“2010 was simply too good. It was a freak market,” Mr McCarthy said.
Although official March 2011 quarter industry figures won’t be released for another two months, in-house data from the Barry Plant Group, Melbourne’s largest real estate network, recorded sales for the first quarter of 2011 at $927 million, a slide of just 1.3 per cent compared to $939 million of sales in the same period in 2009.
In 2010, the group’s sales for the March quarter totalled $1176 million, which equates to a 21.2 per cent drop for this quarter, still well below the expected 30 per cent.
“Although figures are well down on last year’s, that’s across the board, and most in the industry considered the bumper sales of 2010 as a ‘freak market’. The comparison with 2009 is more meaningful,” Mr McCarthy said.
In the quarterly Barry Plant Group survey, agents across the northern, eastern and south eastern suburbs all agreed the market had taken a downturn and helping vendors understand the tighter market was the biggest challenge they faced this quarter.
“Vendors had higher expectations on house prices that did not match the down-swing in market prices and the numbers of buyers,” said Tim Stickley from Barry Plant Noble Park/Keysborough.
Brenton Wilson from Barry Plant Rowville said he had double the availability of stock compared to the same time last year.
“Therefore, there was a supply and demand shift and we had buyers with less urgency to buy.”
Across the board at Barry Plant, around a quarter of the 2236 properties sold in the March quarter were listed to sell by auction.
James Hatzimoisis at Barry Plant Taylors Lakes said first home buyers had ‘pegged back’.
“Finance is getting very difficult to obtain and high stock levels allow buyers to have choice, hence, there is less competition to purchase properties.”
A Barry Plant Director in Northcote, who sells 80 per cent of his sales by auctions, sums up the frustrations facing real estate agents:
“A lot of buyers are turning up to auctions but no one is bidding because vendors are still asking unrealistic prices for their properties.”
A Barry Plant Director in Northcote, who sells 80 per cent of his sales by auctions, sums up the frustrations facing real estate agents:.
“When real estate markets get tougher, the better agents with strong brand names do better through achieving better results for their clients.”
With many predicting that March quarter number of sales for Melbourne real estate will dip by as much as 30 per cent, Barry Plant Group Chief Executive Officer, Mike McCarthy says it’s unrealistic to compare sales to the first quarter of 2010.
Barry Plant Survey Quick Facts (of the offices surveyed)
- Lowest Price property sold for the quarter was a two-bedroom duplex unit for $237,000 in the eastern suburbs. A neat, three bedroom home on a quarter acre block was sold in Cockatoo (the Dandenong Ranges) for $270,000.
- Highest price property sold was a 64 square property in Mt Waverley. It was the highest price sold house on a standard 770 square metre block in Mt Waverly. The home featured five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a theatre room and three car garage. The property was sold in the first week of the grand opening of the property.