1st quarter update 2012

The property market enjoyed a solid start for 2012! With interest rates falling by 50 basis points at the end of 2011 and despite a number of the banks choosing to increase their rates which the RBA kept on hold at each of their February, March & April meetings.

We are seeing buyers currently operating differently at various price points & property types.
Properties in the early Millions & below are still tracking quite well with balanced supply & demand. As the price levels escalate the balance of demand currently moves back to the buyers favour.
When comparing properties within the same price points we are seeing a buyer preference to securing properties that they don’t need to do any work, compared to superior location needing upgrading over time.

Based on the current signals being displayed by the market on the Northern Beaches it appears that there should be the typical trend of solid selling conditions extending into May/June and we would expect the traditional seasonal factors to follow with the typical gentle slowing of the market over winter & a noticeable spike in sales again in Spring.

If you are considering moving – those who are trading up to a more expensive home and will pay more for their next home than they will get for the one they are selling – actually do better in the current market than when the market is on a bull run with prices moving up.

The fact that they are spending more money on their purchase gives them an opportunity to make money on the transaction. If the reason you think it’s ‘not a good time to sell’ is because you ‘will not get a good enough price’ for your home, then the logical next step is to realise that if the market prevents you from getting the price you want, it will also affect the sellers of the property you are trading up to – providing you with a net gain

For example if you get $1,350,000 for your home which has been valued at $1,500,000, you may feel you are ‘losing’ $150,000 or around 10% of the value of your asset, but if you buy another home valued at $2,000,000 in the same market, the owners of that home will also ‘lose’ 10%, as you will naturally not be paying more than the current market value. In paying 10% less you will pay $1,800,000, ‘saving’ $200,000 – thereby ‘making’ $50,000 on the transaction; in other words you ‘saved’ on the next transaction more than you ‘lost’ on the sale of your current home.

There are other advantages to trading up in the current market. Due to the days on the market being longer than in a sellers’ market, once you have sold your property, you can take your time choosing your next purchase without having to watch the gap between the price you got for your original property and the price you have to pay for their next one increasing by the day.

The inverse of this applies to those who are looking to sell their current home for more than what they are looking to spend on their next home. However sitting down with a financial advisor to discuss the long term investment opportunities of what can be done with the balance not spent on the next home can still mean that its worthwhile selling in the current market & moving on with life.

As always, the current market trends present opportunities for both buyers and sellers – if you would like to develop a greater understanding of what is happening in the market at your specific price point, feel free to give us a call on 9948 7080.

Wishing you all the best in achieving your property goals,

Tim Wirth & the Team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah.

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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors

June Market Update

After a hesitant start to the year, we found that the sales activity in our area started to pick up in March and although the average days on the market has extended out slightly properties are still trading relatively well throughout the area.

There is no doubt the reason for the increased momentum is a balance between genuine sellers reacting to the mood of the market and in many cases adjusting their price expectations while buyers have been prepared to move forward with realistic offers, rather than simply looking for a bargain.

There is always an interesting period when the property market shifts, whether this trend is up or down. If moving up, it is buyers that need to react quickly or continually miss out on property. Conversely, when conditions soften it is sellers who need to re-adjust quickly to attract buyers and secure a sale. We are currently moving back into a balanced market where the purchasers that try to play hardball are often missing out with another buyer coming over the top. By the same token vendors who choose to ignore the market feedback are discovering the only variable moving up is their days on market.

With some new goal posts being created both vendors & purchasers seem to have found their feet again. We are seeing a sign of confidence by purchasers willing to purchase before having sold, but this is balanced out by settlement periods often extending out from the standard 42 days – to 60 &90 day settlements. This shows a balance of optimism that they will be able to sell their own home mixed with the realism that currently days on market are a little longer than we have seen in past markets.

With the Australian Dollar still sitting high & above parity with the US, we are seeing mainly domestic purchaser activity. There has been some movement from overseas buyers, but the majority seem are prepared to wait for the exchange rates to return back closer to their historical average before bringing funds into the country to purchase. Many are expecting that their delay maybe quite some time.

Reviewing economic news & data released recently – there has been conflicting commentary on the likely trend of interest rates over the course of 2011. Many are predicting interest rates to stay on hold for a while longer with a potential increase in late 2011.

Comparing our area to the current Sydney median house price, which now sits around $625,000. A little different to Seaforth $1,342,000, Balgowlah $1,250,000, Balgowlah Heights $1,710,000, Clontarf $2,400,000, Fairlight $1,255,000 and North Balgowlah $1,100,000.

