Word on the street: Market, Property Management and New Projects updates
As summer reaches its peak and the streets of Melbourne buzz with activity, the property market is no different. And our Sales, Property Management and New Projects teams are certainly keeping up. Want to know what they’re reflecting on from Q4 2023 – and what will be keeping them busy in 2024? Read on to get up to date with all of the latest market movements and trends.
According to our market experts, Gary Peer, Jeremy Rosens, Leon Gouzenfiter and Leor Samuel, the Q4 2023 property market had a light beginning. But by the end of the year, it was blooming again – in full force.
What’s happening now?
Two types of property are heavily on the rise: investment-grade stock and apartment blocks. And buyers (especially first-home buyers) are reaping the benefits.
Due to compliance and tax issues, more people are selling their investment properties. And since other investors aren’t buying back in, it means we’re selling a lot more apartments to first-home buyers.
We’re also seeing more apartment blocks coming to market than usual, often facing less competition than expected.
The big news? Interest rates rose again. Meaning we have double the stock – with the same number of buyers. These extra properties will sell, but may spend more days on the market.
With those increases, buyers lost confidence for a while. But December turned that around, with strong clearance rates and competition for listings.
Generational homes, especially in the McKinnon school zone and Brighton East, are still selling at near-record prices. But the hottest properties are renovated homes and side-by-side townhouses. We expect it to stay that way for some time, too.
What were the quarter’s standout sales?
4 Allfrey Street was one of Brighton’s best, selling for $3.28 million via an expression of interest.
In St Kilda East, 47 Milburn Grove sold at auction after a tough bidding war between five buyers, coming to an incredibly exciting – and happy – ending for all involved.
It’s also hard to look past 1/4 Eleebana Avenue, Hughesdale. The sale was more cinematic than usual – selling for $1.19 million after a three-bidder battle during its mid-week twilight auction!
Where to from here?
Buyers can look forward to – hopefully – no more interest rate rises, meaning they can fully enjoy all the great stock coming to market.
There may be rate cuts with the low levels of unemployment and increased immigration – potentially fuelling the start of the next market hike. So 2024’s momentum will depend on February and March, with some vendors holding off if they see the market slowing down. If they do, stock levels will likely balance out with the price strength continuing.
Property Management updates
As our experts, Jenny Caughey and Anthony Lee, explain, it’s no secret that the property market has significantly changed between 2020 and 2023.
What are the rental providers doing?
From COVID-19 to heavily discounted rents to new compliance laws – not to mention newly imposed taxes and increased interest rates – our clients have never had to spend so much in such a short time.
Because of these new costs, many investors are leaving the market and scrambling to sell.
But we have some advice for them: don’t make a long-term decision on a short-term problem.
Rents are recovering. Vacancies are quickly being absorbed. And the market is probably the best it’s been for two to three years. All this to say: last year’s biggest problems are now in the rearview mirror.
Where to from here?
A new land tax will come into effect from 1 July 2024 with the purpose of paying back the COVID levy. It will take getting used to, but once property owners understand the amounts payable and how to pay it, we expect to see a much more settled second half of 2024.
On the VCAT front, many of the historical cases from COVID times are set to settle this year – bringing a welcome closure to all involved.
Ultimately, there are calmer waters ahead! By holding firm in your rental and trusting your property manager, you can rest assured that your property is well looked after – while you continue to enjoy a stable income.
New Projects updates
As we roll into the new year, we certainly feel the heat – both of the summer sun and the many exciting developments in the works.
The big picture
When we talk about ‘the big picture’ – we truly mean BIG.
Closing out 2023, we saw the conclusion – and start – of many big projects. We worked with several big developers. And we began planning for an even bigger 2024.
But we also continued with the year’s trend of dealing massively with ‘right-sizers’ – people looking for a lovely, new, three-to-four-bedroom townhouse or apartment to settle into.
Our own backyard
One highlight from 2023? We had two sellout projects – Maple and Indio – both due to settle this year.
And ‘Caulfield North’ is one of our most exciting projects in the pipeline. Many of these in-demand luxury apartments on Balaclava Road have already sold pre-market – with the rest sure to go fast early this year.
As for Burton Place, a limited-edition enclave of eight spacious townhouses in the heart of Ashburton, construction is already underway. So we’re incredibly excited to see it take shape in the coming months.
Onwards and upwards
We’re thrilled to kick the year off with the construction of a new local superstar: Seymour and Blanche. With a new builder appointed at the end of 2023, work will begin soon on these Elsternwick luxury townhouses.
Not to mention half a dozen other new projects that we’re bringing to market, including townhouses, houses and apartments.
Overall, this momentum will carry throughout 2024. Leading to a bigger and better year. With quality development partners and more exciting projects in the wings, we will continue to provide the best opportunities for our buyers.