Australian Property Market - Bubble or Boom?

Hear from 18 experts with a combined 200+ years experience

The property market in Australia is hot, but is it too hot? We’ve asked 18 real estate agents - each with over 10 years experience in the property industry - a series of questions to get their perspective. These questions have been designed to gain some insight into the property market.

Here are the responses from some of our top agents:

  • What was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?
  • How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?
  • Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?
  • What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

 

Paul Bateman: Principal of Ray White City Edge - Adelaide, South Australia

Paul Bateman - Principal of Ray White City Edge, Adelaide, South Australia What was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started working in real estate just on 10 years ago, in 2006. The market was similar to what it was like now in regards to activity and buoyancy. The similarities are that the prices aren’t fluctuating, they’re just steady.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

There’s a lot more agents doing better things than they used to. Customer service is taken a lot more seriously - follow up, professionalism and more extensive training to hone skills. There’s definitely more competition. There are more agents and agencies.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

Parts of Australia are in a housing bubble. However, Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin have actually burst following a sustained run. But not all of Australia is. It is similar to what happened in 2008.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

For Australia, what happens interstate in regards to Sydney and other states that are getting sky high prices will be crucial to other markets, and if the markets fail. Also what happens overseas in the Global economy will have an impact.

Bio

Paul Bateman, Principal of Ray White City Edge, has worked in Real Estate for 10 years. In 2014 Paul made 138 transactions, which was #2 in ‘Ray White’ internationally.

 

John Matthews: Senior Property Consultant at Nelson Alexander - Essendon, Victoria

John Matthews - Senior Property Consultant at Nelson Alexander - Essendon, VictoriaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

2002 - it was the early stages of a boom at the time, that lasted until late 2003.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices are a lot higher (more than doubled), fees have come off a bit and there are a lot more real estate agents now.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

No, however the market is certainly at or close to a peak in the current cycle. I’m confident long term though Australia will only continue to grow in population, and property should hold strong on the supply and demand law.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

Financial regulators have tightened the belt in relation to money lending so that should slow the market down to a normal pace.

Bio

John Matthews has been in real estate since 2002 and has won numerous awards both as a sales person and auctioneer. He is also currently recognised as a Master Auctioneer by the REIV.

John enjoys going to the Footy, cycling, and travelling the globe when he is not selling real estate, and is also a classic car enthusiast.

Peter Harper: Director of One Agency - Launceston, Tasmania

Peter Harper - Director of One Agency - Launceston, TasmaniaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

When I started in the property industry in 1994 the market was slow and recovering from a down period in Tasmania. There was no Internet and mobile phones had only just become reasonably common in our industry. Some agents were still using dedicated car phones which were nothing like the inbuilt car phones that we have today. Agents would usually take their own photos on cameras that had actual film and they would then race the film down to the local photographic store to have the film developed to meet deadlines. Photos would be stuck onto window cards and physically sent around to the Examiner to be inserted into the agents advertising page for properties. Generally newspaper advertising was small advertisements. Signboards were nailed to stakes and hammered into the front lawn of a property and that was pretty well all that was done to sell a property. Data bases were unheard of, and buyers who phoned up would have their details written onto a notepad or a small card and kept in a client card box for future reference.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Back in 1994 our median price was about $80,000 compared with today’s medium price of around $275,000. One big difference in the last twenty years is the amount of training and real estate coaches that are available today. Back in 1994 training was very minimal, franchise training was the norm and real estate agency fees had only just been recently deregulated but good skilled agents usually stuck to the recommended scale of fees in most instances. Consumers in 2016 are much more researched and there is much more pressure on agents to compete on fees. It is not uncommon these days for discount agents offering a very low fee to entice vendors to list with them, but quite often sellers end up getting stuck with an agent of low skill and the property remaining unsold.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

In my opinion there is no housing bubble in Australia, and that is even more so in Tasmania where our market is much more stable without the highs and lows of the bigger cities.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I believe that consumers are looking for a skilled agent in 2016 to handle their most valuable asset. Training and coaching are paramount now, and there is no shortage of excellent trainers and coaches in our industry. I believe the days of low skilled agents being selected to sell a sellers most valuable asset will become tougher if they cannot show value in being chosen to represent a seller in obtaining the best price for a vendor’s property. After all, a seller can now handle the sale of their property themselves and have their home displayed on real estate listing portals.

