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.