As always the current market trends present opportunities for both buyers & sellers – if you would like to develop a greater understanding of what is happening in the market at your specific price point feel free to give our office a call on 9948 7080.

Wishing you all the best in achieving your property goals,

Tim Wirth and The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.
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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times
To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

Autumn Market Update

The past month has seen a significant improvement across all price levels of our local market. With both supply & demand building over the past month with the Spring selling season just germinating, it appears that the market is going to continue to build momentum over the coming Quarter.

Over the winter months we saw the typical drop in competition for many properties, however there were still a number of strong sales being made particularly at the lower end of the market.

Due to this lack of enthusiasm at the top end of the market, a number of prestige properties were withdrawn from the market and had been sitting dormant waiting for the election to pass. With the election day (and now process) out of the way – there has been a flurry of new properties coming to the market in the last week of August & this is likely to continue as confidence builds along with the Spring momentum.

Economic data released during the past two months has provided mixed messages with the Consumer Sentiment Index recording a surge, suggesting a general upbeat view of the economy. Despite ongoing financial market volatility & some international uncertainty.

As always these market trends present opportunities for both buyers & seller

Property Investors are back and are stimulating the Australian Housing market

According to research by Australian Property Monitor’s, investors are now completely filling the gap created by the first home buyers  after the grant reductions at the end of last year.
 

APM’s most recent Quarterly Housing Report – Australia recorded solid house price growth over the June quarter as investor activity mitigated the fall in demand from owner occupiers and first home buyers.

APM’s economist Matthew Bell said the positive results came as a surprise, particularly given the six interest rates rises in recent months.

 
“Most markets around the country saw modest growth for the quarter, contributing to the continuing high year-on-year figures,” Mr Bell said.

 
In what was the fifth consecutive quarter of house price rises for Sydney, house prices increased by just over 2 per cent and unit prices were up by almost 3 per cent, pushing annual growth to over 13 per cent – well above the long-term trend.

 
The current Sydney median house price now sits above $625,000. A little different to Seaforth $1,320,000, Balgowlah $1,124,000, Balgowlah Heights $1,690,000, Clontarf $2,420,000, Fairlight $1,150,000, North Balgowlah $1,100,000.

 
“APM expects further price growth moderation in the next three to six months as the low levels of housing finance and the risk of further rate increases weigh on the market. However, the medium-to-long-term outlook for property prices remains strong, and we expect the 2010 annual rate of national house price growth to settle in the eight to 10 per cent range,” said Mr Bell.

 
On the local front we are continuing to sell through the traditionally quiet winter with Glen Wirth & Michael Buckley today selling 29 Ernest Street, Balgowlah Heights prior to its scheduled auction on the 7th of August.

 
Wishing you all the best in your property search,

 
The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.
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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times
To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*
*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 30/7/2010

Election Campaign & Spring Selling

We seem to be a nation that likes to find reasons to procrastinate – we have the race that stops a nation (looking forward to Melbourne Cup already) and we are renown for delaying decisions during a Federal election. However Julia Gillard’s decision to hold the election early – still during her honeymoon popularity period may be the best thing she could have done for the property market.

 
With the election being held on the 21st of August, although this may add a small procrastination period to the usual Winter chill that often comes over the market at this time of year, it will provide an uninterrupted selling platform between late August & Christmas.

 

At R&W we are currently choosing to hold back a number of prestige listings until August – however if you’re in decision making / purchase mode now, please give Glen or Tim Wirth a call on 9948 7080 for a discussion on your exact requirements and what will be appearing on the market in coming weeks.

 

Reading the Telegraph this morning there was a small article titled “Doonas off soon”, regarding yesterdays Bureau of Meteorology announcement that warm conditions in adjacent oceans were going to soon cause a temperature spike with Spring arriving early this year.

 

So with an early election & warm weather on its way – we are looking forward to a strong Spring selling season.

 

As is always the case different market segments move differently & depending on which segment you are buying or selling in, the team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth are always happy to guide you on how best to achieve your property goals.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you or seeing you at an open this weekend.
Wishing you all the best in your property search,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.
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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times
To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*
*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 21/7/2010

Traditional Winter Patterns Continue in July 2010

It’s good to have some positive property news!  With the number of home loans issued, rising for the first time in eight months during May with the increase being attributed to investment property loans – particularly in the lower end of the market.

 

Some property commentators are predicting this increase to be short lived and that interest rates are likely to climb again in the coming months.

 

Smh.com.au ran a poll this week looking at the public’s view of the present market.