Bio

Peter Harper has been in the industry 22 years, and initially worked at a large franchise office which at one time was the largest real estate office in Launceston. He won the Rookie of year award In 1995 and continually won the top Platinum award while working in that company. In 2000 Peter became a director of that company, and in 2011 - in company with his son Dean who worked alongside him since 2001 - they left that company and opened their own real estate office “One Agency Harper Property”. This was later changed to One Agency Launceston.

Their office is now consistently in the top 5 real estate offices in Launceston in volume of sales. Peter and Dean also started a Property Management division in January 2015, and now have 3 Assistant Property Managers.

Peter is currently studying his diploma of real estate services, and is still immensely enjoying listing and selling real estate.

Daniel ten Broeke: Director of Petrusma Property - Lindisfarne, Tasmania

Daniel ten Broeke - Director of Petrusma Property - Lindisfarne, TasmaniaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started working in real estate in 2007, and at that time our market in Hobart was in the latter stages of a boom. Prices had doubled and in some areas near tripled over the previous 5 years, and properties were selling for record prices within weeks of hitting the market. As a new consultant it was hard to win listings but most of the sales came easily, and it was the perfect environment to develop sharp negotiating skills to bring about outstanding and record results for clients.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

The Hobart market reached a peak in 2009/2010 before a severe retraction over 2011/2012. The market plateaued in 2013 and started to recover in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 we are only now seeing the same prices we were achieving at the peak, so there has been almost no overall movement in the last 5 or 6 years, with the exception of a few key suburbs.Fees have become far more competitive over the last 10 years. 10 years ago most agents worked for nothing less than about 4% of the sale price (being the recommended fee by our REIT and a consequence of lower median values in Tasmania compared to mainland States). Since then one or two ‘budget’ agencies have entered the market at around 2% commission, which has caused all agents to be more competitive, on both fees and marketing. Even top agents who have demonstrated a capacity to achieve top prices over a long period have had to adapt and be willing to negotiate fees to win listings.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

In short, no! I appreciate the matter is debatable, but whilst we continue to have a ‘reasonable’ economy, reasonable population growth, and continued foreign investment, I believe the Australian housing market is a sound and solid investment. Every individual housing market in the country will have its ups and downs, but on the whole and long term, I don’t believe we have an unsustainable housing market.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

Nationally I believe our housing market will be driven by the strength of our international economy and opportunities for overseas investment. The Sydney and Melbourne markets have had extremely strong growth periods followed by some more recent downturns, but generally speaking the interest of the Chinese (and others) in all of our markets, property and others, will be the most important factor this year. For the property market in Tasmania, however, we always tend to follow our mainland markets after 5 or more years and so we will most likely continue to sleep in the background for a while, until buyers realise what an affordable and beautiful location it is, with genuine and timely room for growth over the short to medium term.

Bio

Daniel ten Broeke is a Director and Auctioneer at Petrusma Property, the largest independently owned real estate firm in Tasmania. At age 38 he is one of the Top 5 ranked agents in the State, and sells more than 100 properties per year.

He is highly driven to achieve and manages a top performing office, but more importantly is a husband and father of four young 4 children.

Maria Magrin: Belle Property - Annandale, New South Wales

OpenAgent - Maria Magrin, Belle PropertyWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started working in real estate about 11 years ago, and it was a buyers market. Plenty of property for the buyers to select.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

There has been a dramatic change in my market place with pricing, especially the past 5 years where I have seen a steady increase of up to 50% in some cases. So many things have evolved - I used to deal with a lot of first home buyers, then it changed to investors, then down sizers, and now it’s a variety of all. I am finding when the market is busy the competition is higher and fees are lower; when the market is weaker I find it a bit easier to stand out from the crowd.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

This is a very difficult question to answer on a general basis; there are markets within markets ie you cannot compare NSW with another state in Australia, you cannot compare the inner west with say regional nsw etc. So to answer the question in my market place – no, I do not believe we are in a housing bubble.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

New under quoting guidelines.

Bio

Maria Magrin is a licensed agent with 10 years experience, initially starting out as a personal assistant to 3 very busy senior sales agents and a stint working in property management. In 2011, Maria joined Belle Property after recognising it as the best brand to assist her in continuing to maximise sale prices and rental returns for local owners of terraces and apartments

Maria's background in sales, project marketing and property management enables her to expertly advise her clients on both selling and propperng. Mum of 3 teenagers, she loves to spend time with family, cook, read and ski.

