2013 Crystal ball

What will 2013 bring in the world of real estate? Experts, commentators and the lady who does your mum’s hair all have their opinions.

RentCover has juggled some of their crystal balls – and added a dash of our own insight – to examine the year ahead.

What will happen to property prices?

  • BIS Shrapnel is reportedly tipping a recovery in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory – but Victoria can’t expect growth for at least three years.
  • Economist Andrew Wilson of Australian Property Monitors is expecting accelerating growth in Perth and early signs of a revival in Sydney’s prestige market (which could also be helped by a new fast track visa for wealthy immigrants).
  • RP Data is predicting values to “continue to slowly trend higher into 2013”.
  • Deloitte’s Australian Mortgage Report suggests growth in lending is trending to just 5 per cent, with lenders continuing to need to fight hard for their piece of Australia’s $1.3 trillion Australian mortgage market.

And how about interest rates?
  • Three-year and one-year fixed interest rates are currently not vastly different to variable rates – suggesting banks don’t expect major changes to the current relatively-low rates, although Westpac is tipping another cut in February. The Reserve Bank of Australia has also signalled low rates could linger for some time.
What will happen in the real estate business?
  • We’re hoping that veteran property agent, Robert Simeon, of Virtual Realty News has a malfunctioning crystal ball. He’s predicting 30% of Australia’s 10,000-plus real estate agents will be bust within 24 months because property transactions are too expensive. Eek!
  • Barry Plant Group sees it differently. It has been rolling out the recruitment mat for property professionals in Victoria after countering the market trend to sell more properties in 2012 than 2011
  • We think that technological advances used to sell property will increasingly spread into the rental market – including interactive floor plans, virtual furniture and social media promotion. Property managers may also lose landlords to services which help them post ads on the major property websites – but do not actually manage property.
  • The pressure will be on property managers again. Queensland-based Real Estate Dynamics has told Real Estate Business that property managers are subject to growing consumer service expectations from both tenants and landlords.
  • IBISWorld’s report, Real Estate Agents in Australia, is forecasting that the total industry (including leasing) will decline 4.3% in 2012-3 due to consumer caution, fall half a per cent the following year and return to growth after that.