I look back on my final report of 2017 and my forecast for 2018 and although the market has shifted, I believe the forecast was fairly accurate in that no matter what happens within the economy, people have to get on with their lives and buy and sell for the usual reasons, such as increasing or decreasing family sizes, death, divorce, work related moves, investing or building nest eggs for the future.
The one big change to the market this year that we didn’t foresee was the banks’ tighter lending criteria, a fall-out of the Banking Royal Commission, which has had a huge impact on the market. Generally, if we look at the economy, everything else has remained fairly static in that interest rates have remained low, employment has been steady and economic growth has been strong. Not only have people been affected by the credit crunch, they have also been influenced by the constant bombardment of negativity from the media with its relentless reporting of the “property slump”, which has caused the market, in my opinion, to shift further towards a sentiment driven downturn.
Looking toward 2019 my forecast is that until we see the end of the Banking Royal Commission and its implications, the real estate market will remain as is. This is not all entirely bad by the way, as it provides people with much better buying opportunities than were available a year or two ago. For those looking to upgrade, the step up is not as steep as it was in previous years and given some of the opportunities out there, hopefully many more people will be able to get into the market.
So, in general, life goes on and we remain positive – people have to live somewhere. Economic conditions will hopefully remain strong, our population continues to grow and the real estate market should always be viewed on a long-term basis.
To everyone who has read our report during the year we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!