Mark Dawes: Director of Richardson & Wrench - Alexandria/Waterloo, New South Wales

OpenAgent - Mark Dawes, Director of Richardson & WrenchWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started in real estate in 1994. The industry was different in many ways. We had only one computer in the office and we did not have a CRM, the Internet was in its infancy stage and we certainly were not using the technology, and mobile phones were not main stream. That being said, the fundamentals were still the same. Technology has helped with efficiency, the industry is more professional, and we are more accountable than what we were.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

If you look at Property Management, the management fee has come down. Advertising is now cheaper as there is no need for print media advertising in our area (we could average $150 per week for local paper and SMH), and generally vacancy rates have dropped in my experience. Regarding sales, commission rates have not changed, we adopt the same approach. Prices have obviously increased significantly since 1994. As far as competition goes, there has and will always be good operators in every area. Our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience, sound expert advice and achieve the best possible price for our client.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

There are many different markets operating across every state of Australia. I can only comment on the market I work in – prices certainly skyrocketed between January 2013 and August 2015 (approx 40%-50%). We have seen a slight correction in the last quarter of 2015 (up to 5% for some property), however the market seems to be back on track for 2016. We have huge demand due to a number of reasons – close to the CBD, airport, universities and transport, the soon to be Green Square Town Centre (currently under construction), the announcement of the Waterloo Train Station and the huge development proposal as a result of this announcement, as well as the affordability compared to our neighbouring suburbs north and east of us.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

There are a few variables which could be critical to change this year – interest rates, supply and buyer demand. For our market place we know that supply will be higher than the previous 3 years through current construction, however we can not predict buyer demand or interest rates (although we expect that rates will remain low and demand will remain strong).

Bio

With a 9 year background in property management and project/residential sales, Mark Dawes opened the R & W Alexandria|Waterloo office in 2003. His broad experience across the entire real estate sector allowed Mark to quickly establish a reputation for hard work, honest advice and fair dealing. Both sales and property managements have flourished through his commitment to business practices that are transparent to both sides of every transaction - vendor and buyer, landlord and tenant.

After more than 11 years focusing on inner-city property in and around Alexandria and Waterloo, Mark has unsurpassed knowledge of the market forces shaping real estate in his local area. That intimate knowledge translates into a benefit for his clients who know they will receive untainted advice, without over-inflating. Mark has instilled a culture of excellence within the team that he leads with customer service always first and foremost.

Mark Dowling: Principal of MDRE Property Advantage - Mayfield, New South Wales

OpenAgent - Mark Dowling, Principal of MDRE Property Advantage - Mayfield, New South WalesWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

When I started in the industry in the early 2000’s, the Newcastle property market was fairly flat. People from other parts of Australia still saw Newcastle as an undesirable coal town with not much to offer, how wrong they were ... Median prices have increased significantly since then in the now more desirable inner city suburbs such as Mayfield, Tighes Hill, Wickham, Maryville and Carrington. I personally predict Newcastle will keep performing strongly in the years ahead, and recognised nationwide as the great place it is to live and bring up their children in.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

There is definitely more competition now between agents, this can cause some agents to “Buy the listing” giving the owner an inflated price just to get the home to go to market, with the owner only to be disappointed down the track. I think it is important now more than ever to get expert independent advice online, but also be careful of Apps that just "guess" a home value or price. Internet sites that analyse the market and Agents performance are fast becoming a useful tool to home owners and investors, but it is important to confirm that the information is from a reliable and trusted source.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

No, I believe Australians will always have a strong desire to own their own property. Some countries like Sweden, for example, have large suburbs filled with apartment blocks that are corporately owned and therefore allowing a tenant the opportunity to rent long-term, sometimes for their entire life, even swapping apartments as their needs change - this minimises the uncertainty of the owner selling the property, moving back in or not renewing a lease. Unfortunately in Australia, the only way we can have a secure future of living in your property of choice is to save a deposit and buy a home, therefore I believe that “The great Australian dream is alive and well”

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I believe the property Newcastle market will start to cool just a little in the new Financial Year 2016, but still remain competitive. Newcastle is benefitting from the Baby boomers discovering how great living here is, and what's on offer: fantastic beaches, great food culture, 30 minutes to the Hunter Valley Vineyards, very affordable housing, no traffic congestion, no racial tensions, and importantly exceptional medical facilities and hospitals within easy reach of Sydney. With 20,000 people retiring every month in Australia, I predict Newcastle will get more than its fair share of Retirees and new families calling “Our Town” home. P.S. But don’t tell everyone, we do try and keep it a bit of a secret.

