THERE has been a shift in the Sunshine Coast property market with agents reporting a surge in sales since August.
Buyers are looking for value yet they are also trying to reposition themselves whether for lifestyle, financial or family reasons.
The question is whether amongst the flurry of activity all the plum bargains have been picked.
"The bottom end has been chewed up,'' Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Sunshine Coast chair Lloyd Edwards said.
"Yet there will always be good buys, opportunities. Real estate is a long game, not a short game.
"This is a time when acting sooner rather than later is the best advice.''
Looking back, Mr Edwards said there was definitely a change to the market about four months ago.
"There was a deliberate, strong uptake of properties under $400,000 and in some cases the $500,000 mark.
"After that, properties normally listed to replace those sales have not occurred. Listing numbers are down 30-40% over the past few months.''
Century 21 on Duporth principal Damien Said believes momentum in the market has been building over the past six months.
"Buyer inquiry levels have steadily been increasing across all price ranges and sales volumes have been on the rise also,'' he said.
"We are now seeing the first signs of stock shortages across the Coast as buyers have genuinely realised that now is the time to buy.
"Research figures and quarterly sales volumes are often published three to four months after the event and to an extent can become historic indicators.
"Buyers who are still sitting on the fence today may find that by the time they read that the market is beginning to shift, they may in fact be three months behind the movement.''
Mr Said believes this shortage of stock is starting to generate multiple offers and competition between buyers, creating the first signs of some upward pressure on prices. This is occurring across all price ranges.
"There is a definite resurgence in the top end of the market. We are seeing a number of buyers actively looking for quality waterfront homes and apartments with a belief that the tide has begun to turn and now is the time to secure their foothold in this unique market.
"In my opinion the median priced housing market has never been stronger. We recently saw five written offers presented on a four-bedroom home in $400,000's bracket in the first week of an auction campaign highlighting the dwindling stock levels we are starting to see.''
In the lower end, townhouses and units are still being rapidly absorbed by the market, Mr Said reported, with a strong pool of both first home buyers and investors looking for properties which represent value.
Ken Guy Buderim licensee Danny Redman said the market changed four months ago and that astute buyers were settling now.
"That is creating attrition in the market place,'' Mr Redman said.
"The Buderim market is always driven by the top end. The $1-$1.5m market will be tightly contested.''
In Noosa, John Swainson of Laguna Real Estate said a lot of bargains were being snapped up - particularly in the $400,000-$500,000.
"Yet there are only X number of properties on the market under value at any one time,'' he reminded.
"There are still some out there and still some more to come to the market. People have heard of the activity and the value on offer.''
Take your pick of the property bargains in Domain, free in Saturday's Sunshine Coast Daily.
Domain: find what you are looking for here
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