Well-presented properties in the right price bracket are bucking the trend of dwindling numbers through home opens, according to agents.

REIWA Sales Representatives Network chairman Paul Di Lanzo said the market was patchy and hard to predict but generally there were fewer buyers in the lower end of the market, especially with apartments or newly built stock.

However he had seen far better numbers in the $600,000 to $1 million bracket.

He said the $800,000 to $1 million buyers were more active as they now saw the opportunity to upgrade was far better in this market.

He attributed the sluggish numbers in the $400,000 to $600,000 range to changes to the first-homebuyer’s grant, the drop in the stamp duty concessional rate to $430,000 and the bigger grant now being offered on new builds.

Caporn Young Estate Agents associate director Stefanie Dobro said home opens had produced sporadic results.

“In the current market we are starting to see a flight to quality where buyers increasingly focus on blue-chip homes and locations, regardless of market conditions, ” she said.

She said sellers who correctly priced their properties would achieve the best result.

“Sellers who fail to recognise that their property is in competition not isolation and/or who ignore good advice will continue to find it extremely hard to attract offers and ultimately risk failing to sell or selling well below fair market value after a prolonged period on the market, ” she said.

LJ Hooker WA regional manager Ken Preston agreed a bloated listing price was the biggest deterrent to getting people through the door.

“Buyers have an incredible amount of research available to them and, if they think a price is too high in comparison to similar homes, they don’t even bother taking a look, ” he said.

Limnios residential sales director Rob Stefanovski, said his property group had seen about a one-third drop in home open numbers compared with this time last year.

“The drop in numbers is clearly reflective of the competitive number of properties available at the moment, ” he said. “If you’re overpriced and not marketed well, you’ll likely have low numbers at the home open.”

Mr Preston said the highest numbers he had seen were properties that had a no-price marketing campaign, such as auctions. He said he had started to see an upward shift in sales volumes of late as record low interest rates influenced buyers.

Mr Di Lanzo projected a steady market would continue for at least the next year, with Mr Stefanovski also predicting stability.

“There is lots of property to choose from and a drop in prices make it a great time for buying, ” he said.

“With interest rates at an all-time low and relatively low unemployment rates, any change in buyer confidence and slight rise in migration could see things change quite quickly.”

© The West Australian

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