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Dan Sowden’s Market Wrap- March 2012

By Dan Sowden

The Sunshine Coast Property market has remained resilient throughout March 2012 even as the Reserve Bank of Australia continued to leave interest rates on hold at their current cash rate of 4.25%.

Locally, our group sold just over 40 properties for the month and settling over $15,000 in sales, a consistent result over the last 6 months. Auction clearance and success rates remain high with just over 50% of our auctions selling on or before the day, this number climbs to over 80% to include post auction sales. These statistics are impressive, given the industry clearance rate often published is still sub 30%. Further, Owner occupiers continue their dominance as they are out buying investors 3 to 1, a trend that has continued for much of 2011 and 2012.

It’s anticipated that although buyers believe the current market is offering some good opportunity, investors are still reluctant to make quick decisions as they are confronted with choice and seemingly even better yield opportunities.

Commonly, investors are now able to find properties offering over 6% in terms of gross yield, a significant shift from the once industry agreed benchmark of 5%; (ie $300,000 property with rental income of $300 p/w). Although enquiry is being well received across all price points, the sub $400,000 market is still the most popular market segment by far, with almost 70% of our sales made in this segment.

Some of the Sunshine Coast’s developing centres including the Maroochydore CBD and the Birtinya Medical precinct are seeing some good buyer enquiry through our projects we are currently marketing.  Moko (www.mokoliving.com.au) in Birtinya and Emporio (www.emporio.net.au) in Maroochydore are both experiencing genuine investor enquiry and in the last 4 weeks have seen momentum continue to build.  Remarkably, Moko now has agreements on almost 20% of the some 56 residential apartments.  Emporio continues to notch up weekly sales as stage one heads into completion around June 2012.

On the ground, we are yet to see any form of lasting effect from the Floods the central Sunshine Coast and in particular Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore endured earlier in the month. Although a number of our properties were affected, any water issues were more to do with water run off across the property rather than internal flooding. Certainly many of our investors have taken some time to pause and look to mitigate any future flood issues through various low cost drainage options recommended by our inspections team.

Lastly, I would like to publicly congratulate the members of our team who were recognised at the Ray White Sunshine Coast Bi Annual awards that were held last week. Our team featured prominently, Wes Ratcliffe is now recognised as the Number 1 agent for Ray White on the Sunshine Coast, based on the number of properties sold. Fantastic recognition given the number of tireless hours spent working for his clients in what is one of the toughest property markets the Sunshine Coast has ever seen, congratulations Wes!

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