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Brisbane’s property market is set to pick up this spring, with the earliest indicators – property stylists who dress the homes for sale – reporting a marked increase in business.
After what they have described as a “stop start” year, Brisbane property stylists and home staging businesses enlisted to prepare homes for sale say they have seen a huge jump in the number of inquiries and bookings since the beginning of this month.
“To say I’m busy would be an understatement,” says Melinda Littman of Domayne Hire and Property Staging Qld, who hires out furniture to property stylists and home owners who are staging their homes for sale.
The uptick in business for those in the property staging industry, who get an early glimpse of how many homes are coming onto the market, spells good news for prospective buyers contending with a lack of well-priced, good-quality homes for sale across Brisbane.
“In the past two weeks, business has doubled,” says Ms Littman. “We’ve jumped from doing about eight jobs a week in June and July to up to 20 jobs a week for August. This coming week, for example, we’ve got 14 jobs in four days. And the following week, we’ve got even more.”
Property stylist Imogen Brown from Home Staging Brisbane says she is booked to style 11 homes in August alone, with another 15 already booked for the coming months. This is up from six installations in July.
The industry feedback is in keeping with data from Domain, which shows a 15.2 per cent rise in average property listings per day across Brisbane in the week to August 4, compared with the previous week.
However, the number of potential vendors getting appraisals across Queensland is down 3.3 per cent in July compared to June, data shows.
Agents believe the drop could be due to the fact that many would-be sellers have already had their homes appraised and are just waiting for the right time to put them on the market.
Meighan Hetherington, director of buyers’ agents Property Pursuit, says there is some frustration among buyers about a lack of good quality homes on the active market, but says real estate agents have a really strong pipeline of homes ready to sell once owners give them the go-ahead.
“At the moment we are seeing a lot of pre-market activity, as opposed to an active market. So there are a lot of motivated sellers who have signed up with agents and the agents are just waiting to get the green light to actively market these homes,” she says.
While Brisbane has not experienced anywhere near the same level of price falls as Melbourne and Sydney, the Domain House Price ReportJune quarter results, released late last month, shows Brisbane property prices fell 1.4 per cent in the June quarter, down 2 per cent from their peak in mid-2018.
Unit prices also fell, down 3.1 per cent in the June quarter and 11 per cent below their 2016 peak. In fact, Brisbane unit prices are now back to where they were in 2013.
Sellers appear to be waiting to regain some confidence in the market and are holding off until the peak spring selling period to maximise their chances of a strong result.
“So at the moment well-priced, good quality listings are still quite low,” Ms Hetherington says. “We’ve been finding a lot of our homes for our clients through agents holding properties in that pre-market space.”
She warns that once those properties start hitting the market come spring, pent-up demand from buyers fighting for limited opportunities could push up prices.
She says in the past three weeks she has seen several properties sell for well above market value due to strong competition between bidders.
Home Staging Brisbane’s Imogen Brown says all signs indicate the much-anticipated spring rush isn’t far away.
“I feel like someone’s just turned the tap on,” she says. “After umming and ahhing all year, they’ve finally decided ‘let’s go for it’.
“Based on my current bookings, my sense is that this spring will be just as busy as previous years. It’s not going to be crazy but it will be on par with what we’ve come to expect once spring arrives.”