Whilst 2012 saw some improvements in the property market, many property seekers are wondering what is likely to happen this year. Will the market strengthen? Where are the best spots to buy? Generally, most experts agree that we will see positive results this year, and to get the insiders view, we spoke to three key industry experts:
Janet Spencer, Director, Buyer Solutions
Tim Fletcher, Director, Fletchers Real Estate
Toby Parker, Director, Hockingstuart Balwyn & Hawthorn
What are your general expectations for real estate in 2013?
Janet Spencer – I think 2013 will see more confidence from buyers to action their property plans. 2012 saw many buyers adopt a “wait and see” attitude. After the market stabilizing somewhat in spring and interest rate reductions lowering the cost of ownership, more buyers are active. Investors are phoning Buyer Solutions and wanting to add to their portfolios, which is good to see.
Tim Fletcher – Plenty of positives are emerging for 2013 for both buyers and sellers. I see this continuing with a steady increase in real estate activity and some areas of Melbourne performing better than others, as is always the case.
Traditionally the market is underpinned by people upgrading, investors and first home buyers, whose return is evident due to affordability and up to 30% stamp duty relief. Leading financiers report an increase in lending, migrants still favour Melbourne, so our population continues to grow and under-supply prevails.
Toby Parker – I think we will see more activity in the market next year as a result of increasing housing affordability spurred on by successive interest rate cuts. Prices will stabilise going into next year and we expect to see a slight increase closer to the end of 2013.
What are the key opportunities for buyers to keep an eye out for in 2013?
Janet Spencer – If the residential market continues to be patchy, there will still be some good bargains to secure. Buyers need to be patient and active, ensuring they watch as much property as possible to pick a bargain. I think there may be some good commercial buys with gross yields of 7 to 8% for investors to secure.
Tim Fletcher – Opportunities don’t last, so act while properties are still within your reach; an affordable market provides a great opportunity to upgrade. Research what financial assistance you may be eligible for as a first home owner or pensioner through the State Revenue Office. Also take advantage of good deals being offered on home loans now.
Watch results, keep abreast of trends to maximise your return (e.g. popularity of units, new industry and infrastructure that will make an area more attractive, etc).
Toby Parker – As a result of the market stabilising, now has never been a better time to buy. This provides good opportunity for those looking to upgrade into a bigger home – you can get more bang for your buck than you could get 12 months ago.
Which key suburbs do you predict will have good growth in 2013?
Janet Spencer – In the residential market, I think period style homes in Brunswick, Thornbury, Preston and Coburg in the better streets are still undervalued. Also, buying in Newport, Yarraville and parts of Seddon are still rewarding.
Tim Fletcher – Areas previously in great demand that experienced a period of dormancy should re-energise now. Whilst erratic growth is sometimes seen in various suburbs, in the main, good growth can only be assured in blue-chip, established suburbs that are accessible to city and with good infrastructure.
For good capital growth in emerging areas you need to consider the old fundamentals of infrastructure, industry and transport. I predict that Thornbury, Yarraville, Mitcham, Blackburn, Box Hill and Ringwood will show reasonable growth in 2013.
Toby Parker – Within the inner city Melbourne market, established suburbs like Surrey Hills and Mont Albert will continue to perform in 2013. The fundamentals still remain, though, with buyers after properties close to amenities, public transport and schools.
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