How 2023 is already shaping up

The first three weeks of 2023 have delivered some valuable intel on the property market’s direction over the next few months. Here’s the inside story.

Most property market professionals will tell you it’s difficult to gauge market direction for the coming year until we’ve seen several weeks of sales activity.

But a buyers’ agency like ours is in a unique position compared to office-based analysts and economists. As a buyers’ agent we are on the ground and engaging daily with purchasers and sellers from our first workday of the year.

Now, I’m not so bold as to think I have the market totally sussed in these initial stages of 2023, but I have spotted some early signals that indicate where we might be headed in terms of sale volumes and prices.

So, what have we seen during the first three weeks of 2023?

Positive signs

There are already signals of a rebound in activity which bodes well for price growth in 2023.

Over the past few weeks, two big agency groups have reported impressive numbers of attendees across their open home inspections. This is somewhat surprising as we don’t traditionally see strong results until after the  Australia Day holiday.

It’s all dependant on location and property type of course. I’ve spoken to individual agents at various open homes and their comments range from “It’s still pretty slow” to “Things are going quite well!”

I’d suggest some of the best opportunities are sitting in the $800,000 to $1.2 million price bracket. This sort of money can secure a decent detached house on a good size block all within a short commute of the CBD. That makes for an excellent buy-and-hold investment.

One sector doing well is attached housing. Relative affordability drove demand in this market late last year, and that looks set to continue in the near term.

Buyer interest for attached housing is widespread too. From investors looking for well located, appropriately positioned assets through to owners (often downsizers) wanting to shift into multi-million-dollar apartments.

Limited options

One factor keeping prices firm at present is the limited number of listings across most of the locations, price points and property types my business deals with.

Genuine buyers are already competing with others to secure good property. Despite concerns about rising interest rates causing activity to slow, buyers who’ve already been hunting for a while know they need to jump quickly when the right property comes along.

Looking to interest rates and there’s no guarantee as to which way they are heading in the first half of this year, however there are indications the rising cycle is due to reach its peak shortly. As soon as everyone is confident they’ve stopped their upward trend, expect buyer and seller activity to ramp up quickly.

In short, the Brisbane property market is a nuanced beast. What you are looking to buy and how much you have available to spend determines how you should proceed in 2023.

I would encourage anyone with plans to acquire real estate this year to discuss their requirements with us. We are well placed to look at what you require and deliver individual guidance on how you should move forward.