Melbourne property market – how is it performing?

Local broker reveals his observations

Melbourne property market – how is it performing?


By Jayden Fennell

The Melbourne property market is showing signs of cooling down, says a Port Melbourne broker.

Chris Howitt (pictured), from Mortgage Choice Port Melbourne, said prior to Christmas last year people were rushing to buy property and the market was super-hot.

“I have noticed now buyers can take their time and buyer volume has decreased,” Howitt said.

“Properties are also sitting on the market for a longer period of time, returning to the standard four-to-six-week mark.”

Howitt said supply and demand was levelling out and the heat was leaving the capital city market.

The mortgage broker said he was working with lots of first home buyers and owner occupiers upgrading their homes.

“During COVID, many people were upgrading their homes and using their newfound equity to springboard into their next property,” Howitt said.

He worked with first home buyers, many of whom were eligible for the First Home Guarantee Scheme. However he found it challenging due to the lack of spots available for his clients.

“I have lots of clients who are qualified for the scheme and there are plenty of spots for new builds or off the plan properties,” Howitt said. “With only 10,000 spots available each release, it is very competitive amongst eligible buyers.”

With the median price of a house in Port Melbourne approximately $1.5m, compared to a unit at $700,000, Howitt said his first home buyer clients were choosing units based on their price point.

“Although houses are still popular within our area, the popularity of units and townhouses are growing and almost on par with houses,” Howitt said.

The broker said he was struggling with bank wait times recently and was unsure of what questions banks would be asking of clients for loan applications.

“Sometimes silly questions can slow things down. I can put the same deal in at the same bank, two different assessors will pick the file up and come back to me with two different questions on the same deal,” he said.

Howitt’s advice for fellow mortgage brokers was to speak to their customers regularly.

“It is important to keep clients educated on rates and provide them with the right information. Keep in front of your clients as you can easily lose a client if you are not offering them a better refinance deal,” he said.

“This is a crucial part of our roles as mortgage brokers.”

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