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Why 2024 will be a strong year for sellers

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Given the incredibly fast-paced, yo-yoing nature of Australian property over the past few years, it's been difficult to pinpoint exactly what will happen in any 12-month period. 

There are clearer signs of stability up ahead, though, which point to a prosperous 2024 for home sellers around the country. 

Find out what's in store for property prices, buyer demand, and how expected interest rate cuts could shake things up once more.

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Price growth is predicted to hold steady

The Australian real estate rollercoaster has seen home values fluctuate wildly since the onset of Covid in early 2020. 

From the historic boom of 2021 to the rate hike-driven correction in 2022 and the surprising market rebound of 2023, the property price see-saw has balanced out to boost the median national home value by +32.5 per cent over four years to a new all-time high. 

Now forecasts are showing a more sustainable rate of growth ahead that could insulate the market from further sudden jolts in pricing. 

Westpac's latest Housing Pulse report outlines a case for national price growth of +6 per cent in 2024 followed by a further +4 per cent in 2025, with positive outcomes for every capital city market. 

Arjun Paliwal, head of research at buyer’s agency InvestorKit, told the AFR that rising consumer confidence is putting upward pressure on an already-strong market. 

"The price momentum is going to continue improving from now, simply because it’s clear that there’s a sentiment shift coming up, and people believe the worst is behind us, so they’re keen to catch up on lost times," he said.

Buyer demand is unlikely to fall below tight supply levels

One of the key drivers of price growth in 2023 was Australia's surging population. Record-high levels of overseas migration came in the face of a widespread housing shortage, creating a vast gap between supply and demand. 

While population growth may be passing through a peak as international students return to the country, an ongoing high level of demand is meeting a lack of available stock on the market. 

ABS data shows an ongoing decline in building approvals despite the Federal Government's commitment to 1.2 million new homes being built by 2029, an effort to prop up supply in the face of ever-growing demand for housing. 

PropTrack explained that "Given the current trajectory, it's unlikely that 1.2 million new homes will be built in the next five years. This means we’re likely to continue to see an undersupply of homes to buy and an undersupply of homes to rent."

With For Sale listings holding at low levels in many corners of the country and new builds being completed at a trickle, sellers are likely to find healthy levels of buyer competition as demand continues to outstrip supply throughout 2024.

Rate cuts are expected to come as cost-of-living pressures ease

After 18 months of the interest rate hiking cycle causing misery for many Australians, the conversation has shifted towards rate cuts in 2024. 

Many economists, including those from the big four banks, are expecting cuts to begin in the second half of this year. While lower rates typically go hand in hand with price growth, the prospect of rate cuts is already inspiring some action across the market. 

CoreLogic's research director, Tim Lawless, told the AFR "I wouldn’t be surprised if some prospective buyers start positioning themselves in the market now, aiming to buy before rate cuts are passed down and potentially benefit from renewed growth conditions down the track as rates fall."

That sentiment was echoed by Sydney investor Nicholas Marangos-Gilks who is among those looking to get in early before conditions shift once again. 

"I think there’s a potential to buy well before the rates start falling later this year because some people, unfortunately, are struggling with higher mortgage repayments and are selling up," he said. 

"I believe the market will become quite competitive once the RBA starts cutting rates because there are a lot of people out there just waiting for that opportunity. Vendors could also start factoring that rate cut in their asking prices, so we could see prices increase again."

Thinking of selling in 2024? 

If you're still looking to get in on the action this year, it's important to be as prepared as possible in order to cut through the competition and achieve a standout result. 

Step 1: Understanding how your market is performing

Every market is different, and understanding your local market is fundamental to making the right selling decisions. Our guide to tracking market trends and data will help you to get a clear picture of how your market is performing and how that impacts you as a seller. 

Step 2: Know what your property might be worth

Getting a free home value estimate is a great way to set a foundation for your selling expectations and begin planning the path forward.

Step 3: Get a no-obligation market appraisal from a top real estate agent

Understand what your property could sell for in the current market by speaking to the top-performing agents in your suburb. Comparing top agents in your area will help you find the perfect partner for your selling journey and move towards a successful result.

Step 4: Finally, get your property listing-ready

Taking a thorough approach to preparing your home for sale is another critical step. From cleaning, decluttering, painting and performing other cosmetic renovations to home staging, photography and marketing, getting your property to sale-ready condition is a must.