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Time to buy

By Yvette Goulter of Red Roof Buyers Agents www.redroof.com.au



Around Easter time this year the Brisbane property market changed abruptly from a Seller's Market to a Buyer's Market, following a series of interest rate hikes and the stock market decline. As the market has slowed, buyers have lost confidence.


But if confidence is the only thing preventing you from dipping your toe in the property market again, be assured by the fact that Brisbane is the only Australian capital city which hasn't suffered a prolonged property price slump over the past 30 years, according to data compiled by Paul Bennion, the managing director of property depreciation company DEPPRO.


According to Bennion: "Over this 30-year period, there has been no period that the median price of a home in Brisbane has fallen over an extended period of time, unlike other capital cities. There are individual quarters that the median house price in Brisbane has fallen. However on a yearly basis, the median price has shown sustained rates of capital growth." Bennion puts Brisbane's consistency down to strong population growth and a relatively stable economy. He said the buying remained good in the Queensland capital.


So get your finances in order, and take advantage of the best opportunities in the current Buyer's Market. Here's some tips to help you:


·       Choose the areas you want to live or invest in, and look for properties that have been passed in at auction; on the market for a while; have had a contract crash; or the vendors have moved out to their new property. These vendors are often more motivated to sell for a bargain price.

·       Evaluate properties with a critical eye, overlooking unclean or cluttered rooms, overgrown gardens and the like. Sometimes large, solid properties can be disguised by poor presentation, and views and breezes can be blocked by trees. These properties can often be purchased for much less than their smaller, well presented neighbours, and can be improved without much expense.

·       When you find the right property, back up your offer with other recent comparable sales in the area, to help the vendor comes to terms with the current market and drop their price accordingly. Facts work better than your lack of willingness to pay more, if you are to negotiate a good deal.

·       Avoid making "take it or leave it" offers, as vendors can be emotional at the moment, and it's important to keep them on side to secure the property. The vendor will be more prepared to be flexible if he thinks you are being flexible too.

·       Take your time during negotiations and be prepared to increase your offer, taking a day or two to think about it after the vendor's counter-signature. The longer the vendor waits, the more anxious he may become about losing the sale, and the more realistic he becomes about price.

·       Be prepared to take your offer off the table and resubmit it in a week or two, after the vendor has had time to get more market feedback on price. If you lose the property, don't worry - there's plenty more out there at the moment!



Yvette Goulter is the Principal of RedRoof Buyer's Agency in Brisbane Qld, and Secretary of the Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia (REBAA). RedRoof is a full-service property buyer's agency, offering fixed fees and free consultations for home buyers and investors.