Bernadette Janson and property buyer’s agent Jo Vadillo discuss opportunities and challenges for buying in the current hot property market in Australia.
Listen to Episode 129 : Buying In A Hot Property Market – An Insider’s Guide
Podcast: Download (Duration 32:43 — 29.9MB)
Buying In A Hot Property Market – An Insider’s Guide
- [00:01:21] Why the property market is a jungle at the moment
- [00:01:50] Buyers are frustrated with constant looking
- [00:04:03] Fairtrade are out there and watching agents
- [00:06:00] More vendors are coming into the market
- [00:06:34] Steepest monthly price increase in 32 years
- [00:07:26] Advice for buying in a hot property market
- [00:08:00] A global scale building boom and supply issues
- [00:09:08] Off Market opportunities
- [00:10:00] Build a rapport with your local agents
- [00:14:15] Ensure you are ready to buy
- [00:16:52] Getting pre-approved to buy
- [00:17:31] The current difference between apartments and houses in the market
- [00:20:02] Bernadette’s advice for renovating and flipping in a hot property market
- [00:22:00] Explore the quirky places people advertise properties for sale
- [00:26:00] Buying as an investment vs owner-occupied
- [00:27:11] The advantages of using a buyer’s agent
The Property Market Is A Jungle At The Moment!
It is a challenging time for buyers at this time because of the very hot property market. A lot of people have been asking… ‘Do I sit it out and wait until the market cools down? And, when is the market going to cool down?’
It seems that some buyers have bottomless pockets.
It’s often a battleground at the moment. The current market situation is open houses and auctions on a Saturday are filled with surges of crowds. Houses are selling for big prices, and it seems some buyers have bottomless pockets.
Buyers Are Getting Fatigued And Being Left Disappointed
Some buyers are fed up with looking and are getting to the point where they are fatigued. They’re selling shares, borrowing money off parents or getting an advance on an inheritance purely to get their foot in the property market because they’re sick of losing their Saturdays.
Buyers are also sick and tired of dropping $500 on pest and building reports only to walk away from an auction unsuccessful, fatigued and disappointed. Despite all this, there’s still a multitude of bidders in such a hot property market.
Jo says she was recently at an auction where “the property sold $300,000 above the guide” and “the media is reporting properties are selling a million dollars over the guide”. But to be fair, when the market is moving as fast as it is at the moment, sometimes it is very hard for agents to put a fair price guide when they first go to market.
The Governments Fair Trade Organisation Is Watching Agent’s Behavior
Jo Vadillo: “When agents get market feedback at open homes comes, they are meant to move those parameters. I have seen it happen where they are rejigging the numbers a little bit, but this is also reflective of the fact that Fair Trade is out there and watching agents and their behaviour”.
Bernadette Janson: I understand why real estate agents try to keep the price low. We all try and keep the guide low to encourage a wide pool of people, but there is a law around the pricing of property, you’re allowed 10% variable in the price. I just don’t understand why real estate agents would go so far over this variable.
A lot of agents will burn bridges with clients by being quite unscrupulous and having no regard for the relationship with the buyer. Agents do have a code of conduct they need to observe in terms of the seller, their loyalty needs to be with the seller, however, being dishonest doesn’t get you very far in the business.
Jo shares with Bernadette Janson…..
“If you are an area agent where that person buying might want to sell in half a decade and you’re still working in that area, it’s a very shortsighted marketing plan if you’re causing a lot of difficulty for the buyer getting their foot in the door in that suburb”.
The feedback back from agents at the moment is that it is a hot property market and a lot more people are coming to market, resulting in a larger number of properties on the market.
‘We’re not seeing a slowdown in the price of properties, but I am seeing some stabilising as opposed to it continuing to climb’
– Jo Vadillo
More Vendors Are Wanting To Capitalise On The Hot Property Market
Jo Vadillo: “There are more vendors coming to market. A lot of vendors were scared to put their house on the market because they were worried about what they would then buy? Or where do they buy once they have sold? It’s a Catch-22 however, we all need to buy and sell for various reasons at any given point, so we’re starting to see a little more stock come on the market, making it a bit more of a fairer playing ground”.
Australian House Prices Have Risen The Fastest In 32 Years
May 2021 in the property market was a really good month in terms of property with a 2.2% price increase. That’s up from April 2021 which saw a 1.98% price increase in Australian house prices.
However, the largest national monthly housing price increase of 2.8% was recorded in March 2021, the steepest monthly spike in 32 years.
Advice For Buying In A Hot Property Market
Bernadette Janson’s advice for buying in such a rapidly moving market is to “move quickly when buying a property”.