Bio

Having enjoyed a highly successful career as head of marketing with a large national retailer prior to entering Real Estate, Mark Dowling has the marketing expertise to really promote your property to its full potential while making the process of selling and moving as stress free as possible.

Mark lives in Mayfield and thought it the logical choice to open a 100% independently owned Real Estate office in this wonderful growing community - MDRE. Mark gained his qualifications at the Real Estate institute in Sydney, and keeps up to date with regular training to provide you a service that you can truly rely upon. Mark is also an accredited auctioneer. Mark is a multi-award winning agent.

OpenAgent - Joel Hollings, McGrath - Parramatta, NSWWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

The market when I started was very different, and I started in 2001 as a junior sales agent. realestate.com.au was just starting to get traction, and most buyers found property in a local print book called the homes pictorial. Open houses were run most Saturday's and it generally took 2 months for most homes to sell.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices have grown significantly, the average sale price in Seven Hills was $200,000 and now it's around $700,000. I've noticed most agents are charging less in commission, eg. it was 2.75% and now it's on average 2%. Advertising fees have grown a lot - my average is $2850 - when I started we didn't charge a cent, but some agents are still doing that and I feel this can compromise the quality of the campaign. Explaining value is the best course of action and sometime requires walking away from the business.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

2016, relevant changes to advertising guidelines will be big ... Agents will need to adjust mentally compared to the last few years. I see digital awareness as my biggest priority, making sure my online profiles are clear, concise and am looking at adding video content.

Bio

Joel Hollings has been selling locally for the last 14 years. His reputation for great service, honesty, and his direct approach speaks volumes, and shows in his enthusiasm each and every day.

Joel enjoys helping vendors achieve their results, as well as assisting buyers to find a place to call home through his work at McGrath.

Andrew Leung: Principal of Ray White - Melbourne CBD, Victoria

OpenAgent - Andrew Leung, Principal of Ray White - Melbourne CBD, VictoriaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

2005, it was a tough market in the sense the market had been through a boom after the introduction of the FHBG, and prior to that the market was on a standstill for a number of years. Confidence had issues, and being at a development company at the time and keeping a job was questionable. But it also meant there were much more opportunities for the hungry and those willing to take a punt into real estate.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices, it’s always the talk about "if only if I brought then" - a category I unfortunately fall into as well, as certainly there was a lot of wealth to be had. But in all things there are hit and misses depending on suburbs; everything goes in cycles which is governed by demand and supply. Regarding fees and competition with other agents, I feel we are in a very good space. The other industries have forced our industry to be better, and I'm still waiting for the day where it is harder than a 2 week course to be a real estate agent. Barriers to entry make it a flooded market space when the market is good and anyone can get a deal done. It is when the normal times come where you really see the benefit of having the right agent on your side, and what you see with this is the lesser agents will start dropping fees to win business because they have nothing of real genuine value to offer in terms of skills and network. Lastly I believe that gone are the years of the one man band, consumer demand is so great and requires instant gratification that now real estate agents work in teams not just one person. Poor customer service really hurts, and it’s always the ones that experienced some discomfort from a real estate transaction that talk all about it over social media, while the ones you do a great job for are just happy that you did the job.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

I can understand why people say so, but the government won't let it burst - the entire economy is too tangled up in real estate, so could you imagine interest rates doubling? Or if property values dropped in half and the banks as for more security to keep the loan when most people’s wealth is tied in their homes? They wouldn't let that happen to keep their seat in parliament.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I believe we are back to a normal market and you will start seeing the lesser agents drop out of the industry as they always have with cycles. I was there in 2008 and saw how bad it can be for jobs, confidence and everything else. Lastly consumers have so much information online these days I believe everyone thinks they are a property expert. When things get complicated I believe the consumers again will really demand expert advice and assistance for the emotional journey of real estate ownership and sale.

Bio

Andrew Leung provides the best outcome for his clients. He started in 2005 not understanding what a real estate career entailed, but soon rose through hard work to be a very successful agent, and is now principal of a busy office in the CBD.

Andrew believes that real estate is a lifestyle not a job. He loves building a great team and mentoring his staff at Ray White.

