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Buyer numbers surge at open inspections

Home buyers
10 October 2022
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Busy spring market expected with more buyers and listings

Buyer confidence is returning to the market where rising numbers at home inspections are bringing cheer to home sellers.

Late September and early October saw the number of groups at some home inspections double or triple compared to previous months, according to several Barry Plant directors and agents.

After a series of interest rate rises in recent months, the hot market conditions of  2020-21 cooled somewhat, but now buyers have started to return and more auctions have seen stronger bidding.

“There was a distinctly noticeable surge in buyer numbers at the weekend (October 1-2) compared to recent months, with nearly 30 groups through in half an hour at each open,” Barry Plant Taylors Lakes director James Hatzimoisis said.

“This resurgence of interest from buyers is great news for the market in the north west.”

He noted that numbers had decreased substantially from May to July, probably due to the elections and interest rate rises which impacted confidence.

“Many buyers were out and about and perhaps there is an urgency to buy before the end of the year, so that families can move, get settled before Christmas, and sort out new schools or employment in the new year.”

Mr Hatzimoisis said new listings in particular attracted strong interest during their first opens on October 1, including 3 Cumberland Grove, Taylors Hill, (image below) which had 24 groups through. Another 27 groups inspected 19 Birchgrove Way, Taylors Hill (image below)

In the city’s southeast region of Frankston, recent inspections have seen buyer numbers triple for some properties, and 31 groups attended the first open of 19 Quamby Avenue, Frankston. (image below)

“This has been the busiest we have been in 12 months,” Barry Plant Frankston director Thomas Larkin said.

“While numbers had been low, we are now seeing 20-30 groups at some opens.”

He attributed the change in buyer sentiment to more realistic pricing of properties by sellers.

“Owners coming to market are more realistic with prices and more reasonable price points attract buyers to inspect and bid at auctions,” Mr Larkin said.

Another factor that was helping buyers return was the adjustment to recent interest rate rises, he added. 

“Buyers are getting accustomed to the hikes, and rates were actually higher in previous years as well,” Mr Larkin said.

“We are starting again to do more auctions and there is better attendance at auctions with more competition and activity.”

Tight stock levels were also benefiting sellers, as there was less choice for buyers and more competition for properties.

In the city’s east, a popular listing expected to sell well at auction was 9 Orion Place, Doncaster East (image below), which has been inspected by nearly 100 groups of buyers.

“We have seen good numbers at inspections and this property is in a popular school zone and on a flat block,” Barry Plant Manningham partner Todd Lucas said. 

Listed for the first time since 1975, the four-bedroom house on 765sq m has lush gardens and a serene court location.

“More buyers turning up shows confidence in the market, and in our area, people are buying for the long term,” Mr Lucas said.

“Buyers are seeing better value now, and we have more listings and auctions lined up for later in October and November.”

In the Monash area, groups of between 20 and 40 buyers have attended the first open inspections at several properties, according to Barry Plant Mt Waverley sales manager Jason Chow.

“We have seen big numbers through the inspections, and this has changed from the start of interest rate rises where inspection numbers fell,” he said.

“Buyers know what is happening and have factored in interest rate increases, and also they feel the market has already dropped.”

He noted that more buyers are coming back to the market, and this would drive up prices in coming months.

“Monash properties are still doing well with a high clearance rate, and we see bidder numbers going up, especially for properties that are in move-in condition or turnkey,” 

Mr Chow said.

Recent auctions have seen multiple bidders turn up and deliver strong prices for sellers, with 32 Monash Drive, Mulgrave (image below), attracting 20 groups at each inspection.

The well-renovated house with three bedrooms sold for $1.07 million with six bidders pushing it well past the seller’s price hopes. 

Another strong sale was 2/13 Lee Avenue, Mt Waverley (image below), which had more than 80 groups and attracted five bidders.

The three-bedroom unit on 282sq m sold for $967,000.

In the outer-east, Barry Plant Heathmont & Ringwood auctioneer Tamazin Edwards has noticed more new buyers at inspections and auctions.

“Last Saturday (October 1) saw extremely high buyer numbers, with many known to us and also many new ones,” she said.

“We had 30 groups and more at some opens, especially family homes.”

Two new Heathmont listings that had strong inspection numbers at the first open were 4 Anne Court and 1 Headline Court, (see below) which are expected to attract good buyer interest.

Home buyers
10 October 2022
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