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ACT home to happiest property sellers amid pandemic

By Bianca Dabu
10 June 2020 | 1 minute read

The impact of COVID-19 on the Australian property market may not be as severe as anticipated, with only a slight decline in vendor price satisfaction.

National research by RateMyAgent has revealed Australian sellers are beginning to feel unhappy with housing prices, as vendor price satisfaction decreases by 5 per cent, which may be in response to COVID-19.

With more than 20,000 respondents, RateMyAgent’s newest Price Expectation Report asked successful vendors if the sale price achieved was above, below or in line with their expectations.

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The first quarter of 2020 showed a substantial increase in overall price satisfaction and a recovery trend, with net vendor happiness increasing by 17 percentage points, from 25 per cent in March 2019 to 42 per cent in March 2020.

The rise in satisfaction can be attributed to strong house prices, as the property market recovers across NSW and Victoria — both states saw satisfaction rates double between March 2019 and March 2020, showing positive sentiment in the market.

This satisfaction in the market can be seen significantly across Tasmania, with the state (55 per cent) overtaking Victoria (48 per cent) this quarter as Australia’s happiest state.

In contrast, as government-mandated regulations and physical distancing measures came into place in response to COVID-19, April vendor price satisfaction dipped nationally.

Tasmania led the drop with a 16 per cent decline in seller happiness and was followed closely by Victoria and NSW.

Mark Armstrong, CEO of RateMyAgent, said: “The Price Expectation Report shows us that the initial impact of COVID-19 on the market wasn’t as severe as expected, as the housing market has proven to remain resilient.

“While we still need to analyse the long-term effect of the pandemic and keep a close eye on economic conditions, we are seeing the industry begin to recover, particularly with the easing of restrictions and a slight drop in the national house price.

“What’s great to witness is how high-performing agents have adapted and learnt new ways to remain ‘undisruptable’ while continuing to provide exceptional customer experiences in an ever-changing property market.”

Where are sellers happiest?

In response to uncertainty, metro areas saw the largest drop in vendor happiness.

Robust property markets in Melbourne and Sydney saw declines of 10 per cent to 16 per cent, respectively, while regional areas in Victoria and Queensland saw a reduction in vendor happiness of 4 per cent and 1 per cent.

Contrary to this, property markets in Queensland (4 per cent), South Australia (1 per cent) and Western Australia (1 per cent) have initially seen a steady increase in price satisfaction in April, with the remainder of Q2’s results to determine the full impact on the real estate market.

The decrease in unhappiness was seen across all price segments, but most dramatically across the premium end of the market, which consists of home sellers with property valued at more than $1.5 million.

In April, these vendors saw a 21 per cent decrease in price satisfaction, reducing the total of happy sellers from 46 per cent to 25 per cent.

The April results reveal the ACT as the happiest state (45 per cent), with second place going to Victoria and South Australia (40 per cent), followed by Tasmania (39 per cent), NSW and Queensland (37 per cent), and trailing last, Western Australia (27 per cent).

ACT home to happiest property sellers amid pandemic
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