Gold Coast property market cools as auctions slow down, houses spend more time on market

A Gold Coast real estate agent says he has seen a shift in the region’s property market in recent weeks to the point of becoming a full-blown “buyers’ market” — in stark contrast to the past few years during the pandemic.
“The changes have been quite dramatic, the power has definitely gone to the buyer since January,” Remax real estate agent Ben Williams said.
Mr Williams said, at the start of the year, he would receive hundreds of enquiries on properties every week and up to 50 families would show up to an open home.
But now, that had dwindled to an average of three enquiries per day, and a gap remained between sellers’ and buyers’ expectations.

“Buyers are not prepared to pay the prices that they were paying during COVID and some sellers are still not adjusting,” he said.

“If a seller doesn’t reduce their expectations on price, then they’re not going to sell in this market because the buyers are under so much pressure now.”
Fewer properties selling at auction
Head of research at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said of all auctions on the Gold Coast in the first week of June, only 42 per cent of properties were sold.
“Auctions are one way to understand the step between buyers and sellers in a fairly timely way,” Mr Lawless said.
“It really highlights that the market is slowing down a little bit. If you go back four weeks ago, we were generally seeing auction clearance rates around the 60 per cent range.
“Earlier than that, around 70 per cent [sold at auction] around the final quarter of last year.”
But Mr Lawless said auctions were only a relatively small component of the market, with most property sales on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts private treaties.
“The number of days it takes to sell a property has been increasing around 15 days up to about 25 days now,” he said.

“It’s still hot but not red hot like it used to be.”

Rise in interest rates expected
Mr Lawless said the change could also be seen in housing values with the growth rate dropping from 8 to 4.6 per cent.

“The market is still rising quite quickly in values, but nowhere nears as quickly as it used to be,” he said.

Interest rates are expected to rise when the RBA meets on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Lawless said rising interest rates had already started flowing through.
“The larger markets like Sydney and Melbourne are clearly in a downturn now,” he said.
He said consumer sentiment had come down and lenders had become more cautious.
“For the Gold Coast and Sunny Coast, one of the factors really insulating this market is stock levels, which remain extraordinarily low. There are not many listings in the market, still about 40 per cent below what you might describe as average levels,” he said.
“I think as rates move higher, we’d be naive to expect that the market’s going to be completely immune to a slowdown and probably will start to see values falling late this year or into next year.”

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