Life is on hold, but property isn’t
BresicWhitney’s record-breaking sales numbers for July might come as a surprise to many, but not for buyers and sellers swept up in the momentum.
Both groups have become more comfortable about transacting in this lockdown 2.0 environment, evident in everything from our total properties sold to our auction registration numbers.
Our average number of registered bidders jumped to 10, with an incredible 5 actively participating each time. A 91% auction clearance rate.
Buyers snapped up a total of 123 properties, the most we’ve seen for the mid-winter month in our history, while 99 homes were leased. We worked hard to keep clients ahead of the changing dynamics, fine-tuning our model every step of the way.
Looking back at 2021, the period also topped some of our strongest months of last year. While average bidder numbers would usually drop in peaking market, to see numbers this high suggested buyers weren’t done just yet.
As the lockdown was extended, many owners came to realise that waiting for the city to open up could mean transacting in 2022. Initially they were happy to wait for 2 or 3 weeks of restrictions. But 6 weeks in, the opportunities to jump into an enthusiastic pool of buyers have been obvious.
Meanwhile, our day-to-day property dealings don’t look like returning to the ‘norm’ anytime soon, with the comedown for this lockdown period looking like being a long one.
But what is the norm now?
Real estate hadn’t changed much in the years before this, being structured, presented and sold in the same way for decades.
Lockdown turned every day into a Saturday. Not just for agents (who got a lot busier one-on-one), but for buyers and sellers navigating in real time, all day, every day.
Campaigns haven’t been launching with a 6-week plan and a distant auction date. Many July listings flew into 2 weeks of appointments and an auction pre-booked for the 3rd Saturday.
Agents have been engaging with a pool of buyers on a daily basis, many of them being pre-qualified, pre-vetted inspectees.
Since lockdown, that delivered the following:
* Off-market auctions between clients on our database, with no wider ads.
* Our auction dates brought forward, just days into a campaign.
* Weekday morning auctions, booked and called at short notice.
* 2 auctions (Balmain, Forest lodge) with 80+ people watching online on a weekday morning.
At the same time, property prices have defied the pandemic over the past 12 months, with Sydney home prices surging 18.2%. Dwelling values jumped by 16.1% around the country, the fastest annual growth in more than 17 years.
The speed at which buyers engage also shifted up a gear. While agents were identifying plenty of July properties set to sell in the first week, buyers also appreciated the shorter campaign times, allowing them to test their competitiveness, and quickly moving on to other properties if unsuccessful.
It’s no secret that lockdowns blurred multiple lines our lifestyles, fusing business and leisure hours, turning weekends into weekdays. Agents have been swept up in that, along with everyone they connect with.
We’ve read a lot about the dwindling stock and the low interest rates recently, which continued into July. But that wasn’t the only thing our owners took confidence from last month.
Those new market behaviours have turned out to be just as potent.
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