 15 minutes from the beach, with many properties having amazing views, it was always thought of as a retiree’s haven. However, there are more and more younger buyers coming into that particular market and has meant some areas are being regenerated and pushing property values up.

We have also seen good growth in the mid to southern end of the Sunshine Coast running from Mooloolaba to Caloundra.  As locals, it is interesting driving from Noosa to Caloundra and often to Brisbane you can’t help but notice the amount of new infrastructure and new crops of housing developments.  Over the past 5 years, we have seen an incredible growth coupled with the University of the Sunshine Coast having its campus in Sippy Downs. For owner occupiers and investors, properties in nearby locations have been smart buys and now hotspots, especially for our investor clients with high rental returns.

The locations north of Mooloolaba such as Maroochydore, Mudjimba, Coolum, Castaways Beach Peregian Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach, Noosaville, Doonan, Eumundi, Tewantin, Cooroibah, Cooroy and Noosa Heads have always been on the hotspot list. However, it is good to see that the southern beach locations are now becoming the new hot spots, and still offer excellent value for money for owner occupiers and once again, good rental returns.

There is always a high demand for beachfront properties and now people are looking at suburbs that previously they hadn’t considered.  The beachside areas of Caloundra such as Kings Beach, Moffat Beach, Golden Beach, Shelly Beach and moving north up the coast from Caloundra, the new development in Bokarina which is now in full swing, Currimundi, Wurtulla, Warana, Kawana Waters, Minyama, Buddina and the outskirts of Mooloolaba, are showing great growth in both the investor and owner occupier markets. This is proving that both new home developments and also the sturdy older brick homes ready for renovating to make impressive beachside or near beachside residences, are very enticing to buyers for both lifestyle and value. With the rental market having less than 1% vacancy rates, these locations are becoming the new hubs of regeneration for people now deciding to buy rather than rent.

Unlike Melbourne & Sydney who have seen over the last decade huge peaks and troughs, Brisbane the beautiful “River City” and the Sunshine Coast remained relatively stable throughout the GFC and now during the Covid pandemic. This is encouraging more and more people to look at lifestyle changes and moving from high density city areas to more regional areas.

If this pandemic has shown us anything, it has confirmed what we already know as Buyer’s Agents, that if people want to move or sell they will regardless of whatever is thrown at them.  This has created an even higher level of determination to purchase in Brisbane and the norther suburbs moving up the coast, where there are opportunities to buy property with the advantage of low interest rates, making it a better option than renting, and we are seeing greater numbers of buyers “Buying Unseen” via video links so as not to miss out when the borders re-open, and the projected migration will mean more than ever a low supply and high demand scenario.

Both our local and our interstate buyer clients’ have realised that having a Buyer’s Agent on the ground, knowing where to look and taking into account their personal needs and wants, is saving them time trawling through property platforms and then missing out on properties that they really wanted, but had no one on their side to ask relevant questions and get a truly unbiased opinion.

Once people understand that engaging us means they have someone 100% on their side to source and negotiate the best terms and conditions on a professional standing with real estate agents, which ensures they are not overpaying and that we are able to achieve their buying goals. It becomes a reality, that it is a no brainer to let property opportunities slip away from them with no one supporting them 100%.  We do not receive any commission from Real Estate Agents as our buyers pay for our professional services.  By taking this option it means our clients are on a level playing field.

Below is a recent purchase proving how quickly we can assist our clients.  The Client Brief is the most important part of our process of sourcing, viewing, and buying.

We signed up a new client on Friday 2nd October and worked with him on a very detailed brief and budget. He had been looking at property on the Sunshine Coast for over 6 months and was very frustrated. He asked us for help and over the national October bank holiday weekend, we contacted our real agent colleagues, who are always keen to work with us as they know we have qualified buyers, and we arranged to view 7 properties on Thursday 8th October, just 6 days from engaging us.

