March Market Wrap

It is safe to say that this is about as balanced a market that you will find - with something for both buyers & sellers.

By Brad Thornton

02-05-2018 |
With 65 new listings and 68 sales throughout March it is safe to say that this is about as balanced a market that you will find - with something for both buyers & sellers. The team at Avery Property led the way in sales again this month, with 15 properties finding new owners. 13 of these were owner occupiers and 2 were investors, with 9 (60%) coming from outside the Lake Macquarie region. Across the board, the Southern suburbs again performed particularly well, with Rathmines to Wangi Wangi finding a big portion of the interest as a lifestyle destination for owner occupiers, attracted to the balance of value for money compared to East Lake Macquarie and good water views. The premium homes offered for sale (which doesn’t mean the most expensive, but those homes that present the best in their price range) continue to be the most in-demand as seen by our signature sale this month below. For investors, rents have been stable for the last 12-18 months with very little increase. As prices continued to soar in 2017, this meant the yields offered to investors were getting lower, meaning more money was required each month to top up the difference in income & expenses. This will be a point to watch in 2018 to see if a slower market helps balance this equation. Currently we see far more tenant demand in the suburbs North of Toronto, from Blackalls Park through to Boolaroo, generally meaning less of a vacancy time for landlords. All indications are that interest rates are unlikely to see a rise until 2019. And with the real estate market slowing in capital cities, bigger restrictions on foreign purchasing and investor lending dropping from the levels 12 months ago, it seemed the banks were heading into a position to ease some of their restrictive lending policy that came about in the last 6 months. However with the focus of the banking royal commission still very raw, we have seen some evidence in the last 3 weeks where major banks have been even more cautious with approvals that don’t tick the standard boxes. And this could be a factor in any potential kick along in prices again in the near future. We see great momentum in the marketplace right now, and it will be interesting to see how that continues to flow with school holidays taking up a big part of the month.