Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, upsize your current home or buy an investment property, 2022 is set to be a volatile year for property buyers.
Coming off the back of two years of pandemic uncertainty, the FOMO (fear of missing out) trend of 2020 and 2021 that saw prices soar has started to decline.
People are putting their properties up for sale while the market is still hot. As more listings come onto the market this year, the increase in supply will thin out the buyer pool.
This means more choices for buyers and also a softening of price increases.
Property buyers therefore need to be astute in order to successfully find the right property. The key in this market is patience, vigilance, perceptiveness and knowledge.
It will be more important than ever to take care in the new phase of the market, and if buyers don’t have the confidence or knowledge to navigate themselves, they need to find a buyer’s agent who can provide the required experience and expertise to assist them.
Property market trends for 2022
1. Virtual buying trend to continue upwards
There was a decline in auctions in 2020 and 2021 due to buyers’ hesitancy to buy online.
People have now had sufficient time to adjust and get used to the idea of inspecting properties online and as a result, buying property online is no longer considered risky.
Virtual buying is not a new concept.
The pandemic forced many of us to do things differently and adapt to new ideas and experiences and at a much faster rate than we thought we would be comfortable with.
And yet, virtual purchasing of property is now a mainstay. The main advantages of buying online are that it’s quick and easy, and also a large selection is available at any time.
It saves you a lot of time by cutting down on the need to physically go and inspect a property that you’re interested in. Moreover, with the current wave of the pandemic showing no signs of easing, it’s literally the safest way for buyers to search for property.
More auctions will continue to be held online as virtual buying will intensify this year.
Do as much research as possible online and then cherry-pick the properties you are willing to view in person. Other digital tools, for example Google maps and Google earth are considered essential to get an idea of a property’s physical situation and location.
2. Strong buyer pool
While more properties will come on to the market in 2022 financial year, open borders will bring home many expatriates and welcome overseas workers and students.
In essence, this market phenomenon will continue to keep the market fairly heated with buyers ready to purchase properties, often without having even seen them in the flesh.
In fact, many individuals engage buyer’s agents sa as to purchase for them as buyer’s agents are experts at finding the most ideal property for the purchaser’s needs.
Buyers need to have power to purchase well by being decisive and having the finance.
3. Inner city and apartments return to the forefront
People were vacating their apartments in droves. People wanted more space so that they could work from home, and so that their children could do their remote learning comfortably.
But in 2022, Australia is opening its doors again to overseas students, so buyers looking at investment properties should essentially take note and put into consideration that demand for inner-city homes and apartments are set to take a huge leap upwards.
Overseas students and the skilled labour migrant sectors are all looking out for the same things which include easy access to general amenities and close proximity to public transport so that they can easily access their universities or places of employment.
Inner-city apartments are a fantastic investment opportunity for the savvy buyer.
Sydney is a desirable place to live in and we are glad to welcome back international communities as they contribute so much to Australia’s culture, workforce and economy.
4. Hotspots will emerge
COVID has changed our priorities and created more flexibility for workers and businesses and the impact has resulted in the growth of properties that offer lifestyle benefits.
While regional areas benefitted from sea changers, the emergence of new hot spots across parts of the country will offer growth potential, access to amenities, schools and transport.
Focus on the fundamentals of quality property, quality of location and quality of features and inclusions will demand air conditioning, not just in one room, but in all rooms.
The market will also look for some other features for example aspect, outlook and build quality. Traditional reasons for property investing will also drive growth again.
5. Market pressures will prevail
APRA tightened its lending criteria and we will see interest rates likely move upwards due to inflation. I think that those with larger cash reserves will be the ones who benefit the most.
The important takeaway from this is that it will be more important than ever to ensure that buyers do their homework and buy well. In 2021, incredibly, many buyers purchased anything just to get into the market as it was moving so quickly.
Buyers got equity gains from properties that previously would not have gained value.
Prices won’t increase in this way, and so it’s vital for astute buyers to buy well and ensure the fundamentals are sound. Good gains will still be made, but only for those who buy well.
6. Impact of climate change
One of the biggest trends for property in 2022 will be climate change. People understand that it is real and we all need to do our part.
Buyers will look for electric vehicle charging stations, solar-generated power with battery storage, water tanks, smart energy meters to buy green energy, good insulation, structures and landscaping that are eco-friendly and built using recycled and sustainable materials.
Buyers won’t look for properties that are located close to bushland and prone to flooding.
Insurance is going to be a big factor to consider here. Climate change is no longer vague, it is real, tangible and our homes are beginning to reflect our desire to take action.
Dan Sofo is the Founder and CEO of Unicorn Buyer’s Agents, a leading property advisory that assists property buyers to navigate the market and find the most ideal property for their needs. With the company based in Sydney, Unicorn Buyers Agents is a boutique agency founded in 2020. The agency services Sydney’s inner eastern, north shore and inner western suburbs. Combining industry expertise and negotiating powers, Unicorn Buyers Agents’ “do what it takes” attitude and commitment finds the best property to suit each buyer.