Article | August 18, 2021
The spring selling season might be pushed back for a couple of weeks or even months as lockdowns restrict activity in some states and territories, according to CoreLogic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales and listing turnouts typically rise from September to November. Over the ten years to December 2019, the growth in new listings during spring averaged 15.7% while sales hit 6.8%.
CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said both sales and listings tend to be most seasonal in the capital cities, particularly in Sydney and the ACT. With the lockdowns, however, the in-demand locations might not witness the same level of activity this upcoming spring, which is only two weeks away. "Observing housing market performance through lockdowns reveals that both sales and listings volumes will fall through lockdowns," Ms Owen said.
What can be learned from last year's Melbourne lockdown?
The extended lockdown in Melbourne last year could provide a glimpse as to what could happen in this year's lockdowns. Melbourne was in lockdown from mid-July to late October. During the period, listings dropped consistently, hitting the lowest at 1,411 in the four weeks to September, which was 80.7% lower than the previous five-year average.
There are several factors that contributed to the slowdown during the period.
Aside from the obvious restrictions that have limited inspections and auctions to virtual sessions, the low levels of consumer confidence also dampened the overall market sentiment, with vendors being unsure whether they would get an optimal price for their properties. Mortgage repayment deferrals and other government support also contributed, as these prevented distressed sales. However, when restrictions in Melbourne got lifted by late October, there was a sudden shift in the market mood, with listings quickly recovering. "New listings volumes through December 2020 trended an average 40.4% higher than the previous five-year average, suggesting the spring selling season of 2020 was 'pushed back' into the final months of the year," Ms Owen said.
Lockdowns to only postpone market activity
Ms Owen said the trend in sales and listings through a lockdown indicate the relative stability of the economy and the housing market amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "This has meant that housing purchasing decisions were more likely to have just been postponed through lockdowns, rather than abandoned all together.” In fact, the muted sales activity through lockdowns actually led to an uplift in sales across Melbourne in December of 2020 and July 2021, a time when seasonally, sales volumes would usually be far more subdued.
"There are tailwinds in place for housing market demand to suggest this may happen again; household savings rates remain elevated, new average mortgage rates continue to reach new record lows, and many government fiscal stimulus and broader institutional responses have been resurrected amid renewed lockdowns," Ms Owen said.
Affordability might become a concern
The consistent surge in prices across capital cities in recent months have already resulted in the inevitable constraints in affordability. CoreLogic's Hedonic Home Value Index in July showed a 1.6% gain in dwelling values, a retreat from the previous growth of 1.9%. Ms Owen said some support schemes that supported consumer sentiment, such as JobKeeper and HomeBuilder have already ended which could dampen the expected rebound in demand.
The rising threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 might also be a major headwind, as it could result in further lockdowns which will ultimately impact the incomes of Australian households. "With affordability constraints becoming a larger obstacle in the market, as well as the potential for tighter credit conditions further down the track, if buyer activity does not match the lift in listings we could see a gradual rebalancing between sellers and buyers," Ms Owen said.
Article | May 27, 2021
You may have heard the often-cited National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) statistic that 90% of homeowners would use their real estate agent again, but only 12% actually do. What you may not know is the reason behind it.
According to Chris Stuart, president of PLACE, Inc., the real estate industry spends more on customer acquisition than any other industry but doesn’t invest the same amount in customer retention. The numbers back him up, with companies like Southwest and Marriott spending less than 3% of their marketing budget on customer acquisition, while the real estate industry spends a whopping 20% of its marketing dollars to add customers, only to lose them as they leave the closing table.
Of course, retention in real estate is made more difficult by the fact that the average time between real estate transactions is five to seven years, not just a few weeks or months as it would be for retail or travel companies.
Looking at other industries that focus more on customer retention, they do so not by offering a host of random services, but by creating a customer experience that brings people back over and over. With that in mind, here is a tactical approach that will allow you to prove your value month after month—for years to come.
Article | April 7, 2021
Spring is here, and with it comes home buying season. If you’re in real estate, it’s about to get really interesting. There are also some unique challenges you and your buyers might be confronting in the market now. Let’s get to what you need to know.
The housing market has been red-hot for quite a while now. Sales for both new and existing homes have been on an absolute tear. But last month, both of these metrics took a step back.
One likely reason for this is no doubt a moderate increase in mortgage rates. However, it seems to me we talk about that enough. Today, we would like to spotlight another factor causing issues in the housing market and possibly even delaying construction of homes in some areas.
There’s a real shortage of the necessary materials for constructing and renovating homes at this point. According to a December report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71% of builders were facing a shortage of at least one material.
That means the houses that were being built in December that may just be getting ready to come on the market now may either be delayed or come with higher prices. The material most in demand was lumber, with 31% of contractors experiencing a shortage.
Article | April 26, 2020
Search online for real estate investment strategies, and you’ll be overwhelmed with the information overload that hits you. Self-proclaimed experts, gurus, and never before heard of writers (because everyone has a book these days) keep posting hordes of stuff regarding where you should focus your efforts and what you should put your money into. Read a few of these sources, and you’ll see that most of the stuff is the same. It’s very unusual to find ideas that are starkly different online. Head to the store and buy books on investment strategies. Though definitely not to-the-point and instead highly detailed, once you finish reading, you will find yourself at the same spot you were before. Countless case studies, multiple options, a lot of theory, and no practical application! Don’t fret. My article today isn’t going to give you 10 more real estate investment strategies.