“When the market is moving so quickly, taking six months to buy a project could be costing you $50,000 in profit because the properties are growing up to 2% a month”
– Bernadette Janson
A Global Scale Building Boom And Supply Issues
Jo Vadillo shares with Bernadette…
‘Build prices are going up. The cost of timber, the cost of steel. All of that is being impacted. If you’re in the process or thinking of building, each month that goes past is seeing the increase of these things. And this is not due to greedy developers or greedy builders. This is due to a supply issue on a global scale because this building boom is also happening in North America’.
“Builders are advising of timber prices increasing by 120%. At the end of the day, the buyer is going to be the person that’s going to be paying the bill. So, don’t sit on your hands for too long. If you’re looking to flip, you want to do so within the same calendar year”.
“The safe way to go is to assume that the market’s not going to rise, make sure that you’ve got at least 10% buffer and proceed with caution”
– Bernadette Janson
Bernadette Janson shares “the safe way to go is to assume that the market’s not going to rise, make sure that you’ve got at least 10% buffer and proceed with caution. That’s the way I deal with a volatile market. It’s pretty clear that nothing’s going to change in interest rate terms for the foreseeable future”.
The only thing that could really put the skids on the market would be if the regulators were to step in, and that is a possibility, so hopefully, the market will stabilise on its own and that won’t be required.
Even though it is a hot property market, there are still opportunities that are off-market.
Jo Vadillo: Off-market properties which technically means it’s off-portal, so they might be listed with an agent. but it’s not advertised on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au.
“The tip in a hot property market like this is to discuss with real estate agents what they have coming to the market and start picking up the phone and asking, what have you got coming to market?”
– Jo Vadillo
Pre-market opportunities are there because sometimes vendors are very motivated by their own personal circumstances, which could be that they want to buy something when they’ve found a property they’ve fallen in love with, and they need a swift sale, minus the stress and cost of prepping and staging a home. There is also a big marketing cost behind the advertising cost of using platforms such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.
Build A Rapport With Your Local Agents
Something really important when buying is to build a good rapport with the local agents and be asking what’s available off-market.
“There is always a deal. The market is not your problem. You are your problem because you’ve got a mindset that you won’t find the deal and that’s going to be the biggest impact”
– Bernadette Janson
Building relationships with property professionals is the best way to get in before anyone else and get a great deal.
It’s also important, to be honest with your agent. Sometimes vendors will have specific criteria, for example, they want to sell the property to another family and it’s important you don’t take advantage of these situations if you are just going to buy and flip the property. Out of integrity, you should be leaving that opportunity for a family wanting to get into their first home.
Most agents have a database of people and are aware of their specific buying requirements, so don’t dismiss the importance of building relationships with your agents. In terms of getting properties at the right price, they’re your best chance. If you’re not a natural communicator there are other forms of communications such as email and text messages you can use to interact with agents.
Ensure You Are Buy-Ready
In a hot property market, you want to make sure you have done everything behind the scenes to ensure a quick deal can be done. Make sure you have reviewed contracts, pest and building reports have been done, or you’re able to get a pest and building report that’s already been done by the vendor. This will ensure a smooth transaction.
Bernadette Janson: “at the moment, if people are getting a loan, the banks are not very fast to move. Finance is often a bit of a hobble”
‘An example of the impact of unconditional, as opposed to conditional contract is – we were selling a development site property last week and we got a conditional offer of $2.4 million, and it was with a 10-day due diligence period, and they messed around. They were going to exchange on Friday, then come Monday they started saying they wanted to inspect the houses and this and that before they exchanged.
In the meantime, we got another offer for $90,000 more – unconditional, signed sealed and delivered. So guess which way we went?!’
The Current Market Difference Between Apartments And Houses
Jo shares ‘at this present point it’s not so many apartments I’m finding, but then I am predominantly talking to a lot of the mum and dad investors. These investors have the finance available for properties in areas outside of Sydney. Areas such as: regional areas, central coast, Newcastle, and areas outside of Brisbane City Council such as Morton Bay council, Ipswich and Logan.’
‘Most buyers at the moment want houses rather than apartments, and houses which are within a commutable distance to employment and where there’s great infrastructure. The demand for more regional areas stems from the ‘lockdown-world’ where a lot of workplaces are offering more flexible working hours. Therefore employees can move a little bit further away from work to get a bigger house. The apartment market is still doing okay, there’s just more of a demand for houses at present’.