By 4pm on the 8th after all our viewings, we had secured a beautiful, fully renovated 5 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom brick and tile property (client brief was very strict on this, as he didn’t want the maintenance of a rendered house), with 3 living areas plus a study and a double garage for his precious vintage cars. He was even happier that we were able to source such a great property $100,000 below his original budget but still gave him a 850m2+ block in very quiet cul-de-sac in Little Mountain, not overlooked, great schools nearby (great for onward selling), and less than a 5 minute drive to Caloundra City and the beaches.

Our client after receiving an excellent Building & Pest Inspection proceeded to make this property his new home and the property went unconditional on Friday 16th October and he will settle in mid November.  He is very happy, as we have saved him from drawing down an extra $100,000 from his pension fund, by knowing the best areas to offer him with all the brief boxes ticked plus a few he hadn’t expected. The vendors are happy they can now move nearer to their family in Brisbane, the selling agent was great, and naturally we are very happy that we managed to get such a good outcome in 14 days from sign up!

We have other stories just like this one where we have achieved for our clients the best property to encompass their needs and wants. We are on the ground everyday working quietly behind the scenes to achieve these client goals.

We have been leading the way in property buying for clients on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane for several years. We work with both owner occupiers and investors, locals, interstate, and overseas clients.  With over 45 years of joint experience in both property selling and buying and with the additional advantage of having the advice from Simon as a Multi Award Winning Building Designer, to go through possibilities that clients want when considering to either extend, renovate or detonate a property and build a new home. His critical eye has helped many of our buyers to achieve the best possible outcome. Check out www.ssbdstudio.com.au for inspiration!

We partner with our client’s so everyone is on the same page throughout the process of securing what maybe a dream home or investment property. We pride ourselves on our 5 Star level of customer service together with our strict confidentiality regime, and being 100% Independent and 100% dedicated to our client’s means our clients no longer have to go to open homes, search property internet platforms, instead they let us do all the work for them.

It is a known fact that the average person looking to purchase a property spends over 200 hours and up to 6 months to find a potential property and then lose out as they are not alone in their quest.  With groups of 30+ people going to 1 open home, only 1 will get it, leaving 29+ groups back searching for another opportunity and only properties that they can source through on-line property portals.  However, we know we can knock on the backdoor of agents who are happy to offer us off-market and pre-listings, and pre-auction opportunities that the general public have difficulty accessing.

We have a range of service levels, the most popular being our Full Service which takes all the worry and stress out of the buying journey. 

We hope that this newsletter has answered a few questions about the current market trends and given you an insight as to how we source the best possible properties, within budget and timeframe for our clients.

If you are not already a client of ours, please give us a call on 0405 432 015 or click the calendar below to arrange a FREE Discovery Session either on the phone or via zoom. It costs just a few cents to get in touch but could save you heaps of time and money. 

We truly hope that you and your family and friends are coping as best as possible due to Covid.

Warmest regards

Simon & Sue Scott aka “Team Scotty”

PS: We have received data from Corelogic (the main body who analyse property trends throughout Australia), by their chief analyst Tim Lawless saying that his projection for the Sunshine Coast growth is 20% in the next 2 years!  Never been a better time to buy and the quick turnover in a low stock market with so many buyers, is definitely driving the market prices up for the foreseeable future. See video Link

Top Tips

1. Meet up with a mortgage broker and get finance pre-approval as well as some funds to put down as a deposit so you can move quickly and remember to keep a financial buffer available.

2. Get professional help by engaging a Buyers’ Agent to help you with local market knowledge.

Our Mission is to help all buyers to achieve their property dreams!
Book in a Call

P.S. PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are a few things that might be of interest…

1. FREE 3 Part Video Series

In these short videos, DISCOVER “Is a Buyer’s Agent an Extravagance or an INVESTMENT!”, You can check it out by Clicking here

2. Community – Australian Property Buyers Forum Facebook Group
Did you know we also have a Facebook group where all our amazing property community members come to support one another?Australian Property Buyers Forum

3. Check out what our clients are achieving
Check out some of the people we’ve worked with – Click Here

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