Here are the results:

- 50% of respondents suggested the market was in retreat and sellers outweigh buyers and prices are on the slide

- 30% of respondents suggested the market was flat/neutral with buyers roughly matching sellers

- 20% of respondents suggested the market was still buoyant with buyers exceeding sellers and prices were on the rise.

 

At R&W Seaforth we are still experiencing strong enquiry and attendance at open homes in lower price brackets. As we move up through the price ranges we are seeing the traditional slow down for Winter & expect that enquiry levels will continue to move as they traditionally do in August.

 

As always these market trends present opportunities for both buyers & seller – if you would like to develop a greater understanding of what is happening in the market feel free to give our team a call on 9948 7080.

 

Wishing you all the best in your  property goals,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.

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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 16/07/2010

R&W blog is back in action…

After a couple of weeks rest in the Northern Hemisphere escaping winter and the rain, the R&W blog is back in action!

 

Many of you will be experiencing school holidays and we hope that you have many activities planned in this very wet weather!

 

As mentioned in our early June post – we saw a change in the market in late May – we are now seeing buyers & sellers adjusting to the new conditions and the Northern Beaches property market  is now gaining greater comfort and an additional understanding of the new more balanced market place.

 

Following the stabilisation of interest rates in June & July, the question on many people’s lips – is will we see a continued pause or another increase during the election campaign?

 

Time tells all things  – Harry Triguboff of Meriton Apartments has suggested again this week that Australia’s property shortage will not be properly addressed until interest rates fall again, if this is the case then it maybe some time before it will be addressed.

 

Looking at the most recently released economic data – The Australian economy is emanating mixed signals at present, ensuring that the Reserve Bank will stay on the interest rate sidelines for another month.

 

Some are asking if the current sovereign debt problems afflicting Greece and Portugal – could create a GFC Mark II. In reality the main risk that this creates is pessimism, which often becomes self-perpetuating.

 

Reading into Macquarie Banks recent comments regarding the property market losing momentum…  “Like an in-form thoroughbred, the Australian economy enters the second half of 2010 in good shape, but is likely to be carrying much more lead in the saddle-bags as it heads into 2011. This principally reflects the impact of higher interest rates on household spending, as well as the gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus. Business confidence has been shaken by the impasse between the government and resource firms over mining taxation. And while that has now been resolved, confidence could continue to be undermined by other concerns, such as ongoing sovereign risk issues in the peripheral European economies and significant global financial market volatility. While we are ultimately optimistic that bullish investment plans will be realised, the transition from consumer and government-led growth to investment-led growth could be rocky, and is likely to be consistent with slower growth overall.”

 

We don’t see anything unusual in the annual pattern that generally see’s a slowdown with the inclement weather.  Active buyers will be aware of the low numbers common for this time of year – as always certain segments of the market are a lot stronger than others.

 

This week we have enjoyed a very strong response to the property at 12 Daisy Street North Balgowlah – after bidding started to stall in the early $900,000’s another wave of enthusiastic bidding took the final result to $1,022,000!

 

Also this week Maria Cassarino set a new Street Record for Illalong Avenue in North Balgowlah,  selling number 5 which sold prior to auction for $1.875 Million! Making it the second highest residential sale achieved in North Balgowlah!!

 

We appreciate that there is conflicting information out there to prospective vendors and buyers and  a lot of industry jargon! This compiled with the end of the financial year can leave you with questions still remaining unanswered for your own property goals and real estate needs.

 

Therefore we will are offering a confidential FREE No Obligation – End of Financial Year Property Market Update to anyone who has any further questions about their property or the market in general. If this is of interest or you have any further questions – please give us a call  at the office 9948 7080 or drop in and say hi and meet the team!

 

Wishing you all the best in your  property goals,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.

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See you at the open for inspections: Click Here for our open times

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 8/07/2010

Presentation Tips for Selling Your Home During Winter

Yes it will definitely be colder and attempting those last minute repairs can be very irritating in the rain but we are forgetting one fundamental piece of information – when the weather is cold where do you most want to be? The answer is in a warm (and stylishly furnished) home! So when you’re presenting your property during the colder months empathise with those freezing buyers walking the streets inspecting property and aim to make your home the cozy salvation they remember.

 

Although statistically most people will opt to sell in Summer, not everyone has the luxury of waiting until the sunny period. If selling in Winter, the streets won’t be as busy and you won’t be included in the mainstream rush of people selling property, but also remember you will have less competition from other sellers.

 

Like any endeavor to sell property, you will be faced with challenges. Although winter challenges can be predicted to include elements such as rain, mud and leaks. You will need to combat these elements and challenge yourself. Get creative and get into the mind of your buyer. This is the season when staging your home and utilising your sense of style, can create that unique selling point that can be the deciding factor for a buyer.

