With buyer sentiment growing and more balance, the residential real estate market is on solid, although still somewhat fragile ground as we head into 2014. Given the macro-economic landscape, the market is naturally likely to remain under pressure, but coming off a good year, we anticipate stable conditions and business as usual for buyers and sellers.

Trading conditions in the primary urban sectors of the market over the last year have been at the best levels since the economic down-turn. Provided that the economy remains stable, we anticipate a good year for real estate with buyer sentiment and the willingness to buy continuing to strengthen.

Encouragingly, serious sellers have started heeding the call of real estate professionals to adjust their pricing expectations in line with market dynamics. This has meant that some of the oversupply of stock in the primary urban areas has started clearing with stock shortages becoming a challenge for agents. This in turn paves the way for those looking to sell to get their properties listed and now is indeed an opportune time for serious sellers.
Vital though, if you hope to succeed in selling, is that you understand the prevailing market conditions and work with a credible real estate agent to ensure that your home is priced just right. The economic conditions are simply not conducive to price increases beyond the prevailing modest growth levels that are set to persist this year. Having said this, sellers in many areas are seeing good offers, sometimes even multiple offers and getting closer to their asking prices.
On the whole, the favourable buying conditions will remain and dominate the year. The historically low home loan borrowing costs combined with the flat house price growth will continue to boost home affordability. Prudent though, will be for buyers to shop around and ensure they buy below their means and pay fair market value. Investing a deposit and careful budgeting for the costs of home ownership will, as ever, remain vital.

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