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Market Wrap March 2016

Sydney – Brisbane – Melbourne – Newcastle

So what is happening in Property on the East Coast of Australia?

We asked 4 buyers agents in the know for their opinion and here is what they have to say…


Despite the media’s best attempts to put fear into the hearts of Sydney buyers the real estate landscape is still quite buoyant.

We are not seeing significant discounting although agents are more actively following up on sales enquiries which is a slight hint that change is coming.

The Easter auction clearance rates were 68.6% so whilst the 80% weeks are behind us that is still a very significant number.

A lot of investor enquiries we receive tends to be for outer lying areas – Central Coast through to Newcastle. A lot of Sydney investors are also buying in Brisbane.

Overseas buyer enquiry is steady with expats securing property in premium pockets. These areas have 3-4% rental yields so these buyers are chasing capital growth and securing their slice of Sydney for the future.

Jo Vadillo
Buyers Agent Sydney
Advocate Services


We tend to focus on investor buying in Brisbane. We have Carol Lawson our local buyers’ agent who is an active investor herself and she knows the market very well. As such we have strong referral networks too with a lot of property presented to us off-market.

Properties are selling the fastest we have seen in 7 years with some selling in a day. We are often buying when there are multiple offers on the table which wasn’t an issue a year ago.

There is a lot of buyers’ agent activity in the outer suburbs of Brisbane. Demand from interstate buyers is driving this.

There are a large number of Sydney and Melbourne investors which is contributing to the prices rising. Brisbane is sitting at about 9pm on the property clock.

Be cautious buying any off-the-plan apartments in the city of Brisbane with expected developments likely to outstrip demand for the next 7 to 10 years according to valuers Herron Todd White. This will impact vacancy rates and prices in the inner city ring.

We always suggest to buyers to look for infrastructure, schools, shops, public transport, parks, entertainment and employment. There is always an opportunity for those that know what to look for.
Greg Vadillo
Buyers Agent Brisbane/Sydney
Advocate Property Services


Melbourne has just passed the pressure test of the year with 1476 properties going up for auction and with a clearance of 75%. The same Saturday last year we had 1170 with a clearance of 76%.

The inner suburbs of Melbourne are still performing extremely well with the eastern premium suburbs still out performing any expectations of a downturn in the market place. Family homes in inner Melbourne will be the stand out performers for capital growth. There is a huge shortage of family homes and that is what will drive the capital growth for 2016.

Period homes in Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell, Prahran, North Carlton all sold well over the expected reserves.

However you can still buy a house in the inner northern and inner western suburbs for under $1m.  A property in Thornbury struck a record price of $1,945,000 with strong bidding from several bidders.

For you who would like to develop a property it is getting harder and harder. You really need to live in the property and renovate it over a period of time to achieve a good return on investment. House blocks with 600sqm + are being heavily sort after by developers.

In Spotswood which is in the inner west two properties sold to investors in the same street. 10 Strong Street was sold for $560,000 in 2013. On Saturday it sold with plans and permits for $1,117,000. 14 Strong Street was sold for $205,000 in 2006. On Saturday it sold for $977,000 to a developer.

There will not be any real capital growth in apartments and units. However you can be adding value by renovating the older style properties.

Capital growth will not decline within a 12km radius of Melbourne. The reason property grows in value is because land is a scarce commodity. They are not making any more.

Outer suburbs like Frankston, Skye, Rowville, Ferntree Gully Lilydale, Diamond Creek, Epping, Broadmeadows, Deer Park are stagnating with minimal growth.

Karin Mackay
Buyers Agent Melbourne
Australian Property Buyers


Newcastle is Australia’s 7th largest City, with a population of just under 500,000 for Newcastle/Lake Macquarie.  There is a broad range of industry including manufacture, power generation, agriculture, wineries, cattle and equine, tourism, health, medical research and education.  Newcastle boasts the largest working harbour in Australia.

The vibrancy is obvious and it’s a great place to call home with a relaxed lifestyle of harbour side living, fishing and water activities on Lake Macquarie, Australia’s largest Saltwater Lake and world Class beaches.

The Hunter Valley has been awarded Australia’s Best Wine Region in the 2015 Australian Traveller People’s Choice award.

Infrastructure continues to expand:

·        The $1.7 Billion Hunter Expressway to the Hunter Valley has considerably reduced travel time from Newcastle and Sydney.

·        The airport, located 20 minutes from the city, has undergone $15.4 Million in upgrades allowing for extra domestic routes and has been declared “international ready”.

·        The termination of the heavy rail line at Wickham has opened up the harbor foreshore into the older CBD area of Newcastle resulting in high desirability of Inner City living, with 17 major developments DA lodged, approved or under construction.

·        The New $90 Million Court House has just opened and construction is underway for the world first $95 Million University Flexible Learning Centre CBD campus to cater for an additional 4000 students.

·        A walking path from the foreshore extends around the beaches to the recently completed $4.5 Million ANZAC Memorial Walk, a 450m walkway with spectacular 360 degree views of the ocean and city.

With more affordable, lower entry prices compared to Capital Cities, good rental yields and low vacancy rates makes Newcastle an attractive location for property investors.  Well located properties with value adding potential are available in the range of high $300k’s to mid $400k’s. Steady growth without the reactive spikes and dips of other locations, makes the area attractive for long term investment.  Land is in short supply, especially in the inner city suburbs, providing opportunity and support from council to increase density with granny flats, dual occupancy, subdivision and development.  The ease of adding value is also useful for a flipping strategy for those wishing to create extra cash flow.  An example might be to buy a house to renovate, build another dwelling at the rear, subdivide and then either sell both, keep both or sell one/keep one.

The growth in Newcastle is suggested to continue with anticipated to flow on from Sydney. The latest Residential Property Prospects 2015-2018 report for BIS Schrapnel, highlights that Newcastle could see a rise in property prices by 10% over the next 3 years.

Judith Taylor
Buyers Agent/Sellers Advocate
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