What is the Wollongong property market forecast for 2021 and beyond?

Author: Joanne Danckwardt of One Agency JD Property Agents

Around the family dinner table or at drinks with friends, at some point someone will give their Wollongong property market forecast. Having been in the real estate industry for 20+ years, I’ve seen how trends have emerged over time. There are cycles where the season will be more difficult for buyers, but a great opportunity for sellers. And vice versa.

But what about during economic downturns, like those produced from the current COVID lockdowns? Working as a real estate agent around buyers and sellers every day has proven it’s difficult to predict what will happen with the real estate market tomorrow.

When the property market is booming, as the Wollongong real estate market is now, that can create more anxiety to know when it’s best for you to buy or sell. What if you get the timing wrong? What if you miss a future opportunity? It’s fine to make predictions around the dinner table, but when it comes time to make a commitment, you start to want more surety.

Many have been waiting for the current real estate market boom to shift. They never predicted it would last as long as it has. But waiting for short term shifts can mean you miss out in the long term. What has always remained true is you don’t miss out when you buy and sell in the same market. And ultimately, property has always given back over the long term.

So, what should you consider before deciding if you should buy or sell in 2021 or beyond?

What influences the real estate market?

Firstly, let’s look at what factors you need to consider when looking at the market. The reality is, it’s not just how many buyers or sellers are present in the market.

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was the last major decline in the real estate market. Like COVID, we didn’t see this coming. However, the GFC’s impact on the real estate industry was different to the current coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate affected the market, as industries and businesses closed down. This, in turn, impacted buyer confidence. This time, there have been other factors at play that have created confidence.

Elements that can impact decisions on buying and selling due to financial strains on the family, include:

  • economy,
  • employment rates,
  • inflation rates,
  • interest rate changes,
  • banks not passing on rate cuts
  • Day-to-day living expenses, like petrol or essential grocery item price increases

All these factors show that it’s difficult to speculate on the market, with so many influences playing a part.

Is now a good time to sell your house?

Typically, Spring is a great time to buy and sell, due to a rise in sales and listings. Spring is the marker for people to ensure they sell before Christmas and can enjoy festivities in their new home. The same can be said of January listings for Easter.

While 2021 isn’t an ordinary year, my advice for sellers is to still come on the market now. When there are less properties on the market for sale, you’ll achieve a good price. If there are not a lot of other homes on the market at the same time as you, you’ll find there are good quality buyers looking to purchase now.

What we’ve been seeing during 2021 are lower numbers of buyers inspecting properties, but the quality of those buyers is high. For example, when showing a house to nine people, four of those will put an offer on the house.

Why is that? It’s because there are no other homes on the market like yours for sale and the buyers are still out there. People may be selling in the local market or Sydney, but they’re wanting to move to Wollongong to live.

Right now, you can’t look at buying an investment property, due to it not being an essential item. So, if your property is geared to an investor, you might want to wait. However, if your home is ideal for somebody to live in for themselves, now is a great time to come on the market with the level of high-quality buyers out there. 

When is the right time to buy a property?

For buyers, it’s a more challenging story. If you’re in this boat, you’ve probably been looking at Wollongong property market forecasts more than most. The thing is, we don’t know what is going to happen in the Wollongong real estate market.

Last time we were in lockdown in 2020, we had a situation where after restrictions eased, property prices went up. It’s hard to know if that will happen again, because there’s a different feel to the market. If you’re a buyer, you may have been on this buying journey for a minimum of six months. That’s the average timeframe for a buyer to actually find a property. And by now, you’re probably over it.

My suggestion is to look at the properties on the market and go hard. Get the house at all cost because you just don’t know if it’s going to increase in value.

The reality is, if you are looking at buying a property and you expect to live in it long term, it really doesn’t matter what is happening in the market today. In 10 years, it won’t matter if you bought at the top of the market, or the bottom of the market. Within that decade, your home is likely to look like you bought it for a bargain.

Property will always go up and down in the short term, but in the long term it has always grown. This means if you’re willing to be patient, the real estate market will give back to you. Don’t try to pick the market, but rather pick the house. If you find the house you want, don’t delay. Buy the one that you want.

Making Wollongong property market forecasts irrelevant

The past 12 months have shown demand has outweighed supply, which has favoured sellers in achieving above-average prices and selling in quick timeframes. But the lift in affordability and the possibility of tighter lending conditions, means the tide could easily shift in favour of buyers.

The bottom line is that for buyers, if you have had a property and you sold it and you’re looking to buy, aim to sell and buy in the same market.

It’s the same for owners. If you’ve got a property and you need to downsize and go from a bigger home into something smaller, you’ll get a good price on your home, but you will also pay a good price for the next property. On the next property you purchase, as long as you’re doing these things in the same market, it’s all relative. It doesn’t really matter.

You can access the latest Wollongong property market updates for Fairy Meadow, Balgownie and Mount Pleasant / Mount Ousley from Joanne Danckwardt of One Agency JD Property Agents in Fairy Meadow from Joanne’s site. Learn more in the video with Joanne Danckwardt as talks about the current real estate market in these lockdown periods – CLICK HERE to watch now. 

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Joanne Danckwardt is a licensed real estate agent who covers the Fairy Meadow, Balgownie, Mount Ousley and Mount Pleasant areas. Her high degree of personal involvement, means she understands her clients and tailors a process to suit, with all efforts geared to produce exceptional real estate results. Her exceptional market knowledge and excellent negotiation skills means she stays ahead of the curve in the real estate market. Joanne can be contacted on [email protected] or 0426 264 771. To learn how to make the transition for your current home into aged care, register for the free short course HERE.