February 2012 was always going to be the first month of the year that we could adequately gauge our office position. Often January’s sales results do not necessary reflect the state of the market, as most auction campaigns do not culminate until either the last weeks of January or the start of February. With over 24 properties sold by our office in the 29 days of the month just passed, we are happy to report that 80% of these sales were made in the sub $600,000 market. It has been interesting to note that sales made in the $700,000 and $800,000 price brackets are receiving overwhelming interest; two of our auction sales in these price zones recorded over 100 inspections on each property. Evidently both sold well in excess of their set reserve prices.
So what does all of this translate to? Well it means that buyer traffic at open homes have continued to ride the wave of an all time high since January. As a result of this we are now seeing this translate into sales. In February we recorded over 120 buyer inspections on average each week, close to 60% of these inspections were conducted on our auction properties. In short, buyers are shopping around and it won’t be long before they decide to purchase.
Our team is reporting that new stock to the market is tightening, meaning a reduction in potential choice for buyers. This should create further competition amongst buyers who have identified now to be the time to purchase. We look forward to the public holidays looming at the end of the month; Anzac Day and Easter in the first week of April; this period should be great for our accommodation providers with holiday makers flocking to the beaches and enjoying our cafe society.
On the investment front, investors are slowly moving back into the sales market making up almost 42% of our sales. Further, we are seeing a rise in the number of new investors joining our property management department. February recorded an all time high of 36 new investors to our portfolio. Vacancy still continues to track along at less then 1%, meaning that from our portfolio of over 750 properties, we have less then 7 properties currently vacant. Although there is exceptionally strong demand from the market, properties re-let in February on average adjusted their rents down by $3.75 per week. As household budgets remain tight due to the financial climate we are not forecasting a rental spike anytime soon. The absolute key for many of our investors is good quality long term occupants.
Last month also culminated with the Ray White Annual Awards, where our office was awarded the following achievements:
Number 9 Residential Sales office in QLD
Property Management Growth Award- Over 160 New Property Investors now have their property managed with us.
Heidi Davies (Business Manager- Property Management) won the Profiles of Courage-Leadership Award and also a Ten-Year Tenure Recognition Award.
I hope February 2012 was as good for you as it was for us, and happy selling!