Ming Xu: Director of Biggin & Scott - Glen Waverley, Victoria

OpenAgent - Ming Xu, Director of Biggin & Scott - Glen Waverley, VictoriaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

The market was 'old style' when I started selling real estate in 2007. It was a vendors market with limited stock, but that all changed with the GFC in 2008, and 2009 was a difficult year for me. However, with hard work I managed well, though lots of agents exited the industry at that stage.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

The market has risen steadily since 2011, with prices increasing across the board. Fees have changed and there is more negotiation in fee structure, however, if you're a good agent who gets great results, the sellers are not so worried about fees, and more interested in what you can achieve for them.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

No I don't think so - I think what we are experiencing presently is just a normal adjustment.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I believe 2016 will be a more balanced market - new rules and regulations have already had an impact. Supply and demand will govern what happens - already buyers are having to look 20kms from the city, which is affecting prices in the outer suburbs.

Bio

Few agents in the City of Monash compare to Ming Xu when it comes to experience, expertise and professionalism. A licensed agent and Director of Biggin & Scott, Ming has built up an extraordinary career in a short time and has enjoyed continued success throughout his career. Loyal, enthusiastic and dedicated to delivering excellent service, Ming believes in a personalised approach to every sale. He combines a friendly and considerate manner with exemplary attention to detail and an unmatched knowledge of the local area.

Ming has been consistently praised for his guidance throughout the sales process, and his insistence on keeping clients informed and aware. Ming's boundless energy, persistence and finely tuned negotiation skills have resulted in a string of outstanding achievements.

Lenny Holt: Salesperson with Professionals - Darwin, Northern Territory

OpenAgent - Lenny Holt, Salesperson with Professionals - Darwin, Northern TerritoryWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started my career in real estate in 2005. The market then was just starting to go up in Darwin, from the beginning of the mining boom up here.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

House prices exploded in Darwin in that time to the point of not being affordable and being one of the most expensive cities to live in in Australia. In that time, Darwin has gone from a small town to a modern city. This has also affected how real estate has been done. Now real estate has way more competition between agents, and has become a lot more professional in its approach to marketing, listing techniques and working with a much more tech savvy and educated vendor. Commissions are not regulated in the NT so there are always cheap agents, expensive agents, and agents in the middle. I charge a fair price that I believe is competitive with other agents, and pays me for the work that needs to be done.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

I believe the Australian property market is simply following a natural cycle of starting low, going up reaching the top, then going down. This is all based on supply and demand, and while demand is there prices will go up. Darwin is a perfect indication of this as after nearly 10 years of prices going up we have had two years of a correction in the market and the prices going down. This has happened since the beginning of time, the only difference now is this cycle is super-charged and happening over a 5 to 7 year process instead of 12 to 20 years. This can be attributed to the younger generation of Australians that are now not happy with staying in one place for 20 years, and move around a lot more. When they move they often keep that property and invest in more. We have been well educated to do this and create wealth through property. When people say this is a “bubble”, I don’t believe it is as no matter what corrections happen there will still be a need and want for property, and wealth through property.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

2016 will start to show a correction in some of the best performing major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. Other cities will see a consolidation of the slow market that they have had, and in most cases start moving forward, such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart. This is in turn all part of the cycle and each city is in its own part of this cycle.

Bio

Lenny Holt started in real estate in 2005 as a helper/home finder. He put up signs and mowed lawns, and brought in leads for the company. He then became an agent in 2006. After working with a couple of agencies Lenny wanted more training, and started at Raine & Horne in 2008. In 2012 he became no.4 sales person nationally for the R & H group, and in 2013 was no.3 for the R & H group.

Lenny has now made the change to the Professionals Darwin team, where he works with his wife as his personal assistant. This gives them a great work/life balance as they have 5 children. Lenny treats all of his vendors as he would like to be treated, and communicates with them to make sure they are happy with what he is doing, as they have a common goal to be achieved.

