In my 34 years of real estate I have never seen so many things aligned to suggest this should be a stellar year. Here are my predictions for the market this year.
1. The death of downsizing. COVID-19 has taught people their home is their castle. They are not looking for less space, they are looking for more space. Bigger is better, and making your home a lifestyle residence that includes a swimming pool, gymnasium, and the Zoom room suggests this is the year of upgrading.
2. The inner circle of Sydney to become attractive again after many people chose to go regional during the COVID year. As the vaccination programs are rolled out, the confidence in metropolitan areas will gain strength and some of the potential tree and sea change buyers will choose to stay close to the city.
3. The higher range prestige market will have a fantastic year. As expats continue to slowly return to Australia, they will also bring money and an appetite to make Australia their home again. The extra buyer demand will push prices further.
4. With interest rates so low we will see more tenants become buyers, which will in turn push all price ranges upwards. All the data firms are predicting increases of 5-10 per cent. This should in turn impact the rental market with higher vacancy rates and rents remaining soft. Landlords will drop rents to existing tenants to lock them in on lease extensions. Losing a few dollars for a landlord is better than getting no rent.
5. Mid-February to end of March may provide a small buying window with a large number of properties expected to hit the market. A lot of listings on the market at one time means a buyer has choice and can bargain better on prices.
6. Technology to become the new normal for buyers and sellers. Consumers will expect continued access to the tools that gained popularity during COVID-19, such as electronic signing tools and online auctions.
7. The Winter market will be strong. With no international travel, will see buyers and sellers transact right through the June-July period, when real estate traditionally takes a break.
Note that these predictions are subject to a couple of potential roadblocks that could impact a great year; being geographical COVID outbreaks and the planned total withdrawal of JobKeeper in March.