THE banks’ stance on lending, upcoming elections and how properties are priced are expected to be the big factors influencing the city’s property market this year.
The Royal Commission into Banking was a big story in 2018, seeing the banks tighten their lending criteria.
In November, agents said that it was one of the factors slowing down the Bathurst market, but things appear to now be turning around.
Professionals Real Estate sales specialist Mark Sullivan said that throughout December he was seeing finance being advertising again.
To him, it was a “really big indicator” that funds were more accessible for people looking to purchase property.
People are also starting to get approved faster for loans, no longer having to wait four weeks as has been the case in recent months.
“What I’m being told from the market is that it’s now close to normality again,” Mr Sullivan said. “Instead of a three day turnaround, which people were getting six months ago, it’s now taking just over a week provided that the applications are filled out accurately.”
When it comes to investor interest in Bathurst, Mr Sullivan said the upcoming Federal election could play a role in what the Bathurst property market experiences.
The Australian Labor Party has committed to winding back negative gearing if elected, with the promise that existing arrangements would be honoured.
READ ALSO: Negative gearing policy in the hotseat
Mr Sullivan said potential investors would act in one of two ways, but which one the bulk of them would choose was up in the air.
“So 2019 is going to be a very interesting year, because the market could either say ‘Let’s act early’ and have lots of activity between now and May, or alternatively people could sit back and watch,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bathurst Real Estate principal Mick Whittaker didn’t feel that the election would have much impact on the property market.
“History shows that when you get one election, people seem to become concerned about what may happen, but history also shows that generally the world doesn’t end and we’ll have an election.
“If we have a change of government, we have a change of government. If we don’t have a change, we don’t have a change of government.
“I think it is all about doing things within your means and what you can afford, and another 10 or 12 years down the track people will be thankful that they’ve done it today.”
One thing he will look out for in 2019 is how homes are priced.
“It’s probably going to be a year where people who are wanting to sell are going to need to be on the money price-wise,” he said.
“If they think they can put their house on the market and get above what the market is suggesting, they might find that they’re sitting on the market for quite sometime.”
He said it was certainly an issue last year, with there still stock on the market now from 2018 that had changed quite significantly in price.
“I think homeowners just need to be careful about the advice that they’re getting. I think that’s really, really important because there are buyers out there,” Mr Whittaker said.
He doesn’t forecast any real change to house prices in 2019, saying things are likely to stay fairly stable across the board at this time.
“I think it will be more of a ‘steady as she goes’ type year, and the owners that are keen to sell and price their houses correctly, they will sell, and the ones who don’t, they’ll sit on the market,” he said.
“That’s just how it is.”
Mr Whittaker said that anyone considering buying a house to go a speak to their bank or a broker, not necessarily to get approval for a loan, but to assess their own situation.
“That will put a buyer in quite a strong position,” he said.