Consumer quirks point to confidence boost

The more subtle signs of increased buyer confidence have been noticed by one franchise, with reports of buyers bringing tape measures and running between open homes.

According to Raine & Horne CEO Angus Raine, numbers at open homes have begun increasing since the start of the year.

“Indeed, Raine & Horne offices are reporting that enquiries are up by as much as 20 per cent since the start of 2013, while there are more groups and individuals at Saturday open homes,” Mr Raine said.

And while a recent report from SQM Research suggests that consumer confidence is up, Mr Raine believes observable consumer behaviours are marking the start of better times.

“In a more robust property market, buyers are usually more organised and focussed, and this means arriving at open homes armed with tape measures to size up rooms,” said Mr Raine.

“Already we’re seeing evidence of buyers reading contracts on the spot at open homes, looking to push through a speedier sale, which is another sign the market is starting to heat up.

“Our agents are also reporting the return of the Saturday morning sprint, with more puffing buyers rushing to as many ‘open for inspections’ as possible.”

Mr Raine said that as the market picks up, consumers can expect the duration of ‘open for inspections’ to shift from a standard 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

“For really popular homes, an ‘open for inspection’ could run for as long as 60 minutes in some cases, while we expect to see real estate office lights burning longer into Saturday night as agents work later to meet increased buyer demand,” said Mr Raine.

More readily available finance is an indication the property market in Perth’s south west is improving, according to Paul Curran, principal at Raine & Horne Rockingham Beach.

“A year ago, getting finance was an uphill battle as lenders were being overly cautious about approving home loans, but now we are seeing many more buyers with pre-approved finance walking through our doors,” he said.

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