August appraisals surge by as much 40% as owners seek new homes by Christmas as COVID-19 news improves

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

Property appraisals increased by as much as 40% in August compared to the previous month, which is a sure-fire sign that upgraders are seeking to be settled in new homes before Christmas, according to research from leading property group, Raine & Horne.


“With Christmas now just 15 weeks away combined with the JobKeeper extension until March 2021 and low-interest rates, our offices are reporting that vendor confidence and activity improved dramatically in August,” said Angus Raine, Executive Chairman, Raine & Horne.


“The bounce in August appraisals also reflects a growing community sense that apart from Victoria, COVID-19 is not as bad as predicted,” Mr Raine said. 


“Also, if you have job security, the cost of money is very appealing with loans with as low as 1.99% making upgrading into a bigger more possible for many owner-occupiers.


Mr Raine added that appraisal requests from investment property owners were also on the increase. “There seems to be a move by some investors to rebalance their property portfolios,” he said.


“Many vendors have decided they can’t wait forever and are now aiming to finalise their next property move before the Christmas break.”


Massive 40% surge in appraisals in Sydney Inner West hotspots


In Sydney’s Inner West, Raine & Horne Marrickville reports sales appraisals were up by about 40% in August compared to July, with the run to Christmas combined with the government’s July decision on JobKeeper contributing to improved vendor activity. 


“August was much busier in July as there seems to be more confidence in the market thanks to the extension of government support such as JobKeeper,” said Michael Smith, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Marrickville. 


“Our agents were out doing back-to-back appraisals in August, which gives us a good sense that vendor confidence has returned in spades.”


Requests for appraisals ranged from entry-level 1-bedroom apartments valued at around $500,000 through to multimillion-dollar homes, with the majority of appraisal requests for 2-3 bedroom homes priced near the Marrickville median property price of $1.4 million. 


Raine & Horne’s interactive digital appraisal platform, Digikit contributed significantly to the Marrickville office’s ability to convert more appraisals into listings in August, Mr Smith noted. 


Digikit provides vendors with tailored appraisals for sales and property management which can be sent to potential clients fast and effectively. The platform is responsive on multiple devices – making it easy for the consumer to access appraisals anytime, anywhere.


Mr Raine says, “Digikit informs and empowers the consumer with not only detailed information about the appraisal of the property, a listing of comparable sales but also has a comprehensive A-Z of the sales process.


“DigiKit is also brilliant for out-of-town investors as it provides them with a comprehensive resource to make informed decision when selling a rental property.”


Polished appraisals support surge in sales enquiries in Unley


In inner Adelaide, Raine & Horne Unley was flat out delivering appraisals in August, noted the firm’s director, Constantine Pappas. Appraisals in August were 30% higher than in July.


“Some of the appraisals have converted into immediate listings while other vendors are just gauging the lie of the land with a move by Christmas a possible goal.”


Mr Pappas confirmed that appraisal requests in August ranged from two-bedroom apartments worth about $330,000 to high-end homes valued at $1.2 million. 


Mr Pappas added that Digikit was central to the spike in appraisals. “The innovative technology that is DigiKit allows us to submit an electronic pre-appraisal presentation that tracks how a potential vendor is interacting with the document via the online metrics.


“We are leading the market in this space. We recently listed a property in Unley where the vendor told us that from the minute, we took their call, to the pre-appraisal submission and the appraisal presentation it was the most polished presentation they’ve come across.


Appraisal gold on the coast


On the Gold Coast, Digikit proponent Jason Read, Principal of Raine & Horne Coomera says the digital platform is integral to the firm experiencing a spike in approvals in August. 


“In August, our appraisals ranged from $200,000 for an entry-level single bedroom townhouse to a modern $1.5 million waterfront home at Coomera Waters.”


“We worked the phones hard and instituted a ‘50 calls for 50 days’ sales push in August to rev up more appraisals, and the professional and polished Digikit is helping us convert these leads to listings,’ Mr Read said. 


“Digikit is brilliant because it seamlessly wraps all the information our vendors want into a professional appraisal document in a straightforward format that we can track to monitor their pain points by seeing what they click on.”


For example, Mr Read recently won a listing for the home of a vendor facing the rigours of chemotherapy. “Our COVID-19 processes about open homes and our use of virtual tours were vital for this vendor. 


“There were three agents in the running for this listing, and we were the only firm to provide an electronic appraisal document.


“Subsequently doing as much of the appraisal work electronically gave us a big tick with this vendor and we won the listing,” Mr Read confirmed.