'Realistic' prices to woo buyers in 2012

by Adam Smith09 Dec 2011

Top brokers believe falling home values could spur buyers into action in 2012 as prices become "more realistic".

MPA Top 100 Broker Justin Doobov of Intelligent Finance has predicted that the market could begin to stir in 2012 as falling prices start to woo borrowers. Doobov said he has still seen good buyer activity in his market, and expects this to continue as prices drop.

"I think a lot of activity has been because of the prices becoming more realistic. Many buyers who have looked at the market for the past few years have a set value a property is worth in their head. Since the prices have dropped and those properties are now in the range the buyers have thought is good value, buyers have moved quickly to secure the properties," Doobov told Australian BrokerNews.

Affordability has continued to improve across most capital cities. September marked the third consecutive quarter of improving affordability according the HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index. The Index is now 5.2% above the level registered in September last year.

"Affordability looks to now be trending in the right direction and with interest rate cuts in November and December we will hopefully see this trend continue," HIA senior economist Andrew Harvey said.

Harvey urged house hunters to act quickly, predicting that the improvement in affordability wouldn't last.

"Potential home buyers should be aware that these underlying factors could see housing return to sustained price growth at some stage in 2012. This possibility combined with an easing in the pressure for skilled trades means that now is shaping up as a good time to buy a new home for those financially able to do so," he said.

However, Ian Jordan of the Selector Group believes home buyers may have a bit more time to examine the market than Harvey has contended.

"One thing is for sure and that is that they will make more money buying a quality property at the right price than rushing into something that isn’t fair value. Whilst I don’t see massive price increases coming in the shorter term, I think that prices in mid to long term will increase," Jordan said.