Sydney property market has suddenly caught a cold – auction clearance rates in the past two weeks have been down and agents report fewer visitors to open houses.
Properties were being passed in because buyers were reluctant to commit, said Paul Lowe, of Ray White Double Bay.
”The last interest rate rise has put some uncertainty in the minds of most buyers,” he said.
Most inner-west agents detect a cool wind blowing through their recently booming market.
”None of the vendors are happy,” a Newtown agent, Ee Poh Ling, said. ”I’ve seen it before, in October 2003. It was hot as crazy. the following week I stood at an open and I said, ‘Did I forget to put an ad in, where are my buyers?’ ”
Faced with fewer buyers, many agents are encouraging vendors to sell before auction. Colin Hills, from Forsyth Willoughby, recently sold 3 Milton Street, Frenchs Forest, for $830,000 before auction.
Mr Hills said he had 40 groups through the home and they had given a price indication of just under $800,000. The successful buyer pushed the boundaries, he said, and the vendor accepted.
Despite the sudden chill in the property market, no one is predicting that prices are about to plummet. After a year in which median prices jumped 20 per cent, the senior economist at BIS Shrapnel, Jason Anderson, is instead forecasting a quarter of no growth, either in the June or September quarters. Although Mr Anderson thought the slowing of the market could then encourage more first-time buyers, I don’t agree. I believe more investors will return to the market and this will push the first-home buyers away.