September Property Market: There’s A Sweet Spot

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 | Leave a Comment

This month’s stats really demonstrate how dangerous it is to assess a housing market’s performance by aggregating together the data from individual sales events, particularly when a spot of local knowledge suggests the picture is more complex than that depicted by the numbers. This is of course particularly true when examining a small market, where the effect of outliers can be disproportionately distorting.

On the surface, the sales stats for September look relatively positive. Prices above GV are on average being attained, the number of sales is the highest its been since June and while the time taken to sell is still high, it’s dropped slightly on last month.

The last stat is always an interesting one. If the time to sell is high, then that means some of the properties sold have been on the market for awhile, and it is often these that can drag the price to GV ratio down, because there is a greater chance that the owner has taken a hit to sell the property. That’s not just conjecture; I’ve studied the stats and the effect is real.

Sure enough, some sellers have taken big hits this month, but they tend – as has been the case since we started tracking the market – in the upper end of the Devonport property market. Those selling in the more expensive areas of Devonport appear to be taking the hits.

The areas that are doing particularly well are the salubrious properties in the roads in the cheaper areas – i.e those without views or close to the shops. This month’s figures are largely bolstered by the sale of three properties which fit this description.

The bottom line is – there are still two sub-markets operating in Devonport; and the canny sellers are getting good prices for decent houses without the premium characteristics mentioned above. Those sellers with properties with the premium characteristics are having to adjust their expectations downwards – with the occasional exception.

Having said all of that, there is no question the overall Devonport market is in a better place than it was this time last year, which was the nadir of the last 12 months – as the graphs below demonstrate.

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