By guest blogger Gayle Walker

Despite continuing commentary that the Sydney property market is booming and prices are at an all time high, buyers are still hoping to acquire that great investment or dream home.  Every weekend, buyers trawl the Opens, full of enthusiasm only to be pipped at the post.  Is it really a boom market?  Or could the high prices simply be due to the fact that demand far outweighs supply?  Only a few weeks ago, the SMH weekend Domain showed 555 properties in Sydney for sale as opposed to approximately 1158 at the same time the year before.   Certainly, from my point of view, there are far more buyers than properties for sale.

Take a recently sold North Sydney investment property.  We were inundated with enquiries when the property first appeared on line 2 days before the first Open.  Viewed by 30 groups, 12 copies of the contract were issued (over 30%) and after much negotiating, I exchanged it unconditionally by 5pm Tuesday. That’s 2 business days, forget about the Auction.  Often 50 – 75% of apartment buyers are investors, which leaves owner occupiers out in the cold.  

As a result, the rental market is saturated with 685 properties currently for rent on the Lower North Shore up to $1000/week; of those, 460 up to $700/week.  Vacancy rates are higher, days on market longer.  If investors don’t meet the market on price and condition, they risk sitting there for months.  Suddenly that new investment may not be so attractive. 

If you’re selling though, you couldn’t ask for a better market.  Many properties are selling so far above expectation that an owner would be mad to not maximise this opportunity.  Ensure the property is showcased at its absolute best – that $10k spent on gardens, paint and styling may add another $100k or more right now.  Whilst it’s always wise to be realistic on the property’s true worth, it’s equally impossible to forecast where the gavel may land in such a heated market, if in fact it gets there.  Cast the net widely by advertising in the right places.  Get some competition going and you may well find the buyer that is very willing to pay a high price to secure the property prior to Auction.  With such little supply right now, buyers are tired of missing out and are paying big money to secure their home early.


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