Heads of franchise groups have agreed that luring investors back into the market will be a main focus in 2013.
Georg Chmiel, CEO of LJ Hooker, believes media hype around the poor economy stifled the market.
“Our challenge last year was the lack of confidence by Australian buyers and investors,” Mr Chmiel said to the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW).
“Reports in the media about international economic woes and the over-dramatisation about the state of the Australian economy did not help, especially during the first half of the year.
“The most significant trend will be a further opening of the Australian and New Zealand markets to overseas investors. International groups like LJ Hooker will greatly benefit from this increased offshore demand.”
However Rob Forde, CEO of Harcourts NSW, claims that buyers and investors have been holding out for long enough.
“Housing affordability has improved over the past 12-18 months and interest rates have remained low, which is drawing investors and first-time buyers back to the market.
“The rental market remains tight and is producing reasonable yields and the potential for good capital growth in the medium to long term for investors,” he said.
“The potential for further interest rate cuts combined with a strong rental market will see more investors return to take advantage of solid demand and yields. Population growth across NSW is also likely and will further build demand for housing.”
Phil Rourke from Landmark Corporate believes investors should identify that now is the time to buy to maximise their rental returns.
“I think the market will slowly start to move over the next 12 months and the supply and demand imbalance will move more in line, which will increase confidence and encourage sideline investors to get into the market before it moves off its current low.”