Housing crash: ‘Perfect’ houses nobody will buy
ACROSS the country, there are scores of brand new, spacious, perfect family homes sitting vacant - because nobody wants to buy them.
Realestate.com.au has just released fresh data on the active property listings that have been on the market the longest and one clear trend has emerged.
According to the figures, houses up for grabs in new estates across Australia tend to linger, even though those homes are usually in mint condition.
For example, there are a slew of homes in the newly established suburb of Moncrieff in the Gungahlin district of Canberra which have been languishing without buyers for months - and even years - on end.
The four-bedroom home pictured below, for example, is described as "perfection" and a "dream home" and is listed for $755,000 - yet has been on the market since July 2017.
And it is far from unique, with houses in new estates across Australia's states and territories struggling to sell in the current market.
However, realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said it was likely to be a "short-term problem" as the popularity of new estates tend to soar over time.
She said they also represented a great opportunity for first homebuyers.
"Prices will probably continue to fall so there is no rush to buy in these areas at this time - it means you can find the exact property you want and try to get a better deal," she said.
"In Sydney two years ago people were camping out to buy blocks of land in new estates but it has slowed down now.
"But at the same time in Perth, the market was so weak developers were offering significant incentives to get people there - so there are always periods of very strong demand and slowdowns.
"It's not a bad time to buy when the market is lower like this and it means you could potentially end up with a better block in the estate. A slower market can work to your advantage, particularly for first homebuyers."
Ms Conisbee said properties in suburbs consisting largely of new estates - such as Moncrieff in the ACT, Spring Farm in NSW and Craigieburn in Victoria - often took longer to sell initially as buyers waited until the area was more established and "lived in".
"A lot of the properties on the market seem to be vacant blocks so when there are very, very high levels of supply it generally takes longer to shift," she said, but added those suburbs were likely to pick up in future.
Apart from new estates, Ms Conisbee said three main factors usually causing a home to languish on the market were pricing, an unusual feature about the suburb or the house itself.
Examples of quirky suburbs where properties take longer to sell are Scotland Island in Sydney's northern beaches and Macleay Island in Queensland.
Ms Conisbee said while both were great places to live, many Aussies were put off by the thought of living on an island due to isolation and accessibility issues.
She said in South Australia, regional postcodes on the fringe of Adelaide - such as Mount Barker, which is around 33km from the CBD - often took longer to sell as prices within the city were already quite cheap, with many preferring to live as close to the centre as possible.
Over in Victoria, Ms Conisbee said properties in suburbs like Glen Waverley weren't selling as fast due to unrealistic pricing which has occurred as overseas interest dies down.
Meanwhile, though the Tasmanian property market is booming, Hobart suburbs such as Rokeby, which has a high proportion of public housing, and Risdon Vale which hosts a maximum-security prison, are notable exceptions.
And in Western Australia, homes in suburbs right across Perth are taking a long time to sell as the city struggles through a years-long housing downturn.
"It's often caused by a number of things - either the property is priced too high above what people are prepared to pay, or there might be something very unique about the property which means it doesn't appeal to a large amount of people - perhaps it's in an awkward location on a very busy road where there are lots of accidents, or maybe the property itself is quite unusual," Ms Conisbee said.
But she said there are a few ways to boost your property's chances of selling faster.
"The first thing is to look at pricing - if you find a good agent they can advise you on what your property is likely to sell for, because agents do definitely have an idea of pricing," she said.
"Perhaps you could also get a valuation to ensure you're being realistic, particularly in the Sydney market at the moment where prices have come back quite a lot. It's important to be aware that prices have shifted significantly compared with 12 months ago.
"In terms of the house itself, there are also ways to work with your agent and perhaps a stylist to try and get your house ready for sale, but the big one is to keep the house empty of a lot of clutter to make it more presentable.
"You may also need to do something a bit more significant such as painting or landscaping."