It might be surprising to some people that there is more stock on the market in Sydney now than there was at the same time last year.
According to SQM Research, there were about 34,000 properties for sale in Sydney in October this year versus just under 30,000 at the same time last year.
Sure, during the pandemic, listings were down significantly as everyone watched and waited from their living rooms to see what happened next.
However, from July, stock on market has been increasing to now be similar to what we could expect in the current conditions.
Still, though, I’m regularly hearing of potential buyers struggling to “find” a property to buy because there is no stock.
The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of options but they are not being realistic when it comes to price or they don’t have clear idea of what they want.
Here are eight reasons why you can’t find a Sydney property at present.
- Looking for bargains
The Sydney market was strong pre-pandemic, with prices firming.
Even during the lockdown, the reduction in properties for sale helped to underpin prices.
Now, with case numbers under control, demand for property has rebounded and, with it, so have prices.
Of course, this means that bargains are difficult to find – if they exist at all.
- No clarity
Some buyers don’t actually know the type of property they’re looking for.
They wax and wane between a house or a unit and sometimes even the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
This scatter-gun approach makes it difficult for them to not only find a property, but also makes it near impossible to compare like with like.
- Unrealistic pricing
As well as searching for bargains that don’t exist, some buyers are trying to buy into areas that they simply can’t afford.
They may think that prices are lower than what they truly are, or they’re forever looking for a hidden gem that no one else knows about.
We all have suburbs that we desire to live in, but sometimes it’s best to consider sister locations that offer the same amenity for a lower price.
Another option is to buy strategically in locations primed for capital growth that will allow you to leapfrog into your suburb of choice sooner.
- Price guide issues
In Sydney, it’s common for auction price guides to start at the lower end of the potential market price for a property.
There is a 10 per cent price range with the lower number being the one marketed to potential buyers.
The reality is that in robust market conditions, properties often sell under the hammer for five to 10 per cent above the top of the price guide.
Some buyers are relying too much on these guides as a measure of property prices in a suburb, when they are often selling well above the upper end of the range.
For example, a property with a price guide of $700,000 could sell for $800,000 or more at auction.
- Not enough time on the ground
Property portals have made it easy for everyone to see what is on the market.
But too many people spend most of their time searching through listings online without ever inspecting any in real life.
It’s vital to recognise that properties as they are presented online are made to look their very best, which is why on the ground research is so important.
Portals should be used to weed out properties that don’t have your must-haves to select the ones worthy of further investigation.
- You are not top of mind
As well as understanding the market better by physically inspecting properties, you will also meet selling agents.
These connections are always useful, whether you end up buying their current listing or not.
By speaking with selling agents in the areas that you are interested in buying, they are more likely to let you know when they have new listings coming up or even if there are off-market opportunities.
Of course, buyers’ agents have strong networks with agents in the areas they buy for clients, which means we often know about properties before anyone else does.
- Not making an offer
Many potential property owners are nervous about buying their first asset.
That’s not that surprising because it is often the biggest financial commitment they will ever make.
However, to own real estate, you do need to make an offer or bid at auction at some point.
Sometimes, people wait for an auction, but don’t bid – vainly hoping that it will be passed in.
In rising market conditions, that’s a non-strategy because properties are selling under the hammer or even before.
- Mindset matters
Mindset is vital for anyone who wishes to grow wealth through property investment.
Not only do you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, but you also need to have a plan on how you are going to get there.
There are always opportunities for people to buy a strategically located property, but it can’t happen unless you have the desire, and the will, to do so.
One of the keys to property investment success is to understand that it’s time in the market that matters more than trying to time the market.