Is now a good time to buy or sell? Weekly market wrap with Sam Dodimead




This, or a variation of this (“what is the market like?”) is often one of the first questions I get asked in social settings when those I am speaking with find out I work in real estate. Initially, this sounds like a straightforward question; the answer is either yes or no. However, it isn’t as straightforward as it initially seems, as the real estate market is comprised of a number of sub-markets.

This is especially true in Canberra as our city is planned around multiple town centres, each surrounded by apartments, townhouses and houses whichare a mix of established properties, brand new builds and those being sold off-plan. Each sub-market has its own typical vendor, buyer and tenant demographics that need to be considered when determining the state of the market.

SQM Research reported in March that Canberra had an 11% increase in the number of properties advertised for sale month on month; however, the number of listings was still down 15.4% year on year. During the last week, there were 30.3% fewer established properties listed for sale on Allhomes. Buyers looking for established properties have far less choice. For those considering selling, this poses an opportunity to offer their property for sale with significantly less competition.

During the last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported there were 1,942 fewer dwellings approved in Canberra than in the previous year. This means people buying off-plan in low-rise, medium-density developments won’t see an increase in their available options in the immediate future. There is potential supply within the apartment market in town centres as multiple Development Applications for large projects have been lodged or approved during the last year. This shows the reduction in the number of dwellings approved could in effect be compressed further by developers choosing not to release stock.

Across the stock I am working on, the number of appointments and sales has increased week on week. The people actively looking for and buying property have been a mix of purchaser demographics but have shared the belief there is a significant proportion of our local population without concerns about their employment. Most of them perceive market conditions as favourable and are ready, willing and able to buy now.

Despite the uncertainty currently caused to some parts of the economy, the reduced supply, underlying demand and confidence amongst buyers and sellers highlights that now appears to be as good a time as any to be making the decision to buy or to sell.


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With Sam Dodimead, local property professional and host of Canberra Property Podcast

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