Buyers still seeking to transact in city and regional property markets

APRIL 22, 2020

A combination of new technologies, old-school sales skills and preapproved mortgages are enabling vendors around Australia to find motivated buyers for their properties according to leading real estate group, Raine & Horne.


In Sydney’s east, Raine & Horne Maroubra is continuing to put motivated buyers and sellers together despite the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.


The leading Maroubra firm sold two properties last week including the off-market transaction of a modern apartment at 8/505-507 Bunnerong Road Matraville for an undisclosed price. The firm also sold a sizeable single villa at 8/42-46 Bath Street Monterey for a price close to the vendor’s expectations.


Selling agent, Paul Spanoudakis, Principal of Raine & Horne Maroubra said social distancing regulations were forcing successful agents to reemploy some old-school sales techniques to win buyers over.


“Technologies such as virtual 3D tour technologies are working well in getting buyers to take an interest in a property. However, it’s the selling skills employed at a private inspection that seem to be getting transactions over the line in this market.


“At private inspections, agents must engage with buyers. It’s no longer a case of standing at the door at on open home and taking names and numbers.


“Now, with one-on-one inspections, agents must take the time to get to know buyers and understand what they want. This process is allowing us to more quickly bring the buyers together with the vendors to secure a sale.


“It’s is how we did real estate twenty years ago when I started in the industry, and it’s working.”


Mr Spanoudakis said buying enquiries were still reasonable but were lower than in March. “We can’t kid ourselves that buyer numbers are down.


“But there are people who have preapproved mortgages and are motivated to buy now. It’s a great time for these people to buy with interest rates at historic lows.”




In the south-western suburbs of Adelaide, the real estate market is keeping its head above water, reports John Cullen, Principal of Raine & Horne Kurralta Park.


“We have finalised more sales this month already than in March, which is a fascinating result. Buyer numbers are still strong, and there are plenty around who have finance in place looking to make a move,” Mr Cullen said.


“If properties are priced to sell by their vendors, then they are selling. If vendors are sticking to pre-COVID prices, then they won’t sell.”


While there are plenty of buyers, Mr Cullen said real estate speculators are attempting to benefit from the COVID-19 challenges.


“In this situation, the experienced real estate agents are sheltering their vendors from opportunist buyers who are making these significant lowball offers.”


At the same time, Mr Cullen, who started in real estate in 2000, is advising all buyers that they should get into the market now as it will rebound once COVID-19 measures are relaxed.


“We saw how the real estate market bounced after the end of GFC and once again in the wake of last year’s Federal Election when negative gearing laws were retained,” he said.


“Throw in interest rates at historic lows, and the Adelaide market will bounce once we get through this health crisis.”


Regional Queensland


In Central Queensland, towns such as Gladstone were finally starting to find their feet in the earlier months of 2020 after a tough five-year period following the end of the gas refineries construction phase.


“In March, we had one of best months for sales in many years,” said Mark Patton, Principal of Raine & Horne Gladstone.


“That said, our economy is still correlated to the resources and mining services sectors which haven’t been impacted as much to date by COVID-19.


“Consequently, job losses shouldn’t be as high in our region as are expected in other parts of Australia. So, we are quietly confident there won’t be the same level of impact on our region as other markets around the country such as some tourism hotspots with the general perception that our local property values should hold reasonably steady.”