How To Research The Real Estate Market Post COVID-19

How To Research The Real Estate Market Post COVID-19

Sarah Lefebvre
Sarah Lefebvre
26/06/2020 | 5 MIN READ

Home buyers across Australia have well and truly awoken from their COVID-19 slumber, according to realestate.com.au.


The REA Insights Weekly Demand Index measures how engaged buyers are on their website.  How often do they view a listing?  How many times is a listing shared?  How many enquires are being sent to the agent, amongst other measures. 


Over the last nine weeks, the number of highly engaged buyers visiting the realestate.com.au website has increased by over 100%.1 

Why? There would be a number of factors influencing this trend:

  • Limited stock on the market means serious buyers are narrowing their focus and spending more time assessing what is available
  • Consumer sentiment is rising. According to Westpac’s MI index, this has rebounded 16.4% from April to May as a flow on effect of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. With consumers feeling more confident, households are better equipped to make high commitment decisions such as buying or selling a home.2
  • Record low interest rates makes buying a property appealing to people with stable employment and income
  • Many people who had sold their property prior to COVID-19 are cashed up and ready to buy
  • Government first home buyer and building incentives is helping fuel demand


The good news is for buyers, we are seeing more sellers starting to test the market. With “the virus curve flattened more quickly and effectively than even the best-case scenario forecasts”, and with “our national home values remaining 8.3% higher than they were a year ago” 2, sellers are starting to dip their toe back into the market. 


As a buyer…how can you prepare yourself, so you are ready to buy when the right property comes along?

7 ways to research the real estate market when buying 


The first step to making a smart purchase decision is to immerse yourself in the property market. To spend time understanding what is happening in the wider national economy, what stage of the property cycle your state or territory is in, and specifically what is happening in the area you are looking at buying in.  


Without this clarity you don’t know what price you should expect to offer for a property or bid at auction. 


The good news is, there are a number of great resources you can tap into online or by calling your local McGrath real estate agent. With social distancing still in place, these contact free resources are not only valuable, but safe.  

1. Property Market Data 

Free market reports are available from websites such as CoreLogic, Residex, Australian Property Monitors, realestate.com.au and from our very own McGrath Report.  These information rich resources will provide insights into supply and demand, pricing, rental yields, trends, forecasts and more. 


2. Research what properties sold and for how much

Real estate portals such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and allhomes.com.au in the ACT, provide a comprehensive list of homes for sale and historical sales data, along with insightful suburb profile reports.  


They also have powerful search tools that enable you to sift through the entire market from the comfort of your lounge room. 


3. Local councils 

The relevant local council websites are a great resource for hyper local insights.  In most cases they provide community profile information, insights into planned development projects, building regulation information and the demographic profile of the suburb. 


Knowing if there are major council developments or infrastructure projects planned for the area may indicate an area of planned growth, or in some cases the growth may have already happened, and the infrastructure is simply catching up. Having this insight is important when buying. 


Plus knowing what you may be able to do to a property, what zoning regulations apply and what the limitations are, can help you determine if an area and a property are right for you. 


4. Attend auctions online or in person

If the majority of properties in the area are selling via auction, either attending an auction in person, or registering to attend online, can give you invaluable insights into how people bid, the strategies they use and how the auction flows.  


Understanding the different bidder types and what strategy may suit you, can make a big difference when it comes time for you to bid on a property you love.

 

5. Get a feel for the suburb

If you’re looking at buying a property in an area that you can access during the current COVID-19 travel. restrictions; walking around the neighbourhood will help give you a good feel for the area.  


You’ll get a feel for the traffic, the noise, the types of people living there; are they predominantly singles, families, retirees.  Or perhaps grab a coffee at the local coffee shop and ask them what the area is like.  They are often a great source of community knowledge and can provide insights others may not have.


6. The McGrath Insights Centre

Our library of in-depth articles, eBooks and checklists provide insights, advice and guidance for buyers, sellers, investors and renters.  With information on current market trends, what to expect as we come out of COIVD-19, along with John McGrath’s super popular weekly article, this is your go-to resource for practical information if you are looking at buying a home. 


7. Your local McGrath Real Estate Agent 

With so much change happening as a result of COVID-19, talking to your local McGrath real estate agent, who is living and breathing real estate in the area is a smart decision. They are in the best position to share insights into the local market conditions and current buyer activity.  They are aware of properties that are coming on the market, properties that are being sold ‘off-market’ and the general consumer sentiment of the suburb.  


Talking to our local agents is invaluable when buying, particularly now as we are coming out of COVID-19. Connect with your local McGrath Real Estate Agent here.


A final note

If buying a property is on your list for 2020, we hope these tips on how to research the market during these unprecedented times helps you find your next home. For a complete step by step guide on all you need to know when buying a property download our Buying a Home Guide here.

 

1 REA Insights Weekly Demand Report 
2 CoreLogic 1 June 2020 release

This information is provided subject to our Terms and Conditions.