Stephanie Hart: Principal of Professionals - Alice Springs, Northern Territory

OpenAgent - Stephanie Hart, Principal of Professionals - Alice Springs, Northern TerritoryWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started working in the Real Estate Industry as a Salesperson in 1993, and the market was buoyant with a lot of sales in all areas of the market.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices have gone up dramatically over the past 23 years as you would have expected over such a long period, and in some areas prices have quadrupled - in the upper end of the marker prices have at least tripled. The fees are similar now to what they were then, if anything we charged more when I first started. The expenses are much higher to sell a property these days, particularly with the Internet and newspaper advertising costs increasing dramatically. There is less competition from other Real Estate agencies than there was 23 years ago, with a couple of agencies actually closing their doors during this time. However this is most likely due to sale conditions being tough in NT over the past couple of years.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

I do not believe the Australian property market is in a bubble. This has been touted for a number of years now and it hasn’t dampened some of the markets around the country. Property prices naturally go through fluctuation periods. Our market has seen a downturn over the past three years, and in particular the past twelve months have been challenging.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

Technology has changed our market greatly. Sellers and buyers have access to more information than ever before, and this has lead many sellers to try to sell privately. However in a tough market many private sellers later employ an agent, as a good agent will have extensive resources and experience in finding buyers and closing sales.

Bio

Stephanie Hart commenced working in the Real Estate Residential Sales in 1993. She was recognised as being in the top 5% nationally in 1995 at the Australasian Real Estate Awards, and as runner up Salesperson of the year. After five years in Sales Stephanie became the Sales Manager for a local real estate company before opening her own office in 2003 as the Professionals Alice Springs.

She has built a successful office and now employs 10 people, and have a very passionate Sales Team.

Tim Ferguson: Macarthur Property Specialists - Campbelltown, New South Wales

OpenAgent - Tim Ferguson, Macarthur Property Specialists - Campbelltown, New South WalesWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry?

And when was that?I began my career in 2000, and when I started I believe it was a buyers market that felt a bit like being a taxi driver, driving buyers to maybe half a dozen properties at one time. Technology was in its infancy, advertising was in the print media, and it was very different to how things are now.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices have increased a lot from 2000 until now, with only a few slow patches over the years. When it's a sellers market, there is more pressure on fees and competition is strong between agencies, as more agents enter the market.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I think the market may continue to be 'strong' this year. The trend to use independent online agencies, like OpenAgent, should increase as sellers become more aware of the value of their service. This is a positive trend for successful partner agents.

Bio

Tim Ferguson grew up in the Macarthur region, and began his real estate career in 2000. He has a passion for property, and his wife Alysia works with him at Macarthur Property Specialists. They have 3 children.

Tim enjoys surfing and soccer, and played for The Rams when he was younger.

Lee Perry: Director of Harcourts - Mandurah, Western Australia

OpenAgent - Lee Perry, Director of Harcourts - Mandurah, Western AustraliaWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

When I started in real estate in 2000 the market was quite soft, not a whole lot really happening and there weren’t many agents in my area. But of course in 2002 we started the boom, out came the agents and sales went through the roof.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

I think that the main change that I have seen is with the Internet coming on strong, the sellers and buyer are so much more educated and can do heaps of study prior to inspecting the home. I actually like it better, because sellers are going with the agents that are achieving results and less with the agents giving inflated appraisals. It’s been a real shift in my eyes.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

Not sure if I would say a bubble, in Mandurah we haven’t had much movement in either direction for a few years lately, but I feel we are at the bottom and things will soon get better…great time to buy.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

I think buyer’s attitude will be the biggest change, once confidence kicks in the buyers will feel more comfortable and in turn purchase more with their heart and not their head.

Bio

As a local Mandurah family man, Lee Perry has an exceptional understanding of the region and the common issues affecting the property market. He came to his career in real estate when he had started his own property portfolio, and wanted to help others achieve the same.

Lee is passionate about property, and is one of Mandurah's most successful Consultants and Directors, as well as no.1 Sales consultant in Australia for Harcourts Group 2014-2015.

Angela Capitanio: Selling Principal with Ray White - Cairns Central, Queensland

OpenAgent - Angela Capitanio, Selling Principal with Ray White - Cairns Central, QueenslandWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

When I began my real estate career in June 1987 the real estate market was very depressed. Having been out of the workforce for 24 years I was not aware of market changes. My main objective was to prove to myself that I could be successful. Therefore I was prepared to do every activity and task I was asked to do. I would start work early and finish late, and as I was the only salesperson available this enabled me to meet with prospective buyers, who would later become sellers. It was also an opportunity to prove to sellers that I had the ability to listen to buyers and match them to the right property.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

