Market Report by Nathan Cardow

Welcome to our monthly real estate report for September 2020- Cardow and Partners Property.

Historically for our area, September and springtime mark a surge in new properties to market, with potential vendors holding off until the weather warms up in anticipation of a more appealing presentation of their property to any would-be buyers. To a buyer, spring would mark the period of opportunity, as stock levels increase so does their potential home selections and normally their bargaining power with a greater supply of listings. This year so far seems to be bucking that trend, with low stock levels still being experienced and demand still far exceeding supply. Recently, we have definitely experienced more ‘city slickers’ continuing to leave the city in droves for regional NSW.  With new blocks of land being very limited, the trend of demand exceeding supply looks as though it will continue for the foreseeable future for our Shire.

It has been interesting to note the statistics that are now being reported that further shows there is no ‘Australian Property Market’, and not only does it vary from state to state, but region to region depending on multiple factors being experienced in each particular area. I have had more than 25 years of conversations with both buyers and sellers in the Bellingen market, so I know there has always been a belief that our market is directly linked to Sydney. Should Sydney rise we should rise, and should Sydney fall we should fall. As we all know to a point this has some merit, however, our region will always create its own performance path. Looking at the statistics released by Domain/Fairfax, it noted Sydney’s median house price declined by 2 per cent up until the quarter ending June. Whereas Bellingen, who came in at no. 5 on the list for most increase experienced by a NSW regional town, rose 16.7% for that same quarter, quite the difference. With the delay in statistics meaning we will have to wait a few weeks yet until we see the quarter ending September come through, all reports indicate the difference between the 2 will be equally diverse. Should anyone wish to read a copy themselves of this domain article just let me know and I will email you over a copy.

If you are looking to put your property on the market, now is definitely a great time to do it to take advantage of the rush! Which brings me to my next point of discussion, and another question high on the list from any potential sellers:  “do I renovate or just sell as is.” Well, the answer initially is normally ‘maybe’, with the correct form of action normally not as black and white as it may seem. Firstly, and most importantly, is the property well maintained and well presented. Are leaking taps fixed? Have torn fly screens been repaired? As trivial as these minor items may seem, they do make a big difference when presenting a home for sale, just like you would detail your car before selling it. It’s simple, but it helps!

Secondly, if you’re thinking about spending a considerable amount of money on larger renovations such as kitchens and bathrooms, care needs to be taken to make sure both time and money spent will be recouped in the final sale price. I’m sure we have all seen shows on TV like ‘The Block’, where each couple gets around about the same property and the same amount of money to spend on renovations, however, the final sale prices can vary considerably. Some people are just good at it! If you’re looking at selling, be sure to get your preferred professional agent to invest some time in helping you make sure you get out of the sale what you are trying to achieve.

I’m sure another question out there is- “how long will this market last in our area?” At the moment we are experiencing a lot of factors at play. Record low-interest rates, the migration of buyers from major capitals that have either decided to bite the bullet and move now due to Covid-19 or realised that they can ‘have their cake and eat it too’ by working from home and living somewhere like here. Couple that with our rental vacancy sitting at lower levels than I have ever experienced and less than a handful of residential blocks available for investors to build low maintenance investment homes to ease the demand. Further projects in the pipeline also give us confidence is the Coffs Harbour bypass, which economically will be a win for our area during the construction phase. And let’s not forget to mention Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 6.8%, that did come as a surprise. All these factors currently point to a continued strong property market for our beautiful region

I guess to sum it up, Spring for 2020 is looking positive for the residents of the Bellingen Shire. We are in an extremely fortunate position, much better than most other areas on Earth. I’d think the majority of the population worldwide would swap what we have here for where they live without hesitation. Let that sink in!

Stay safe & be thankful for where you live. Should there be any real estate queries or assistance you may require, feel free to give one of our friendly helpful staff a call on 02 6655 1049.