A recent fall in listing numbers should see an increase in competition amongst buyers, a national real estate franchise group has said.
Century 21 Australia general manager Paul Mylott said in a recent blog posting that the group has witnessed a fall in listing numbers recently, “which could mean that we see a heightening of competition levels in 2012.”
Century 21 Australia's comments are at odds with the recent findings of the latest Real Estate Business’ Quarterly Sentiment Survey, undertaken in the second half of December, which found 52.6 per cent of the 171 respondents expected listing numbers to be higher this quarter when compared to the previous October to December period.
Around 45 per cent of respondents to the online poll said they expected an increase in sales this quarter.
Mr Mylott said buyer demand would be also be fueled by the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) recent cuts in interest rates, which had increased home buyer confidence.
“I think it is fair to say that 2011 concluded with a bang as the Reserve Bank of Australia moved to reduce interest rates in both November and December, giving many buyers a bit more comfort surrounding the prospect of buying a property.
“Will rates continue to come down? Many pundits certainly seem to think this will be the case, particularly if the situation in Europe is not resolved definitively.
“While movement cannot be guaranteed and conditions can change, I would continue to watch this space, particularly as the Reserve Bank meets in February to review the official cash rate.
“Even if rates do not come down again, the two consecutive cuts in 2011 seem to have opened the door for many buyers, particularly those first timers in the property market.”
Mr Mylott said investors were also likely take advantage of reduced interest rates in the next six months, and most buyer activity centred on properties in the $400,000 to $800,000 price range.