A political pause? - 27th September, 2007

Pre-election uncertainty is likely behind a reduction in the number of homes for sale in Brisbane’s west right now, creating a unique opportunity for astute sellers to capitalise on an under-serviced market. While demand is stronger than ever, an unseasonal shortage of stock is pushing up prices, Kenmore being a classic example. In the first three months of this year, 71 homes sold in the suburb; in the second quarter 57 homes sold; and currently there are only 46 homes available to buy. The median house price for the suburb has gone up 14.03% to $451,000 in just six months. Everything that is listed is selling but there are not enough homes to satisfy demand. This is in spite of robust confidence in the local property market and an influx of people moving into the area – indeed we’ve had almost 2000 new enquiries about local property since January. So one has to assume that the election and its related issues are weighing on people’s minds. I find this a curious reaction because economically things stand to change very little with a change in government, at least in the short term. The most significant policy changes stand to affect first-home owners, who account for a very small portion of our local market. By sitting on their hands, would-be sellers (especially those looking to downsize) are bypassing the opportunity for very satisfying price results – the inevitable product of low supply and high demand. That said, housing affordability remains the hot topic for both political parties leading in to the election. The ancient Chinese curse holds true: we live in interesting times. Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside www.expertrealestate.blogspot.com