The market today is very different from when I first entered the real estate industry. The Cairns region has expanded both north and south of Cairns. There have been Government grants for first home buyers which has increased the number of younger buyers entering the market. It is not unusual now for developers to develop land as small at 300m2 - 400m2, whereas land size previously was 800m2 and above. I was selling small Queenslanders in the City for $60,000. Queenslanders now would be at least in the $400,000's, and there are not many still available as they have been purchased by developers for the purpose of building unit complexes. There are many more agents in Cairns and more women agents. Real estate has always been a competitive industry, however agents worked together more than they do today. Fees have now been deregulated therefore agents are not restricted with their commission structure.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

The media reports of a housing bubble in the markets refers more to the southern markets who have been experiencing exceptionally high increases in value. We have not seen this in the Cairns market. Buyers who purchased in the peak of the market in 2007 are not yet achieving the prices they paid at that particular time. We are however seeing an increase in prices achieved today than those 12-18 months ago, which is a positive sign of what is to come.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

In the coming year I believe the most important changes to the property market in Cairns will be dependant upon local market factors such as local development and projects, and also macroeconomic factors such as interest rates. I am looking forward with confidence to 2016 and what it will bring.

Bio

Integrity, honesty and care sums up Angela Capitanio. With over 28 years experience in the real estate community, Angela has demonstrated not only how to successfully sell properties, but how to build strong relationships with all of her clients and colleagues. Her excellent reputation in the Cairns market was built from humble beginnings. Working from a desk in the Ray White tea room in 1987, Angela worked hard to become one of Cairns most successful sales people.

Despite her long string of awards and significant achievements, when the Capitanio name is mentioned it is not only in praise of her business attainments, but also for her knowledgeable and down-to-earth nature. Angela invests all her time, energy and resources into guaranteeing a successful and efficient process, constantly going above and beyond her clients expectations.

Her knowledge, experience and passion for the industry makes the selling of homes look easy, and her determination for success is irrefutable.

Brad Munro: Residential Sales with Position Property - Westend, Queensland

OpenAgent - Brad Munro, Residential Sales with Position Property - Westend, QueenslandWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I started in real estate in Feb 2003, and it was at the time when the Brisbane market was experiencing strong growth. The buyer demand was huge, yet the number of properties for sale was low, creating a great market to be selling in.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

The Brisbane property market has experienced many ups and downs in the time since then. We have experienced the GFC and also the floods of 2011, and also the strong growth period along the way. In relation to prices, the market - despite the lean periods - is still higher than in 2003. The house, townhouse and apartment markets have performed differently, however as a whole they have all performed well. Competition from agents continues to grow, which is great for the industry. However there are still agents out there who overstate the value of the property providing, property owners with misinformation. This only results in a property that either doesn’t sell or spends an extended time on the market for sale, costing the property owners thousands of dollars in wasted advertising and marketing expenses. In relation to fees, I do not find this challenging as the old adage stand true – you pay for what you get…

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

No. There are some challenges facing the Brisbane market, however I do not believe it will result in huge value changes.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

In Brisbane it will be how the market function and or reacts to the huge number of apartments being built. We are experiencing a construction boom on the apartment space, and this is seeing a slight softening of rents already. It could be a challenging year for the apartment market in Brisbane. The house market has started continue and will continue to perform well. The buyer demand is very strong.

Bio

Over his 13+ years in the industry, Brad Munro has sold over 700 properties with a value in excess of $375,000,000.00, thanks to his continued emphasis on promoting the property and not the agency. His specialised strategic advertising program is designed to reach every potential buyer for your property.

Here are some key insights from Brad:

  • Professionalism, expertise, honesty and integrity are still continued traits that will never change.
  • We will never overstate or inflate the property’s value to ‘win’ the listing. In every case you will get professional, honest and experienced advice on the current market value of your property.
  • Position Property has been in business for over 15 years, and has amassed over 2 and a half billion dollars in property sales.

Helene Shepard: Sales consultant with Action Realty Ipswich, First National Real Estate - Ipswich, Queensland

OpenAgent - Helene Shepard, First National Real Estate - Ipswich, QueenslandWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry?

