Home Truths with Kirstie Klein Hunter
The New Year has started off at a steady pace for businesses but with inflation not yet in a place where the Reserve Bank is happy and interest rates continuing to rise, buyers are understandably nervous about investing in property. But there are exceptions to the rule as Jennifer Swaine discovers when she chats to Kirstie Klein Hunter on what she is seeing in the Noosa market and where she thinks we are heading over the next few months.
While many of us were hoping the interest raise rises would not continue into 2023, this has not been the case. The result is the borrowing capacity of those looking to take out loans has been reduced, while others are concerned about their reduced cash flow once they have paid their monthly mortgage.
So, how is the Noosa property market faring amidst the financial constraints many home owners are experiencing?
According to Kirstie Klein Hunter, a Buyer’s Agent who specialises in the Noosa market, the Noosa prestige property market has seen some slight adjustments but continues to withstand many of the outside pressures.
This is simply because there is limited stock in the region and the demand for that stock is always there.
Kirstie says that despite December and January being relatively quiet, as is normally the case, there are some noticeable changes in the market.
“Not a lot happens during the Christmas period and that is primarily because people are on holidays or taking a break, so we never see a lot of activity during this time anyway,” Kirstie said.
“However, what I am now noticing is that the length of time a property is staying on the market seems to be increasing and as a result, a few vendors are adjusting the asking price to better reflect market sentiment.”
While this is good news for buyers, Kirstie believes that some buyers are choosing to wait out the market until interest rates stop rising and said it feels a lot like 2020.
“If I could compare the current uncertainty to what we experienced when Covid first impacted us I would say it is very similar,” she said.
“People are feeling uncertain about the future and are choosing to wait and see what happens with interest rates.
“I disagree with this thinking as there are opportunities out there right now if you know where to look. Once the interest rate rises cease, the media narrative will change and confidence will return but people will have missed out on some really great buys if they hold out until then.
“I had a client that purchased a few months into the pandemic, and it was a smart decision. The property we secured has literally doubled in price and he is back to buy again in the current market. He knows that now is the best time to buy when uncertainty is high and there are less buyers in the market.
“He knows that now is the best time to buy when uncertainty is high and there are less buyers in the market.
“When confidence returns and buyers come back in a rush you will simply not have the access to these properties because they will be long gone. If you have the capacity to snap up something now you should – or you risk missing out on a property you really want.”
Noosa is home to many beautiful properties, many of which have been tightly held for years, and because there is limited stock in the area, demand to buy into this special part of the world never really wanes.
Many of the properties that do come up and change hands are often transacted off-market. This is where it is useful to engage a buyer’s agent, such as Kirstie, who are often offered properties before they go on the open market for sale.
“Over the years I have built strong relationships with many of the real estate agents in Noosa and they know I have a number of clients, at any given time, all looking for something specific but often very different,” she said.
“The agents will contact me as soon as they know they are about to list a property as my clients are already vetted and are often cash buyers so this makes transacting a deal relatively easy.”
Kirstie is also seeing a lot of interstate and international buyers looking to establish themselves in Noosa and demand from expats also remains high.
According to Australia’s largest virtual inspection platform, Little Hinges, “over 30 per cent of buyers looking to purchase on the Sunshine Coast are inspecting from other states.”
Furthermore, the Sight Unseen report released in January 2023 on Interstate and International Buyer Trends in the Australian Property Market said this number was “down from over 60% in December 2022” and that “buyers from New South Wales and Victoria make up the largest percentage of buyers looking to migrate.”
These numbers come as no surprise to Kirstie who said Noosa had a stellar reputation here and overseas.
“People understandably want to live here if they are relocating or returning home to Australia,” she said.
“On average I would get four enquiries a week to assist someone with a property purchase in Noosa, many of which I have to turn down because I am already looking for a similar property for another client.
“Demand is definitely still there – it is just that the sense of urgency we were seeing 12 months ago has all but dissipated.”
The smart money is there for people who understand that demand will always be high and are ready to take advantage of market hesitancy.
As Warren Buffett famously said, “be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”
READ MORE ABOUT KIRSTIE KLEIN HUNTER!