Prices are up – Sales are down!

West End house

West End house prices are up, but they are moving slowly

Given the positive comments in the media and the strength of the property market, it is incredible to believe that house sales are down by 45% in West End for the first 6 months of 2014 in comparison to the same period last year.

Using a 10 year average for this period of the year, the numbers of houses sold is usually around 25 compared to the 14 sales this year. So based on these facts, is it a problem with buyers or are sellers just holding on for longer?

As a local resident and Real Estate agent, I believe it’s a number of factors. Firstly, while interest rates remain low, consumers continue to pay down existing debt while still remaining frugal and cautious about the future (Recent research indicates the average mortgage holder is 20 payments ahead of schedule).

Secondly, unemployment remains a concern since the GFC. So while there has been a lift in confidence and retail spending, there is still a concern with the osmosis effect to unemployment – ‘what if it happens to me?’

Thirdly, the area is the cultural hub of the city with GOMA, The Cultural Centre, Southbank and The Convention Centre located here. Add to this the great schools, universities, hospitals, sports stadiums close by and great dining experiences and it’s easy to see why there is a reluctance to move to another part of Brisbane.

The continued residential unit development is also delivering some knock-on benefits to residents such as Aldi, Woolworths and a proposed second ferry terminal.

The big winners in the current market are local house sellers who have very little competition and are achieving outstanding prices from many buyers in the market that recognize the benefits that all local residents currently experience.

If you have any thoughts on this article, please email me on john.k@harcourts.com.au

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