White Noise

There are two types of property news. The boom and the gloom. And when it comes to reporting the doom angle, last week’s property media did a great job.

Apparently, we’re at “tipping point” (The Australian), confidence in the housing market has “collapsed” and we should “brace for the sell-off” (Sydney Morning Herald).

In other big news, NAB and Westpac both announced out-of-cycle interest rate hikes on both investor and owner occupier home loan rates, with other lenders apparently set to follow. The Montgomery Fund warned a record level of debt will leave investors “unable to cope” with rising interest rates and the ripple effect will affect every property, everywhere. “No-one will escape,” they said.

Ironic, considering the week before was all boom.

So how did the SE Qld market react?

Last weekend, several of the auctions we called looked uncertain. The agents at the helm were not sure they had buyers at the necessary level, but they focussed on following the auction process regardless.

The average number of registered bidders was three. The average number of active bidders was one. In the majority of cases, we saw a careful negotiation with the highest bidder, rather than a flurry of competitive bidding.

But interestingly, for most, we got there in the end.

Next week we might be back to boom, with a flurry of good news hitting the papers. Regardless, agents who are successful with the auction process are the ones who stick to it diligently – whatever might be going on outside of it.

They know the “bad news” is the same as the “good news” - just white noise.