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The Inside Word From Dan Sowden

By Dan Sowden
Your Pick?
I think 30 Neerim Drive, Mooloolaba is one of the best homes on the market right now.

What is hot right now? 

  • Houses

  • Sub $700,000

  • Core Locations:  Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore with proximity to beaches, river and shops.

Have your sales team had to adapt to any changes this year?

We are operating in a faster market where buyers are lining up at property viewings, what this means is that agents with the best buyer relationships are often completing 2-3 off market transactions each month with sellers who are not ready for a full marketing campaign and buyers wanting to get in early.

What have you learnt post GFC?

We noticed that although most markets went down in the GFC, there were a few that held strong and sales turnover stalled to almost zero. Alexandra Headland was one of these markets. The housing market specifically in Alex was preserved because owners in the area were able to withstand having pressure based sales, they held on to their real estate. Pressure based sales caused a downward cascading effect on property values, in some areas this resulted in price shifts of up to 35%.  So, my advice would be to buy into a market where you know your surrounding owners are stable and not speculators.

Auction or price in this market?

Owners today are more concerned with underselling then overpricing. Each weekend our group of offices will hold around 10-12 auctions, of the properties that sell (around 60%) half of these will see significant ‘above reserve’ prices due to competitive bidding. Auctions are not for all owners and properties, however for those that do progress with an auction, the success rate of sale and eventual price is stronger.

Where are the majority of your buyers coming from – local, interstate, overseas?

We all like to talk in the industry about the southern buyers and yes they are present, however the majority of purchasers are local and living here right now- they are our tenants. In the last 3-5 years the sales market has been soft and buyers have been cautious about the economy, job security and the market generally- so they rented. Today with confidence building and the economy locally in good shape,

Any surprises you’ve come across in the past six months?

We have been surprised at some of the prices paid for home sales in Central Maroochydore, in some cases we have seen 10-15% price jumps for comparable property in only a matter of weeks. It tells us that when buyers are serious, they are happy to ‘just secure’ the property and are not worry too heavily about the price, because over the next 5-10 years they are likely to look back and say they bought well.

Days on market for your office?

We are back to a market where most properties that are sold ‘with a price’ are selling in a shorter time frame to auctions. Days on Market are reducing because buyers know they are not the only ones looking and they want to get in quick to secure a home without being in direct competition.

Hot spot of the coast to keep an eye on?

With all the development occurring in Maroochydore, I would be buying in the undervalued areas, sub $500,000 housing market on the CBD fringe. The area of homes next to Sunshine Plaza and bordering Sunshine Cove and Emporio I believe represent great value and offer upside into the future

One tip for soon to be vendors?

Know what your next step is before selling. If you know what your next move will be, then you can plan for it and you won’t be caught out by either refusing premium offers or not having enough equity to make the next step

One tip for cashed up buyers?

Once you set your mind to a property then buy it. Buy it knowing that you may think you have spent an extra $20,000-$30,0000 however know that your there for the long term, it won’t matter in 10 years. In this market, better to be in early then late.

Have you noticed a change in trends; tree change, waterfront etc?

The biggest trend we have noticed is the number of owners doing substantial new builds or renovations to existing homes. Clever buyers bought back in 2012/13 and have been waiting for the right market to ‘build in’ where their construction loans will be supported by current valuations.  In some ‘blue’ markets, we are seeing build contracts in advance of $2.0m making the end property valued somewhere between $3.0-$4.0m

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