NOEL Mooney wishes he had a crystal ball to see what 2013 holds for the property market. The principal and partner of North Shore Realty Coolum Beach suggested that we should take note of those around us this season for an idea of what the coming year may hold for the Coolum and North Shore region.
Noting that this Christmas period is "looking good for tourists", he is optimistic that they will fall in love with the paradise on offer in the region, and buy a little piece of their own while they are holidaying.
Mr Mooney and the North Shore teams at Marcoola and Coolum Beach are seeing lots of interstate buyers coming back into the market.
"They're looking for an investment now to move into when they retire," he said.
"The unit and apartment market will be more attractive in 2013 than in the past," he added. "Buyers are always looking at the out-goings, yet you still have costs with a house. "We don't always realise the costs involved with a house, as we do all the maintenance ourselves."
Body corporates fees are what he describes as "a forced way of keeping your investment up to scratch."
"Someone does all the work for you. If you have a busy lifestyle a unit is the way to go."
In terms of selling, he believes that taking a property to market by auction is the best way to put a price on property at the moment.
"This practice is working extremely well for sellers," he said.
He explained that an increase in many variable factors is stirring the market up, making it tricky to establish a decisive price point for each particular address. "It's hard to put a price on property at present," he said.
"So doing a four to five week campaign for auction allows you to attract more buyers and comment on your property."
It's in consultation with these buyers, who come to inspect throughout the campaign, that a more definite price point may be established.
Prices in general may not have increased dramatically during 2012, but he is confident they have stabilised a little.
He also believes that the time on the market for properties in the region has shortened.
"Going back a few years ago, the average days on the market for a property were quite high. It was well over 100 days, and in some cases over 200 days. On average now, we are generally experiencing a quicker turnover."
In the eyes of Andy Lake of PRDnationwide Coolum Beach, the past 12 months have been a year of transition for the local market.
Mr Lake believes the current recovery is being driven by a marked increase in the volume of sales, as reported by recent data from REIQ. He is confident this will yield a greater sales volume in following months.
"We had a sluggish start to 2012," he said. "Across the coast, we were experiencing market lethargy until June 30."
Yet while the market bottomed in July, he believes the start of this slow recovery began in August to September.
"That decline in property prices in the first quarter began to ease mid year," he said.
As evidenced in data from REIQ, confidence improved and market traffic increased dramatically from early July.
From early August, Mr Lake said, property inspections saw a considerable increase also.
"By September 30 we recorded our first price growth quarter since early 2008," he said.
A significant factor in this rise, he explained, is largely due to a great lift in sales volume.
Data collated across the June quarter to September quarter found a noteworthy growth of 43.4% in this area. Mr Lake suggested we may see an even higher volume of successful sales in the near future.
"I expect 2013 to yield much higher sales volume than 2012. Property values are predicted to grow between 5-10%."
It's a brighter future that he sees as translating to a positive shift in the market. He also acknowledged the evolution the central streetscape and landscape have undergone.
"It's been a real year of change for Coolum Beach," he said.
"Especially across the streetscape. We saw new businesses open and old businesses close. The new Esplanade Traffic and Beautification Plan has finally been actioned.
A testing year for business in 2012 was compounded by the fact that Coolum Esplanade owners have had to endure the interruptions that came with footpath and road works."
With the recent start on works to improve Tickle Park, Mr Lake is optimistic that the completion of this will coincide with improved market buoyancy in the coming future.
For more on property, pick up your copy of Domain free in Friday's Coolum News, or in Saturday's Sunshine Coast Daily.
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