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Is 2014 the Year of the Bull?

By Dan Sowden

I have taken a particular interest over the years in the way Chinese attach a certain animal to the pending calendar year. The theory is centred around the characteristics of the animal of the year which dictates what type of year it will be.

Without knowing the premise of this ancient Chinese tradition, in property circles the feeling on the ground is whether or not 2014 will be the first buoyant year in property we on the Sunshine Coast have seen since 2007/08; or in financial terms ‘a Bull Market’?

I believe the last quarter of 2013 will be remembered as the time when more buyers were missing out on properties- not just because other buyers were making offers, but because sellers were no longer prepared to offer their home at that certain price. Many sellers are now holding out until 2014 for a better price. This situation must of occurred on at least half a dozen occasions, something we haven’t seen for sometime.

On a personal level, this period I also noticed my step brother, whom at the age of 27, suddenly become interested in houses, property and investment. Perhaps he wanted to impress his girlfriend by buying a home to live in; none the less he did identify that if he didn’t buy now, then it could be another whole property cycle before he could afford to again. I firmly believe this is a single snapshot of many today.

So what does 2014 hold?

The one thing we do know with certainty is that people will not wake up on New Years day and decide to buy real estate. These thoughts and discussions are being held right now and it will be only a matter of time before the proverbial dam walls break and buyers flood the market.

If you’re asking yourself where you think these buyers will come from? The answer is that they are already here. They are currently renting the very properties today they will invariably look to purchase. With vacancy rates at an industry low 0.5% level and some tenants paying market high rents at over 6% rent as comparable to the properties value. It is only a matter of time before they decide to stop paying rent into someone else’s pocket.

As the levels of available property for sale continue to dwindle in 2014, investors whom will soon be out bid by owner occupiers will be looking back into the new projects space as an opportunity to secure an investment. These off the plan sales will come back to the fore, giving the investor an opportunity to secure residential real estate at today’s prices and not settling for 2-3 years time. By this time they would be hopeful to of gained an increase in the value of the property and equity.

Tax advantageous, these investments will help fuel the future developments of the Sunshine Coast whilst bringing back locally the tens of thousands of tradies that in recent years have had to leave the coast for the better work offerings of the mining belt and central Queensland.

For those that are trying to ‘pick the market’ unfortunately this can only be met with failure. Some of the finest minds in the country spend hours pouring over data with the bid to picking market highs or lows- they tend to get it right, but 3 to 6 months too late! My advice is simple, Real Estate is a long term investment so play what you see in front you, what’s happening in your local neighbourhood each and every weekend.

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