Heating market pressures buyers into making snap decisions
Panicked house hunters have been making life-altering property purchases on the fly in a desperate bid to get into the housing market before prices increase further.
Agents said buyers were snapping up pricey homes just days after they were listed for sale — most likely the biggest purchases of their lives — after developing an extreme case of FOMO, or the fear of missing out.
Recent prices rises were stoking this fear, with many worried they would be locked out of contention for properties unless they moved on sales fast.
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FOMO was most prevalent in coastal or waterfront suburbs where prices took a knock during the recent market downturn and offered buyers a rare window to get into the market for less.
The suburbs included northern beaches enclaves Fairlight, Freshwater, North Manly and Manly Vale, along with, down south, the suburb of Sutherland and nearby Shire suburbs Jannali and Woronora.
Properties in these areas were selling within 20 days, on average — roughly a third of the time it took the average Sydney property to sell, according to CoreLogic data.
Sales included a one-bedroom unit on Pittwater Rd in Manly that recently changed hands for nearly $1.2 million after being on the market just five days.
A nearby unit on Addison Rd sold for $1.25 million eight days after hitting the market. A luxury house on the same street sold for $5.27 million after three weeks — an impressive feat considering homes in this price bracket usually took months to sell.
Buyers were also making snap decisions in suburbs in Sydney’s far west and southwest, including a group of cheaper suburbs around Campbelltown.
A house in Eschol Park sold two days after it was listed, while in nearby Currans Hill another sale was wrapped up in 24 hours. Five homes in South Penrith sold last month within a week of being listed.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said buyers were moving the quickest on sales in lifestyle areas such as the northern beaches and Sutherland Shire because they thought prices were temporarily lower.
“Demand wasn’t nearly as high three years ago when the market was booming,” she said. “Now there’s an expectation it’s a great time to get into some of the city’s best suburbs.”
Buyer’s agent Rich Harvey of Property Buyer said FOMO was most apparent at auctions, which meant buyers had to spend more if they wanted to secure homes.
Lukas Kures and partner Zuzana said they recently found the apartment of their dreams in Bluestone development Woolooware Bay in the Shire but realised they had to be quick if they wanted to buy it.
The couple had fallen in love with the area because it was close to Cronulla, one of their favourite beaches, but they got the sense other families would beat them to the punch if they didn’t act fast.
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“We bought one of the last units that was available,” Mr Kures said “We knew that if we hesitated they would all be gone and we would miss our chance to get what we’ve always wanted.”
More than $10 million in deposits were exchanged for units in the family’s complex in the first week the properties were launched.
Selling agents Highland Property Group’s Luke Barbuto said some of the most active buyers were downsizers. They were using current market conditions as an opportunity to “step up in quality of lifestyle”, he said.