Consumer confidence is returning to the Victorian property market, according to one major network.
Mike McCarthy, CEO of Barry Plant, which has more than 80 offices in the state, said April results from his group show sales are up by more than 30 per cent when compared to last year.
“We have just finalised our April results and it shows a year-on-year increase of 31.7 per cent in the value of sales and 26.9 per cent in the number of sales compared to April last year,” he said.
“Our first quarter results saw a 13.8 per cent increase, which gives an increase for the first four months of the year of 18.1 per cent in the value of sales and 17.3 per cent in the number of sales.”
Mr McCarthy said the results have been driven by a surge in consumer confidence.
“The recovery in the market is not being driven, thankfully, by big increases in prices, as the average value of homes sold by the group during this period was only 0.7 per cent up when compared to the same period in 2012," he said.
“It points to a recovery in consumer confidence and an acceptance that we are now in a relatively stable market compared to the last few years, which means that many people are now deciding to move ahead with their home selling or buying decisions.”
Louis Christopher, managing director at SQM Research, confirmed a fortnight ago that consumer confidence was up in April.
“We have already noticed that vendors have become more confident since the start of the year in areas such as Albert Park, Carlton, Port Melbourne and Toorak,” he said.
“We think this confidence will spread to other parts of inner and middle Melbourne.
“However, we hasten to add there is still a lot of stock on the market, particularly in some outer ring areas that we cautioned on last year,” Mr Christopher said.
“We are also cautious of Docklands and Southbank right now. There are elevated vacancies in these areas and we are aware of yet more developments coming onto these localities.”
CEO of Raine & Horne, Angus Raine, said the rise wasn’t limited to Melbourne and that the national group was reporting high levels of enquiry.
“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.