Tony Alexander

Economic Commentaries

Seller’s Market Returns

Monday February 17th 2014

All of the measures we use to gauge the strength of the residential property market have improved this month compared with our last survey undertaken in early-December. Most notably a net 5% of the 469 responding agents now feel that it is once again a seller’s market compared with a net 16% in December and 17% in November who felt it was a buyer’s market.

The net percent of agents seeing a decline in the number of first home buyers has declined from near 80% readings in November and December, but at a net 40% agents are still seeing first home buyers stepping back from the market. The Reserve Bank’s credit controls have had a substantial impact on first home buyers – but not much of an impact on investors.

Whereas in December a net 6% of responding agents said that they were seeing more investors, that reading has now jumped to a net 21% which is above the 16% three year average though still down from 26% in September.

In fact whereas real estate agents estimate just 16% of their sales are to first home buyers compared with 24% in our March 2013 survey, estimated sales to investors stand at over 19% from 18.5% nearly a year ago. Again we have evidence that first home buyers have felt the impact of LVR rules, not investors.