Currently on the market there are 130 properties listed for sale with 33 properties currently under offer. This is slightly down from the quarter prior which we saw on average around 145 properties listed for sale.
Current listings segmentation (excluding under offer):
HOUSE – 67
APRTMENT/UNIT – 7
LAND – 23
Online inquiries for properties listed for sale by Realmark Karratha have fluctuated this quarter:
Jan 22 - Feb 16 - March 35
It's interesting to see the spike in inquiry over from February to March and attribute this to the quality of stock on the market as well as the buyer’s perception of an impending 'boom' coming. When it comes to home opens and the number of buyers inspecting the properties, we have again experienced an up and down trend and no real consistency throughout the first quarter of 2020.
Jan 21 home open attendees across 9 home opens
Feb 57 home open attendees across 14 home opens
March 17* home open attendees across 9* home opens
*March is still in progress.
February is clearly the highlight month of the first quarter from our firm’s perspective. February factors in kids returning to school and buyers becoming more active in the market, generally more lease agreements come to an end around this time and tenants look to acquire their own property and break out of the rental market. Throughout February there was the general consensus that Woodside would not be far off announcing the final investment decision on the highly anticipated PLUTO 2.
Corona Virus Chaos
COVID-19 has caused economic concern on a global scale. We’ve seen QANTAS cancel 90% of there international flights, several countries closing their boarders and the share market practically free fall for most of March. The question that is being asked of us, “Will this affect the Karratha property market?”
We are closely monitoring the number of buyer inquiries and inspections on each property. Based on conversations we have had with buyers over the last 1-2 weeks there is a general concern that the market could experience a plateau or even taper back pricing slightly as some buyers are losing or have lost confidence in the market particularly after watching the share markets free fall throughout the month of March.
I expect Woodside’s major project PLUTO 2 to be delayed for 6-12 months and potentially longer as modules for that project will come from China, which currently is not exporting to Australia at that scale. Prior to COVID – 19 this was a driving force in the demand for rental property which was forcing rental prices up and pushing more owner occupiers into the market.
It’s naturally very hard to predict the full extent of the effects of COVID -19 however now is a good time to re-asses how long you will be holding onto an asset and potentially off selling now before a potential temporary decline happens is better than holding on for a further 8-12 months before a correction in the market.
If your buying, now is the time to make smart decisions and lock in a price while other buyers are potentially hesitant. This means there may be opportunities to secure property with less competition than we have previously seen in the last 6 months whilst the virus will likely have a level of effect on the market, it will be temporary and the market will recover strongly when major projects are pushed back into the equation.
RBA FURTHER CUTS
For the second time in a month the RBA have cut the official cash rate in half to just 0.25%. The RBA have announced that they will be following the footsteps of other world central banks and buying government bonds and encouraging consumer spending by printing more money and pushing it back into the economy.
Our business has experienced several changes and achievements for the first quarter of 2020.
Ellene and I and shared our 1 year anniversary with Realmark Karratha and are extremely proud of the progress our business has made in what has been a very fast 12 months. To all our current and past clients, we’d like to thank you for your support and providing us with the opportunity to look after your property needs.
Our sales team has expanded, we have recruited Georgette Graham who will be working directly with Jordan James and will be handling the contract management, listing preparation and buyer management. We feel this decision has already added another layer of our attention to detail to our customer needs both from a buying and selling perspective. Georgette was recruited from a local jewellery store that she had been managing for 4 years. In the last 12 months Georgette purchased a property and draws her inspiration to deliver high quality experiences from the poor experience she had as a buyer.
Holly Bryce our maintenance and leasing coordinator is set to leave us on maternity leave at the end of March. Holly has been with us from the beginning and we wish Holly, Justin and the kids all the best in welcoming their new baby into the world.
Kehlee Walker joins the property management department working directly with Ellene on servicing our landlords and tenants. Kehlee joins us from New Zealand and has experience in working in tourism destinations with high volume of customers and standards of service delivery. The core of Kehlee’s role will be a tenant liaison and leasing consultant. The purpose will be to increase the service level experience for tenants and allow Ellene to focus on our landlord relationships, which we are very excited about.
If you’ve contacted our office lately you will have likely spoken with our new receptionist Kailea Hunter. Kailea joins us bringing a bright and bubbly personality and can-do attitude. We have full confidence that Kailea will enjoy a long a prosperous real estate career.
Of course, if you have any queries from a real estate perspective please contact us on 9197 2600.