Buying before Christmas could be the best gift you give yourself

*this article first appeared in the December 2019 Midland Express

Many real estate agents close between the Christmas New Year period. It’s also a time of year where families are preoccupied with school holidays, Christmas celebrations and impending trips. Predictably, property sales start to slow down.

However, for the savvy property seller or buyer, there can be golden opportunities in the lead-up to Christmas. Many of buyers are picking up the pace of their property hunt because while most people are out celebrating and enjoying the festive season and not searching for property, the hunters have a greater opportunity to grab a bargain.

One of the advantages of buying in December is that some sellers might wish to wrap up a deal before the end of year. This might mean they are more open to offers, especially if you can move quickly and settle early. This can lead to a better price for the buyer and peace of mind for the seller moving into the new year. Another potential advantage for buyers is that there can be an opportunity to pick up residual stock, as other buyers drop out of the market.

By this point in the year, many buyers are likely to be experiencing buyer fatigue. They’ve likely been looking at property after property since at least spring and can become frustrated. This can work for or against the seller. Some buyers will end up withdrawing from the market, meaning there will be fewer potential buyers.

Many vendors are reluctant to compete with new stock that comes onto the market in the new year so the opportunity to sell before Christmas is another motivating factor.

There are more advantages then disadvantages for buyers and sellers during the December period, but the greatest opportunity lies in transitioning into a new year (and decade!) without the concerns that come with buying and selling

Richard Branson once said, “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, then you’re on the wrong side”. This is especially true of buying property at Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

For more real estate insights, visit jenniferpearce.com.au

 

Why is the Kyneton market so strong?

*This article was originally published in the November 2019 Midland Express

If you live in Central Victoria, it won’t come as a surprise to you that the property market remains buoyant.

Over the decade, an influx of tree-changers and retiree downsizers have steadily moved into the area. With promises of a more affordable home, an engaging community lifestyle and proximity to Melbourne’s CBD, Kyneton has seen unprecedented growth over the last couple of years.

Prices in Kyneton have risen 12.7 per cent in over a year with median house prices sitting at $580,000 (the national median is around $485,00). The previous year saw a growth of 8.2 per cent.

While the demand for properties in Kyneton remaining high and with limited stock within the local township area for both sale and rent being available, agents are finding interest in areas like Malmsbury, Trentham and Taradale is becoming common.

But it isn’t just first home buyers moving into the community. A sophisticated creative class and professional community, along with couples and individuals who are at the end of their working careers who support the strength of the property market.

Rentals continue to be in hot demand in and around the Macedon Ranges. Tourists and weekenders who delight in the prospect of a move to the country often seek a rental opportunity to “try before they buy”. Add to that a burgeoning seasonal workforce requiring accommodation while working for agribusiness and livestock producers, the rental yield for investors is fantastic to say the least.

With limited stock and land releases in and around Kyneton, and the continued demand for housing, the Kyneton market does not look to be cooling any time soon.

Life in the country sure is sweet, but maybe more so for those considering a sale.

For more on the property market, head to Jenniferpearce.com.au

What happens to the property market in recession

*This article appeared in the October 2019 Midland Express

With the US-China trade wars shaking up global stock markets, concerns have been raised that a US recession could be on the cards. A US recession would nonetheless have direct implications for global growth – which will ultimately hit Australia’s already struggling economy.

So if a recession did hit Australia (two negative quarters of GDP), what would happen to the national housing market? Is the Australian real estate sector really as safe-as-houses?

The last time Australia went into recession was in the early 1990s. Research conducted by Propertyology confirm that the property markets of various locations in Australia produce growth as high as 20 per cent during our last recession and also during the Global Financial Crisis (2008-09).

While an international or national economic downturn is never good for our property markets in a broad sense, the fundamentals of individual cities and towns comes into play when understanding how a downturn might affect the market.

Let’s look at what happened to house prices back then. Nationwide, house prices had been flat or falling even before the start of the recession. The flat spot continued for a while, but before the recession ended, house prices nationally (with the exception of Sydney and Melbourne) quickly began to bend back up.  Sydney and Melbourne eventually rebounded.

The idea that house prices can move very differently in different parts of the country is not an unfamiliar one in Western Australia, where house prices sank dramatically as the mining boom receded. Consider also that the offices of many multi-national corporations have offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and you are getting a sense of how reductions in employment during a recession can impact the market.

The relationship between house prices and economic growth is not direct and simple. Serviceability of loans remains a critical factor when we consider the impacts of a recession and property.

For more on property and how it impacts you, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

Ready, Set, Spring Sale Planning, Go!

*This article first appeared in the September 2019 Midland Express.

Are you looking to sell your home, but waiting until Spring?

Spring is one of the most popular times to buy and sell properties in Kyneton and across Australia.

While we are about a month away, there are a few things you can do now to prepare your home before putting your property on the market this spring.

Every sale needs to start with a plan. Here are some of my key planning tips for you to consider.

Make your repairs

Buyers love a house that is well-maintained and repaired. Why? Because it’s less they have to do after they buy! Even better, they’re willing to pay more for it too.

Repairs take time so it’s smart to get these things rolling now so your home is in great shape by spring.

Declutter now!

Cleaning and decluttering are paramount for first impressions. Declutter by donating or disposing of any items you no longer need – paperwork, kids’ toys, unused furniture. Consider whether you need to replace older furniture or if you transform pieces by using throw rugs or cushions to give your home an affordable “makeover”.

Think garden!

While Spring is the growing season, establishing a good foundation prior can help with the overall presentation at sale time. Plan out your garden now, buy some nice plants and pots, do the manure fertilisation now (better now before buyers arrive!) and you’ll have a garden that springs to life over the coming weeks.

Talk to an agent

Approach local real estate agents and ask them for an appraisal. It is important to get a good idea of where your home is sitting in the market and the prices you should be looking at. An agent can also advise on any changes required that might support the sale.

Selling a home can be a stressful time for many, but early preparation your home will be in tip top shape ready for the sale. For more on real estate, visit jenniferpearce.com.au

Tips to keep your energy bills down this winter

*This article first appeared in the July 2019 Midland Express.

Living in Central Victoria, compared to metropolitan areas it is a few degrees cooler in temperature during the winter months. This can take some adjustment for residents– both physically and financially.

So other than sitting on the heater sipping hot drinks with multiple woolly jumpers on, there are a number of things you can do without scarifying comfort or spiking your energy bill.

Curtains and Blinds

Decorate your windows in your home with good quality curtains and blinds. Using curtains that are lined helps keep the heat in and the cold out by reducing the heat loss through your windows.

Save on appliance use, particularly the clothes dryer

One of the most expensive appliances to run in your house is a clothes dryer. Place an indoor clothes-drying rack in a room that you are heating (such as a living room). The heater is then warming you as well as drying your clothes. To avoid fire risk, never place clothes too close to any heater.

Harness natural heat

Taking simple measures to harness existing free sources of heating in your home by using the heat of the sun to warm up your house. During the day open up all your south and west facing curtains to allow the sun’s rays to stream in the windows and heat up your home. As soon as the sun begins to set, conserve the heat by closing all your curtains and blinds to insulate against heat loss.

Consider an energy audit

Engaging an experienced electrician to conduct an audit will help you measure how much energy each appliance is using, identify which appliances are wasting power due to age or maintenance issues and what you can do to make the move to a more energy efficient home.

Asking for monthly energy bills from your retailer is a great way to measure the impacts of any changes you make. Whatever you choose to do, preparing your house year-round can support the reduction of energy bills.