‘Still selling pretty strongly’: when Sydney home buyers will actually be able to get bargains

Sydney’s housing market is cooling, but home buyers won’t be getting great bargains until a key point in the year, property experts have revealed.

Sydney home sellers “still have their heads stuck in 2021” despite a slowing property market and growing hesitation from buyers, one of the city’s top buyer’s agents has revealed.

PK Property director Peter Kelaher revealed in a widely distributed email to clients that buyers may not be able to get great bargains until later in the year because sellers still expected huge prices.

Sydney’s housing market was booming last year but has been cooling over the past few months and Mr Kelaher said it was taking time for vendors to adjust their expectations to the new conditions.

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“That means a lot of failed auctions, both on the day, and pulled before auction dates,” he explained.

Mr Kelaher added that most sellers would eventually adapt to the new environment, but “price reductions left, right and centre” would not occur until about June.

And not all types of properties would be discounted. “A-grade stock is still going extremely well … anything that is compromised in any way, which I call C-grade, is getting smashed,” the buyer’s agent said.

His comments came as a glut of new properties have streamed onto the market ahead of Easter, with this week’s 1554 scheduled auctions marking the biggest weekly volume of auctions this year.

Recent weeks saw the auction clearance rate, which measures the proportion of auctions that produced a sale, hover around the 65-70 per cent mark.

This was roughly in line with the long-term average for Sydney, but well below the 80-90 per cent clearance rates recorded in much of 2021.

Cooley Auctions director and auctioneer Damien Cooley said the market was slowing, but it was yet to change into a terrible one for vendors. He said sales were “very property specific”.

“You could go to one auction and think the market is still pretty hot or go to another and think it’s come off a bit. It depends a lot on the property,” he said.

“The best properties are still selling pretty strongly … for the rest, there are a lot more other properties diluting the buyer pool so they are not selling as easily.”

Levels of demand also varied by buyer group, Mr Cooley said. “Downsizers and buyers who have been looking for a long time are still bidding aggressively. Its new buyers that are a bit more hesitant.”

Many of this week’s reported auction results reflected the patchy nature of the market.

A modern, five-bedroom house in Edmondson Park passed in on Saturday morning on a bid of $1.8m. A luxury Bronte house with a price guide above $7m was withdrawn from auction.

Meanwhile, in Cremorne, a rare unit on Waters Rd with backyard space attracted bidding from five of the registered parties and sold for just under $2m.

And in Annandale, a Collins St house on a 613sqm block – large for the area – sold for $3.84m.

Originally published as ‘Still selling pretty strongly’: when Sydney home buyers will actually be able to get bargains

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