A BUYER IN THE HAND

I’ve always been a believer in the saying: “It is, what it is”. And that definitely applies to real estate. Like everything in life, the property market “is what it is” and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

What we can do, however, is choose when, where or if we participate.

At the moment, the market is all over the place. On one hand we are getting media reports of strong sale prices and significant price increases, yet on the other hand I am hearing from agents that buyers are wavering.

There is a growing mismatch between most of the statistics and what appears to be happening on the ground. Take the example of a property inspection I had this week. In one inner city street there were three almost identical houses for sale — as a buyer, it’s great, not only does it give me a choice of property but it also gives me a negotiation edge on the price. But for the same reasons, it’s not good for those vendors.

And I think more vendors are recognising these short term dynamics and are getting a bit spooked.

Their decision to sell this spring was made on the expectation of getting a strong price and they were possibly hurried along by the media and the Reserve Bank’s talk of a price bubble.
But for those same reasons, buyers are also aware of these dynamics which is making them unsure — the last thing they want is to buy at the so-called peak.

With such a deluge of homes for sale, there is evidence that vendors are starting to realise that one genuine buyer, even at 10 or 15 per cent below expectations, is still worth three or four ‘maybe’ buyers sometime in the future. After all, the market is what it is.

Until next week

JOCK BING