One of the most interesting developments in residential real estate since 2010 has been the rapid proliferation of online services to research the property market.
Prospective buyers have never had so many data banks, online tools and research services to choose from.
The breadth and quality of information about median house prices, trends in values and the current state of play in different regions and suburbs is impressive. And as data analyst groups such as CoreLogic, the Domain Group, RealestateView and Ksou.cn ramp up their product offerings to consumers, they are creating new opportunities to make smart and well-informed property transaction decisions.
Nelson Alexander sales director Arch Staver says the range and quantity of information available to consumers today is incredible compared to even five years ago.
He says the property value data that comes from the online world is strongly influencing buyer and seller behaviour.
In the last five years, the main Australian property website portals have evolved rapidly. They have moved from being online portals that display property listings to recognising that a core part of their business is the provision of data to consumers.
Portals such as Domain and realestate.com.au are attempting to become more of an adviser to the consumer, rather than just a provider of listings. Both services are managing to strengthen their appeal to consumers by offering all sorts of services from free market reports to low-cost reports to quite expensive and extensive market analysis.
Mr Staver says many buyers now have a good feel for values before they attempt to purchase. He adds that some people know values down to particular streets and even the value differential between the two sides of a street.
“The residential real estate market has been through a real education process in the past five or six years and the fast growth of online research tools is a big plus for consumers,” he says.
“The great news is that there is so much information on median prices, clearance rates, per square metre value out there in the marketplace these days, so buyers are almost always well researched.”
Mr Staver says buyers will typically make smarter buying decisions by harnessing the various “proptech” tools available to them.
“If you intend to spend $1 million or more on a property, why wouldn’t you do research and track the market over the past three years and see what it has actually done?” he says.
“These tools allow you to look closely at the supply level for a particular property type or area and make an informed decision.
It is important to engage with your local real estate agent who can provide you with in depth information on the current market.
Mr Staver says he has seen people make causal decisions – and sometimes cavalier decisions – when buying expensive real estate, even though there is plenty of solid research available to them.
“This is not to say that they make the wrong decisions, but buyers would feel a whole lot better if they did that little bit of research.”
He says Melbourne’s high-performance market is on track to maintain its strength this year, which will put a new spotlight on research and informed decision-making.
“We actually think there is a bit of strength in this market: we will see it as we roll out the good houses in 2017,” Mr Staver notes.
If you want to know more about the current market, make a no-obligation appointment with a Nelson Alexander real estate agent. You will be shown the tools needed to make intelligent real estate decisions.