The convenience of virtual walk-throughs combined with confusion over the state’s eased real estate restrictions fuelled low attendance at physical open homes in Brisbane over the weekend, despite evidence of increased buyer and seller confidence.
Property experts across the city reported a collective rise in the real estate mood to welcome “the tail end of COVID” but said despite rising inquiry numbers and increased vendor activity, local home hunters were slow to hit the pavement, preferring to stay at home while browsing for a new abode.
Heath Williams from Place New Farm said live-streamed open homes outstripped their physical counterparts in a move he put down to lack of buyer awareness over restriction changes and the sheer ease of attending an open home from a screen.
“I did a live-stream open at Botanic in New Farm and, even though we still had the public one, we had 18 people log in and just four attend in person,” Mr Williams said.
“So now we have four campaigns kicking off this week and we’re going to keep doing both.”
He said buyer mood had risen noticeably over the past week with vendors also seeming to edge out of property hibernation despite lingering economic concern.
“I’ve just listed this incredible warehouse/converted penthouse that’s in the top of the Australian Estates [Woolstore] development in Teneriffe at 6 Tillbrook Street. It’s a 921-square-metre apartment which is bigger than a house,” he said.
Mr Williams expected the multimillion-dollar penthouse to generate strong buyer interest with local high-end buyers continuing to take advantage of record low interest rates despite the pandemic.
Trevor Egan, from Ray White Bulimba, said he’d listed a new property last night that had already received 15 online inquiries in an incredible show of strength within the city’s luxury market.
“The inquiries were for 68 Sirius Street in Coorparoo and it’s a stunning home. We are looking at offers around $3.3 million to $3.5 million and that level of inquiry is definitely a sign of more confidence – we are starting to come out the end of it,” Mr Egan said.
“The prestige market hasn’t really paused at all, I’ve listed multiple homes [in that sector recently].
“I feel like spring is going to come early.”
He said public open homes had indeed taken off at a stroll rather than a gallop but with private inspections allowing agents to weed out disingenuous buyers, he felt vendors in the luxury sector would stick to COVID-esque showings.
Jose Peralta, from Ray White Carindale, said while a handful of home hunters hit his agency’s open homes on Saturday, it was the rise in buyer inquiry that proved the market was on the move.
“We’ve seen an increase in general inquiry of about 20 to 30 per cent … so it’s starting to pick up,” he said.
Mr Peralta said outstanding homes were still selling fast with one of his, at 54 Brisbane Avenue, Camp Hill, snapped up just 10 days after hitting market after attracting three written contracts.
“That one was under contract right at the height of when COVID was going nuts … good positioned properties still seem to attract a bit of demand,” he said.
“And now, depending on how confidence comes back into the economy, I think the property market will bounce back reasonably quickly because what people forget is that we were coming out of strong market – it was almost booming. We were in a [rising] market so there were a lot of buyers out there who didn’t buy and they went into hibernation.”
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