Australia’s happiest sellers revealed
Vendors outside Australia's biggest cities are the happiest in the nation according to a recent property poll by RateMyAgent.com.au.
Regional real estate is so hot right now - as city slickers seek out greener pastures amid a global pandemic - however, it's not just small town Australia that is happily reaping the rewards.
Hot spots such as Hobart and Canberra are also home to some of our happiest vendors.
RateMyAgent's latest Price Expectation Report polled 20,000 vendors and discovered that 41 per cent of them outside large metropolitan areas are achieving prices over expectations.
The ACT was named the happiest state or territory for sellers, while Victoria and Tasmania had the majority of happy regions.
The quarterly report, which surveyed vendors between July and September, also revealed a six per cent boost of happiness compared with the previous quarterly study done when COVID-19 infections and market uncertainty was high.
Mark Armstrong, co-founder of RateMyAgent, said despite continued economic uncertainty, the report demonstrated the strong demand in regional Australia and its smaller capitals.
"Agents and vendors in regional markets should welcome 2021 and the spring/summer sales season with high levels of optimism as potential buyers look for a tree or sea change in response to government incentives, RBA interest rate cuts and high returns," he said.
Interestingly, vendors in the Northern NSW region (which captures coastal towns such as Ballina, Lennox Head and Brunswick Heads) topped the list for the unhappiest vendors with a 23 per cent satisfaction score for the third quarter of 2020, despite seeing a spike in buyer activity since COVID.
In Byron Bay, 48 per cent of sellers and in Lismore 61 per cent achieved above expectation sale prices.
"While there could be a range of reasons why these areas had a higher percentage of unhappy sellers I suspect the main reason during this quarter revolved around employment and job stability," Mr Armstrong said.
"Areas that rely heavily on one sector such as tourism can have greater volatility in their employment market when the economy moves into recession,"
Popular pandemic property markets such as Canberra, Tasmania and South Australia lead the charge in contentedness, the survey showed, with the three regions seeing between 7 per cent and 11 per cent overall increases in seller satisfaction since the last study.
Happily ever after in Hobart
Hobart topped out the RateMyAgent report with a 61 per cent happiness score.
Conor Canning, selling agent with PRD Hobart, said while sellers in the Tasmanian capital were already cashing in on strong prices prior to the pandemic, they're now achieving even higher results. Corelogic's October price index showed Hobart's median dwelling price was $498,073, up 6.5 per cent annually.
"I think these results come from the fact that people see they can work remotely, so why wouldn't you live in more regional locations and have a great lifestyle, an affordable home and everything that comes with it?" he said.
"We're seeing a large amount of interstate purchasers looking to relocate and for them a lot of properties in Hobart represent tremendous value. It's that competition that is just driving prices above what vendors are expecting, which is great for them," he said, adding that he knew of multiple local sales where homes had been snapped up sight unseen.
Mr Canning said the "sweet spot" for a desirable Hobart home that can achieve over vendor expectations in the current market is a centrally located house priced in the "mid $500,000s".
Sellers cashing in on Canberra
Greater Canberra had a 53 per cent level of happiness among vendors according to the RateMyAgent survey.
"I think vendors are so happy because buyer demand has been very strong this year, especially in the upsizer market," Claire Corby of Capital Buyer's Agency said.
We have so many families with refunds from their cancelled travel plans, or they're spending more time at home this year, plus there's high levels of job confidence. That demand has been consistent and just continued as the year went on." Canberra's median dwelling price is $656,739, up 6.8 per cent annually.
"We have desirable low density living, you're not crowded in with people in built up urban areas - that's what people are moving away from. I guess you could say Canberra was already COVID-friendly to begin with," she added.
Ms Corby said investors were also putting upward pressure on prices in Canberra as some see less market volatility than Sydney and Melbourne.
"They're after a safe haven where they can park their money, also get capital growth and the strong yield that Canberra offers," she said.
With some Canberra auction campaigns now as short as two weeks, homes selling prior to auction or even off-market, Ms Corby said sellers must be satisfied.
"No wonder vendors are so happy. Their price expectations often go back a couple of months to when they first met with their selling agent. Things were strong then, but they weren't crazy like they are now," she said.
Originally published as Australia's happiest sellers revealed