And when was that? In 2007 our Ipswich market was in a traditional trade mode, with interest building thanks to investors and strong land development. The Ipswich region has a large capacity, supported with the infrastructure to see the area growth double in the next 20 years. I’ve found investors and owner-occupiers are confident to secure their future in Ipswich . First home owner-occupiers are discovering our affordable prices and land sizes too hard to resist, and so are choosing Ipswich. The Largest Air Force base in the Southern Hemisphere is a strong source of real estate turnover, and interstate transfers to our region are exceptional.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

Prices for the region and area were challenged with the 2011 floods, and are now on track by returning to post flood prices. Exceptional results can be found in stand out traditional properties. Naturally our history and services are a strong part of the region’s growth, and continue to be insulated from the fluctuations of other areas due to booms such as mining etc. Agents fees are now deregulated In Queensland. This means that as an Agent you are able to secure a commission that reflects your expertise and results. Competition from other agencies is now encouraged. Each agency has a profile that they have earned, and a module that will suit different sellers. Sellers have a choice of professional agents, who all now offer a strong service. My business is based on personal referrals. People trust people who know their friends and co workers.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

No I do not. There are many opinions in this regard. The cycle of real estate reflects the strength of property returns over a 7 year term.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

Online presence is increasingly vital to secure a market share, along with personal service to both your buyers and sellers. Your local and state governments decisions will reflect confidence in your sector. 2016 offers the lowest interest rates we have enjoyed for many years. I personally predict that with the growth of the Ipswich Region, Industry, infrastructure and our exceptional services, the commercial / residential and business growth will be healthy and confident - however, these are personal opinions only.

Bio

Helene Shephard is your local “go to” agent, and the value Helene brings to you as your agent is significant and proven. Currently ranked in the top 1% of all Queensland real estate agents, she understands that one of the underpinning foundations to our great City’s past, present, and secure future is growth in the real estate market.

Her winning combination of industry knowledge, local and regional community involvement, and customer service are the key ingredients to her continued success. As a buyer or a seller you will be afforded respect, education, trust and professionalism by Action Realty Ipswich. These are all essential core values to assist with one of the biggest decision of your life - buying or selling property. Helene has a passion for service and results.

Gillian Thorn: Sales Consultant with Luton Property - Woden, Australian Capital Territory

OpenAgent - Gillian Thorn, Sales Consultant with Luton Property - Woden, Australian Capital TerritoryWhat was the property market like when you started working in the real estate industry? And when was that?

I commenced my real estate career in Canberra in March 2004. In order to gain my Registration I had to study for six months before I could begin actively working as an agent. The market at that time was a buyers’ market with an abundant supply of stock and plenty of buyers.

How do you feel things have changed between then and now regarding prices, fees and competition from other agencies?

The market has fluctuated during this time from a buyers’ market evolving to a sellers’ market, and now I would say it is more balanced between the two. However, the current apartment market is more inclined to a buyers’ market due to an oversupply. From my perspective I am more confident negotiating my fee now than I was when I first started, obviously due to my inexperience. My clients tend to come to me by referral so I don’t have to actively market myself in order to maintain my listings. When in competition with other agents I have to be mindful of not offering the highest fee, but I feel I can convince prospective clients of my value to them. I know my points of difference between what I and Luton can offer compared to other agencies, so use that in my listing presentations.

Do you believe that the Australian property market is in a housing bubble?

My own personal opinion is that the property market is not in a housing bubble. It is imperative that the banking industry maintain their lending guidelines in line with each individual’s circumstances when advising on loans. My job as an agent is to market the property I am selling, advising potential buyers of its features and benefits, and be enthusiastic. That way buyers can make an informed decision as to whether or not it is suitable for their needs.

What do you think will be the most important change in the property market in 2016?

Being located in the Canberra market, the Federal and local elections are being held this year. Traditionally this has a “slowing” effect on the real estate market just before and during the election. In 2014/2015 the Mr Fluffy (loose-fill asbestos) homeowners did have an impact on the market, but this effect now seems to have subsided. However once the ACT Government remediate the blocks and they are offered for sale, buyer interest could peak again. My opinion is that the market will be “steady as she goes”, although Canberra has recently experienced a recent rise in property prices - not to the same extent as Sydney and Melbourne, but enough to keep the market in a healthy state for both sellers and buyers.

Bio

Gillian Thorn emigrated to Australia from the UK in 1981 with her husband and, due to his employment, have moved on a number of occasions within Australia and overseas.

When she arrived in Canberra for their second posting to the city, Gillian decided she wanted an occupation that would give her flexibility, variety, and unlimited potential as to her earning capacity. She chose to become a real estate agent with Luton, and has never looked back. She loves it! [/accordion-item] [/accordion]

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