Bernadette Janson shares with Jo…
“I absolutely agree with you the apartment market is definitely gone up because I noticed this morning, one apartment in a block I know really well recently went for $930,000 for a one bedder in Moore Park Gardens, but it’s nowhere near as hot as the housing market”.
“From a renovating point of view, I feel a bit more comfortable when the market is more stable”
– Bernadette Janson
Jo Vadillo: Properties are still getting good prices. There is more stock coming onto the market and at most auctions there have been standout buyers. Every property has someone that’s just fallen in love with it and they have to have it. I think also the narrative in the media helps everyone in the market. Buyers are being told in the media that the market is really hot, adding pressure to them to buy quickly.
Bernadette’s Advice For Renovating And Flipping In A Hot Property Market
“It’s always better to renovate a house if it’s in your budget, mainly because you have full control of the project”.
– Bernadette Janson
Bernadette: “Renovating a house means you don’t have to answer to an owner’s corporation. However, renovating an apartment is still a good option if that’s what your budget allows you to do, there’s still good money to be made in an apartment renovations”.
Bernadette shares… ‘at The School Of Renovating, we are currently putting money together for a class project and we’ve decided to look in the Newcastle area. I haven’t done a house for ages and I I’m keen to renovate a house. The budget for this project is around 1 million dollars and in Sydney, a million dollars will probably only get you a two-bedroom apartment – as opposed to a regional city, such as Newcastle or Wollongong, where the same budget will buy you a house to renovate, in a desirable suburb’.
“There’s money to be made in, any market”
– Bernadette Janson
“I strongly believe there’s money to be made in, any market. It just does depend on your budget more than anything” and you’re commitment to the search.
Explore The Quirky Places People Advertise Properties For Sale
Jo Vadillo shares with Bernadette….
‘As a buyer’s agent, I’m on a lot of real estate VIP lists, so I get a lot of information on properties organically anyway, which is awesome, but they don’t always match a client’s brief. The other thing is quirky places like Gumtree, where people do try and sell properties off-market, for whatever reason.
This is a false economy where people think “I’ll sell this, and I’ll save myself the agent’s fees”. There are people out there who will do it, and let’s leverage off that relationship and commit to another opportunity’.
Bernadette Janson: “Facebook marketplace is another place people list properties. I really think if you don’t have a home yourself and you’ve got some money to invest, it makes sense to invest in a property you could call your family home, even if you never want to live in it. If you meet the requirements for it being your family home and you make improvements to the family home, then it’s likely* you can claim the capital gain tax-free”. *You would need to check with your accountant just to be safe.
Buying As An Investment Vs Owner-Occupied
Jo Vadillo shares with Bernadette: “When you’re buying as an investor versus as an owner-occupier, owner occupiers will approach the market with far more emotion invested in the decisions, as opposed to looking at the numbers objectively. It’s always emotional when you’re dropping half a million dollars on a house, there’s always an emotion tied to your savings and tied to your future with an investment”.
If you’re looking as an investor, from time to time the investor might be in the position where there’s an undercurrent of nervousness and they’re thinking, “what if one day I need to live in this property?”. So therefore, you need to ensure it:
- Serves very well as an investment property
- It is somewhere you would be happy to live if you needed to move into it
Jo Vadillo shares with Bernadette Janson:
“I’ve had conversations a few times with clients who are approaching the market, and it’s a bit of a complicated formula when I have clients come to me who have to consider… What if the world imploded? What if I got divorced? What if I had to move into it?”
There are a variety of different reasons why they do approach an investment property with caution, but at the end of the day you need to consider:
- Is it going to perform well?
- Can you add value to it?
- Is it in an area with growth projection?
All these questions are the reason you use a buyer’s agent or somebody to represent you because they have an extensive knowledge of the property market.
Using A Buyer’s Agent
A good buyer’s agent isn’t just someone who will buy you a property, they are a property strategist. Any buyer’s agent can buy you a property based on your criteria whereas a good buyer’s agent will find the best property strategy for your situation.
Jo shares with Bernadette…
“This is why Greg and I have often approached what we do with a foundation behavior with our business, would we put our money into that property? Was that what we would recommend?”
“I would never put someone’s money into something that I wouldn’t be prepared to put my own money into”
– Jo Vadillo
Buying Property In A Hot Market – Recap
- The market is still very buoyant yet stable, particularly in houses
- There are large numbers of people turning up to open homes and auctions
- The market doesn’t look like it’s slowing down at this point
- There’s a lot of property coming on the market
“Don’t be put off by thinking you can’t find a deal; you absolutely can find a deal. There’s always one out there, you’ve just got to start getting out there and doing what it takes to find it”
– Bernadette Janson