It has been a year of both highs and lows. With the world shutting down due to the global pandemic that is COVID-19 to the most active buyer market we have experienced in 10 years, the real estate industry has been through a lot this year! Here is a comprehensive breakdown of how the real estate market played out in our region, and how it will continue into the new year.
Firstly let’s give some context. We ended 2019 on a high with sales in all regions of Australia representing a sales spike, with sales exceeding the amount of that in 2018.
As the same as any January, the market started to kick into gear. With people returning from Christmas break and the various public holidays, not a lot of listings hit the market, however, the buyer activity was still present and properties we tracking well.
This steady market continued into February. We also secured 15 auction listings and hosted our first in-room event for the year. The market also started to pick up again after the Christmas/New year Period.
As more and more cases started to pop up in Queensland, we started to sense come uncertainty in the market. Listings were still popping up, however, buyer interest was lower than previous months. Towards the end of the month, COVID lockdown restrictions were implemented, preventing us from conducting open home inspections. These restrictions also saw the end of auctions as we know them. We quickly adapted to these changes, offering video virtual walkthroughs, Facetime inspections, and live-streamed auction events.
The federal government implemented a 6 month no eviction moratorium for rent arrears caused by the impacts of COVID-19. The positives to come from the announcements are that we now have some clear policy to work with and it is important property managers have a solid understanding of the changes that will affect them, their owners, and tenants during the COVID-19 moratorium. We also hosted our second livestream auction for the year, with more properties selling virtually, despite the market uncertainty.
Restrictions started to ease and we were allowed to conduct open homes again. We entered the month with our heads held high, having gained 40 new listings and 27 new managements, securing 34 contracts and a 0.46% vacancy rate, auctioning over 20 properties, and leasing 53 properties during the 6-week COVID-19 lockdown.
Buyers started to come out from everywhere! In the first weekend of June, we broke an iThink record, with close to 100 buyers visiting our open homes. This just continued throughout the month and into July.
Started to pick up again – more buyers out and about across both Ipswich and Toowoomba. We also hosted another massive livestream auction with 8 properties going under the hammer.
We wrapped up winter with some of our best stats of the year. Over the season we secured 91 listings, sold 82 properties, amounting to $36.6M worth of property. During this month we also expanded our team, welcoming four new staff members.
The market continued on an upward trajectory with the sales team celebrating 36 contracts and selling over $14M worth of property. We also started to see a big flood of buyers attending our weekly open homes.
Another record-breaking month for the sales team. 42 new listings, 37 contracts and $17.8M worth of property sold! Open homes remained steady throughout the month. With a lot of interstate buyer and investor activity taking place. One major takeaway from COVID is that you can truly work from anywhere, so many buyers are buying in QLD for the lifestyle. Investors have also recognised this trend alongside the strong rental market, making it the perfect region to invest in.
This month was our property manager’s time to shine. Across the two offices, we leased close to 30 properties, received almost 100 applications, maintained a 0.95% vacancy rate, and gained 10 new managements. In terms of sales, we secured 48 contracts, gained 36 listings, and sold $18.1M worth of property.
We kicked off the last month of 2020 with a bang! Getting all properties under contract before our last in-room auction for the year. Since then both sales and property management have been ticking along amazingly. Our Toowoomba property management team has secured a 0% vacancy rate and our Ipswich team not following far behind with less than 1% of properties vacant. The RBA also announced that no changes would be made to the cash rate, and the government extended the home builder grant till March 31st, 2021.
In most recent statistics found by Realestate.com.au, the rental market is extremely strong, with rental demand continuing to increase month-to-month. In particular, the QLD rental market is booming with a further 1.5% increase just in the last week.
This same study also showed that the demand to buy is up 44.9% compared to this time in 2019. The year-on-year change is trending higher, demonstrating the strength in the current demand. There continues to be a large buyer demand and a shortage of property. So well marketed properties are selling quickly and for higher prices due to this buyer demand, this will continue into 2021.
Both of these statistics suggest a strong rental and sales market for 2021. Perfect if you are looking to grow your investment portfolio next year will be the perfect time to do so.
With people staying home or having holidays here in Australia due to international travel restrictions, buyers will be actively searching for a property over the Christmas/New Year period. We anticipate a strong selling market right through to Easter 2021.
Other factors that also suggest a strong 2021 market include: low borrowing costs, higher household savings, and government stimulus. The one major struggle for the 2021 market will be securing stock to satisfy the buyer market. If you are thinking about selling, now is the perfect time to do so! If you are looking for an agency with a difference, give us a call today on 3202 3040.