 

This is an occasion when you can really get imaginative. Draw inspiration from your daily routine and think outside the square. How can you present your home that will highlight its unique attributes whilst also giving the buyer ideas for themselves? You’re not only limited to visual effects, try to appeal to all the senses. Burning an essential oil creates a very inviting and soothing atmosphere, having mood music to compliment the theme you choose for your home and having complimentary chocolates offered on a cold day can’t hurt.

 

With a positive attitude, a written budget and some research skills, this can be a very rewarding and exciting stage of the selling process. A great place to start is visiting interior design websites, phoning designers and asking for tips and purchasing interior design magazines. Don’t forget a vital source of help and advice is in your real estate agent. This is the person you have hired because of their knowledge and experience with all things property. You are paying them so use them! Your agent will be privileged to provide advice, and recommend stylists to suit your needs, as this is someone whose goals are the same as yours – to achieve the best price for your home!

 

So put on those Winter boots and get those creative juices flowing. With your stylistic input this winter could very well be your property’s opportunity to be really hot.

 

We look forward to seeing you at our opens! Click Here for our open times

 

Best Wishes,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.

 

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 11/06/2010

Local Real Estate Activity – R&W’s June Synopsis

Over the past few weeks we have seen real estate move from a strong seller’s environment back to a more balanced market place with supply & demand beginning to balance out for the first time in many months.

 

Following the May interest rate increase (no change in June) we saw the last nine months of bullish market activity move from growth to stabilisation. R&W has continued to record some strong sales over the past month (in particular a new Street record for 17 Yatama Street & a strong result at 17 Sandy Bay Road)  – however the aggression that buyers had displayed so far this year has recently returned to more normal levels & buyers are becoming a little more cautious.

 

Looking at the most recently released economic data – particularly figures on auction clearance rates, home loan approvals show that a change in the market began in April however there was no real noticeable effect on our area until May. As active buyers will have picked up, attendance to open homes has dropped in recent weeks over the general market place, however we are still enjoying a strong response to the apartment market.

 

Taking a peak at Sydney wide figures, in the last year, Sydney house prices have grown at three times the historical annual average. Sale figures achieved in 2010 have been as strong as we have seen since the peaks of the market in 2003 & 2007. Current price levels seem to be stabilising rather than racing forward as they have been. We are likely to see a trend come back into the market of buyers upgrading, rather than renovating in our local area and with a currently limited supply of property this will ensure values & demand remains positive.

 

Indications from the Reserve Bank are suggesting that interest rates are likely to remain on hold for some time. Some economist’s suggesting that the next movement we may see is a slight decrease while we move through the uncertainty in Europe and the repercussions of the reaction to Rudd’s super profits tax.

 

From a local vendor or purchasers’ point of view – what remains more important is that you achieve the right property move for you. Those that purposely try to time their transactions tend to fail. By acting at the same time you benefit from the relativity of the market & by waiting for prices to change up or down is likely to cost you the opportunity of securing your perfect home!

 

We look forward to seeing you at our opens and auction this weekend! Click Here for our inspection times.

 

Best Wishes,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.

 

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

 

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 4/06/2010

Renovate or Move – How do you decide which is right for you?

Being in the middle of renovating myself, we decided that this was an interesting topic to reflect on for this week’s blog post.

 

Many of our clients come to the conclusion that they have outgrown their current homes and there are really 2-3 choices to deal with this. The first (most common & certainly not the best response) is to simply deal with it until the logic / pain kicks in and the real 2 options become apparent – stay put and renovate or move on and secure a more appropriate home now.

 

Coming to the decision as to which is right for you & your family will come down to a number of factors. These largely boil down to lifestyle choices and your budget at the time!  

 

 

The main points to consider.
When weighing up whether to renovate your current home or move on, you need to review the following:

Will the renovation be possible with Council planning guidelines?

Does your current address provide everything you need for your lifestyle (i.e., schools, shopping, local facilities, public transport)?

Are you prepared to deal with living in a building site while your home is renovated or are you prepared to move out & rent while you do the work?

Are you willing to dedicate the time and energy to supervise builders and contractors to see through the overall renovation plans?

If your answer’s yes to most of these questions, then perhaps it’s time to talk to a local architect and get into the finer details of what a renovation entails.

 

The renovator’s challenge

Costs: how not to overcapitalise and achieve exactly what you want – otherwise you are staying put for a long time while the market catches up with what you have done!

