November 12, 2010

In general, I describe the market since June 2010 as possibly the toughest I have seen in the past 8 years. This is measured by number of sales, difficulty getting deals closed, seller and buyer gap in expectations, and general overall market conditions, sentiment and the outside influences that affect market sentiment.

Here are the stats. and my thoughts on the market.

1.In Applecross the are 130 properties on the market (Plus a few apartments)

2.They have been on the market 137.2 days **

3.Less than 30 days to sell (Average) sellers market, 30-60 days a balanced market, 60 plus a buyer’s market. This is off the charts at present at 137. **

4.There have been 32 sales in Applecross in June, July, August, September and October 2010. Or 6 per month.

5.Current stock levels mean that there is enough stock levels, that it would take 22 months to clear all stock.

6.In Mount Pleasant the are 96 properties on the market (Plus a few apartments)

7.They have been on the market 130.4 days **

8.Less than 30 days to sell (Average) sellers market, 30-60 days a balances market, 60 plus a buyer’s market. This is off the charts at present at 130. **

9.There have been 59 sales in Mount Pleasant in June, July, August, September and October 2010. Or 12 per month.

10. Current stock levels mean that there are enough stock levels that it would take 8 months to clear all stock.

RIGHT NOW there are some agents telling sellers in written appraisals that the average days on market is 45, and that it is a balanced market. I believe that this is reckless, gives false hope, and is part of the reason why many sellers believe things are better than what they are. Agents are not meant to hype up and give false reality to get listings at any cost. Whilst I do not believe in being negative, and am well known for being an optimist, being delusional or ill informed is not in the seller’s best interests.

12. Listings are coming on the market all the time making even greater choice for buyers.

13. I believe that in the past 3-4 months Applecross values are 5-10% down. This backed up Statewide where the official figures show 5% drop in past 3 months, and that is for cheaper median valued properties. I believe upper end values have dropped more.

14. If I was appraising homes today, that I did 3 months ago, it is likely in many cases that the appraisal would be 10% less than it was then.

15. Buyers are cagey, cheeky, in the box seat. I have seen buyers walk rather than counter offer, and then subsequent offers being 10% lower that what was rejected early on. Waiting in this market does not mean more will come later on.

16. I say in this market, it is the worst time to be “testing and patient” for the market to change.

17. In all likelihood, in the short term the market will not change. There is so much stock to soak up, it is hard to see any reasonable argument for prices to go up.

18. The trend is that they are coming down, or at best stagnating.

19. Best case scenario in the short term is low or no growth.

20. It takes usually 12-14 by appt. inspections to generate an offer or 40 numbers through home opens. If we are not getting the inspections, then it means price is an issue.

My advice if selling:

a.Go to market with a realistic price

b.Measure the key performance indicators as “feedback” on price

Little or no inspections is a clue
Low or no offers is a clue
Few midweek inspections is a clue

c.Look at all reasonable offers

d.If on the market now, have an update appraisal (Even if by another agent or a valuer)

e.If that new number is unacceptable, stay put or rent the house out

f. Adjust the asking price until you get nibbles, offers. If no offers it means that the price is at least 10% plus overpriced.

g.If that number is acceptable, sell now at the highest actual price you can get.

23. My advice if buying:

a.Sell first

b.Take advantage of good stock levels and buy well. The money is made on the purchase price by buying well.


1) Price at current fair market value

2) Solicit offers from all potential buyers

3) Review and look at on merit.

Thank you and see you in the market…..IB (Ed)

** We do not cook the books. Industry data is skewed as if a property has been on the market a year, and has had three agents, the real figure is the total time on market. We also do no reset the listing to zero if an owner “rests” a property 3-4 weeks, and then relaunches same listing on net, often with the same company. We call that “cooking the books” or smoke and mirrors.