Markets doing well are not the outlier: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Markets doing well are not the outlier: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Markets doing well are not the outlier: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

EXPERT OBSERVER

When media occasionally stops sensationalising negatives in real estate and focuses on positives, they often refer to well-performed locations as “bucking the trend”.

This implies that a market doing well in the current climate is the outlier, the exceptional to the rule.

They’re not. These places ARE the rule. Markets doing well aren’t bucking the trend, they ARE the trend.

Our major newspapers are misleading consumers because their journalists are glass-half-empty people. Some of them are glass-completely-empty people.

In their mindset, a positive outcome doesn’t fit their definition of news. They’re wrong and that’s why newspapers and magazines are failing. Consumers are fed up with non-experts saturating the airwaves with inaccuracies and distortions that misrepresent important issues.

One of the biggest stories in Australian real estate is that shortage of rental properties. Vacancies are ultra low is most markets across the nation. In some places, they’re the lowest ever recorded.

Places where tenants are competing for scarce rentals, offering more than the asking rents in some cases, aren’t bucking the trend. They’re very much on trend.

But many investors are unaware. If they’re readers of certain major newspapers, they’ll believe that the situation with big city CBD areas (which are among the few places where vacancies are high) is the norm across Australia.

Major media keeps declaring that “prices are falling across Australia”. It simply isn’t so. Locations where prices are holding the line or are rising outnumber those where prices are dropping.

But the focus of journalists, and the economists who feed them misinformation, is on Melbourne and Sydney, which drag down national averages and create the impression of weakness in markets everything. It ain’t so.

My observation is that Melbourne and Sydney have been the exception to the rule for most of the past decade. When the two biggest cities were having their property boom (2013 to 2017, generally speaking), media represented this as a national property boom. But it wasn’t happening elsewhere.

When Sydney and Melbourne went into their correction phases (2018 and the first half of 2019) , with prices falling, media presented this to the public as a national property slump. But, again, it wasn’t happening across the nation. There were significant growth markets across the nation, including smaller capital cities and many important regional markets.

The current slump in Melbourne and some parts of Sydney (not nearly as severe as predicted by the chattering economists) does not describe Australia. The two biggest cities are bucking the trend.

The trend is markets with good sales activity led by home buyers including first-home buyers, prices steady or rising, and vacancies very low with upward pressure on rents.

Investors are largely sitting on the sidelines because they’re herd animals, but eventually they’ll get the message – or at least some of them will.

Here are a couple of examples which are typical of scenarios happening around the country.

The regional city of Orange is a good fit with the prevailing trends in real estate, including the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle. It has a strong local economy, well suited to the times. The vacancy rate is 0.4%, prices have risen 5.5% in the past year, including 1.9% in the most recent quarter. Typical houses are in the $400,000s.

Similar sentiments apply to Mudgee in regional NSW – it’s getting buyers out of Sydney looking for a hill change. It has a strong and diverse economy, vacancies close to zero, median price up 7.5% in the past year, including 1.1% in the latest quarter.

The Hume municipality in Melbourne’s north is also tracking well, despite everything that Melbourne has been dealing with. It’s getting plenty of demand from first-home buyers and others moving out to seek an affordable lifestyle.

Vacancies are around 2%, despite the fact that this is a new growth area with high rates of new building. The median price is up 9% in the past year, including 1.2% in the most recent quarter.

Every day, as we go about our work doing research and writing reports for customers, we are coming across location after location with similar scenarios.

There are thousands of local markets that are doing well – sometimes despite the pandemic and in other cases because of the pandemic.

They are the trend, not the exception.

Wake up investors.

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au
[email protected]
twitter.com/hotspotting

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au.

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Terry Ryder Property market

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