When weighing up the costs of renovating versus moving, it’s important to be realistic about what your home will be worth at the end of the renovation to ensure you don’t overcapitalise on the property.  

The team at R&W Seaforth will be delighted to guide you here without any obligation. – We are here for the long term!

 

You’ll need to do your homework and it may be prudent to join us at several local open for inspections to investigate the style of housing that appeals to the general market and the sale prices of similar renovated homes nearby.

 

From here it’s time to have your plans drawn up and put a price on them. Many suggest getting at least three quotes from reputable builders and if you are serious about going ahead with the plans, check their references thoroughly.

In order to cover the costs, you may also need to take out a loan (or extend your existing home loan) to meet the renovation costs. It’s best to speak to your lender/mortgage broker early on to make sure you have the available funds approved.

Local council approval – always important for structural changes!
No significant renovation can go ahead without approval from the local council or sign off from a private certifier with complying development - so talk to council early on in the process about your renovation plans to get an idea of the chances of being approved.

 

From here you may need to lodge a formal development application – this can take more time that you expect (sometimes up to six months in many cases longer) and needs to be factored into your decision.

 

Living through renovations

Having done this several times – this is a big step and one you have to be prepared for. It may mean months of living with building dust and materials in the front yard and contractors walking in and out of your personal space.

Living with one side of the house being open through winter is an interesting experience, some say character building. But no matter how difficult it seems at the time, once it’s all done – the hardship is very soon forgotten and you will enjoy the fruits of your labour for many years to come.

Depending on the type of renovations you undertake, you and your family may choose to (have to) move out of the home for a period of time which can add to your expense and needs to be factored in up front.

 

Your other alternative is of course to move!

If you:

Want features your current address doesn’t give you – like proximity to the Harbour, beach, schools, transport – etcetera.

Need a bigger garden/outdoor area to keep the kids under control.

Would like to be closer to family/friends or your renovation plans are significantly outside the scope of the local development control plan.

Then the decision to move maybe the right decision for you!

 

When doing your sums, you will need to consider the following:

Cost of new home versus renovating.

Stamp duty for a new property.

Refinancing fees as well as costs to exit existing loan.

Conveyancing/legal fees.

Real Estate agents commission and advertising/marketing fees.

Removalist charges.

 

While searching for some extra information I came across the following summary of advantages & disadvantages of renovating and moving on ANZ Banks website.

 

Renovating – Advantages Buy and Move – Advantages
By staying in the same property, you avoid the stress of a move and the adjustment required for you and your family in a new location, schools, etc. If you find a property that suits you and there is virtually nothing you will need to do to move in, you can start enjoying your home immediately.
You can design your renovations to exactly suit your needs. The decorating is also your choice! If you choose to buy and move, you avoid the discomfort of living in a dusty and uncomfortable environment.
You save selling, buying and moving costs, for example property stamp duty which can go towards the cost of renovations. You have peace of mind without the time, energy and stress frequently required with renovating.
  If you buy a new property, you have the certainty of knowing what your financial commitments are from the start.
   
Renovating – Disadvantages Buy and Move – Disadvantages
If you choose to move out while the renovations are being carried out, this can be costly, with 2 moves – out and back in again. Other costs could be temporary furniture storage and connection costs of services at your rental accommodation. For some people, a move can be a stressful situation. Unless you are buying in the same area, you will have to settle into a new community, new neighbours, new schools, etc.
There is a risk of cost blow-outs for the unexpected, so you may pay for more than you originally planned. You will have selling, buying and moving costs which could be put towards the cost of renovations.
Renovations, especially major renovations, are not for the faint-hearted. Renovations are generally very messy and often take longer than most people bargain for.  

 

At the end of the day, deciding whether to move house or renovate is a big decision and one that will come down to you and your family’s particular lifestyle needs, and the costs involved.

 

Our highly qualified & trained team are here to guide you through the sometimes stressful decision. Boasting many years and in fact – generations – of experience in-fact we understand the fundamentals that drive our local market, from units, townhouses and cottages to the harbour side lifestyle in magnificent waterfront estates. Having made the choices ourselves over the years we would be delighted to share our thoughts & experience of what will be in your best interest moving forward.

 

We look forward to seeing you at our opens and auction this weekend! Click Here for our inspection times.

 

Best Wishes,

 

The Team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth Balgowlah.

 

To keep an eye on this week’s reported Seaforth real estate, Clontarf real estate, Balgowlah real estate, Balgowlah Heights real estate and North Balgowlah real estate Click Here*

*Sales are as reported by Australian Property monitors on 27/05/2010