Scott and Karen

Caboolture Real Estate Market Update



Click Here to Find Out How Much Your Property is Worth
Across the Caboolture region, real estate is experiencing an unprecedented demand, both in sales and rentals.

Caboolture Real Estate Market Update TRANSCRIPT

Scott Lachmund:
Hi, Scott Lachmund and Karen George from Richardson & Wrench Caboolture. For our viewers of 4510 TV. Can you believe it, we’re in the first week of October? I think our last update was when COVID was first upon us, March this year. We did a couple of updates, of what was happening in real estate, not only in our office but also in the market at the Moreton Bay Region generally. Fast forward, here we are it’s… I think the next quarter going up to Christmas is going to go pretty fast.
I can’t believe we’ve got through six months of COVID-19, under somewhat trying conditions. But what we’ll discover in this update is we’ve survived. Let’s start with you because everything rentals and property management related for the Moreton Bay Region as of today.

Karen George:
Yeah, great. Firstly, I’m really proud of the way Queensland has handled tenancies, landlords, and tenants during the COVID time. It’s very positive that some of the implementations that were bought in by a national cabinet in March on the 29th of March 2020 are now CC, and that happened on the 29th September, and some will remain through until the 31st of December. In March there was regulations made to make an amendment to the act, to manage tendencies that were affected by COVID. Some of the things that have now finished on the 30th September for us to be aware of, any fixed term agreements that had to be renewed for another six months have been ceased. Any rent arrears due to COVID [inaudible 00:01:41] that is now over and those tenancies would be breached for unpaid rent, ending a tenancy, periodic tendencies, the time period of doing that.
However, there are some implementations that are still going to be in place until the 31st of December. A couple of those important ones are families affected by domestic and family violence. Some that are ending tenancies early. There’s also still a mediation facility through the RTA, that are happy to mediate any tenancies of being put in a position of fees or bond dispute due to a COVID related incident. The RTA always there as a free mediation service, especially to end some of those COVID situations.

Scott Lachmund:
Karen over the last six months for our business personally, did we experience any COVID-19 related issues with tenancies?

Karen George:
I think as a community Moreton Bay was very protected against COVID implemented issues. For example, we’ve got a large rent roll of 1000 properties. And I think in… We had about six. Six people that had lost businesses, had lost jobs with the airlines, had genuinely had businesses shut down in the city they used to travel that they’ve experienced a loss of income.
I think people really tried to negotiate and work it out between landlord and tenant of how to keep moving every week without getting too far behind and talk. I think the communication was ex… If anything, I think out of COVID we’ve learned that the communication between an agent and a property manager and the owner is paramount. And we really got back to saying, Hey, I’m honest, this is the situation I’m in. How can we work together? I think that’s brought out the best in some people.

Scott Lachmund:
The other thing we probably witnessed tenancies were leases were being renewed automatically. Let’s say, it did create a shortage of housing. We’ll talk about that in the moment, but there was a lot of stability in the last six months with people not moving in or out.

Karen George:
That is correct. If you think of an office of our size, we normally are moving between 30 and 40 people into properties every month. I think our numbers went down to maybe 15. So 50% of tenants were staying. The ones that were moving were maybe upgrading because they were still in stable income or our frontline workers. But most yeah, by half. People just said, you know what, I’m just going to stay here for another six months. Make sure my job secure, make sure my family is okay in school and kids are handling all the… Remember kids have been through a lot of change. So with that also came the stability of staying in the same house.

Scott Lachmund:
Let’s fast forward. It’s near the start of October, as I mentioned, we’re close to Christmas, whether you like it or not.

Karen George:
11 Fridays.

Scott Lachmund:
11 Fridays, there you go. So let’s talk about the rental market right now. I know there is a desperate shortage of housing. You mentioned we have just over a thousand properties, but in general, in the Moreton Bay Region if I was to search for rental property available today, what’s it look like?

Karen George:
You got a lot of competition. Genuinely that was something really important I thought we should get out to the public. If you are missing out on getting into a property, it’s maybe not you, it’s just that you may have actually gone up against 10 other people that are all in the same position with great rental history, with excellent secure jobs and the owner has all these people to choose from. And they just maybe picking A instead of B, C or D, but with no differences. I would-

Scott Lachmund:
What would you recommend to someone that’s struggling to find a property at the moment?

Karen George:
Communicate with your real estate agents, we have a dedicated leasing agent, Megan in our office. Communicate with her, say to her what you’re looking for and what your references are. She’ll keep… Make sure that you’re in touch with any new listings that are coming on. Ensure that you go to the open home, personally introduce yourself to the agent and say this is my situation. I do like this probably, it suits our needs. I’ll be putting in an application, so you can put a face to the paper. Then I would follow up afterwards and just say, I did have an issue, I didn’t get for this property, but I am interested in something else in this area. We are hearing really good people missing out, we’re trying. It’s just a lack of [inaudible 00:05:53]-

Scott Lachmund:
Doesn’t make a difference, I over heard gentleman yesterday offer six months rent in advance. Would that make a difference to his application?

Karen George:
Not in our office. In our office we’re really looking at the two primary parts of a tenancy, which is our obligation as a property manager to ensure is secure for the owner. We would like a tenant to have the ability to maintain the property. Can you mow the lawns? Can you look after the walls? Do you know how to clean everything inside and the ability to afford the property? What is your income? We do a percentage of your income to make sure that you’re not over committed to a rental price. That is the basis of every application that goes through our office.

Scott Lachmund:
The sales pitch. If there are people out there, owner’s looking to rent out their property, maybe their circumstances have changed and they need to move out of the area. Your opportunity for a sales pitch, we need properties.

Karen George:
We do need properties and we’ve got a great waiting list. Genuinely of people that we could secure into any kind of properties from your three bedroom, duplexes units to your four-bedroom, to your acreage property. There are good families that have shown their ability to be excellent tenants, waiting for something in the market at the moment.

Scott Lachmund:
There you go, pre-qualified applicants [inaudible 00:07:07] ready for properties. Anything you’d like to finish on rental property management related at the moment.

Karen George:
I think again, I just probably like to say how proud I am not only of our office and our team. Richardson & Wrench Caboolture this year won the number one property management excellence annually for New South Wales Queensland. I believe that was built on our way that we handled COVID within our team, with our clients and within ourselves as well. We took a great responsibility to make sure our team and our clients and everyone dealing with this was safe. I think that’s been… I’m really proud of, and I think we’ve handled it really well. I think we’re almost to Christmas where everyone’s going to stop and relax for a little while.

Scott Lachmund:
Yeah. And thanks Karen. Just on that note, let’s just reminder on, I’d love to say that we’re talking post COVID. If that’s a catch phrase post COVID, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. I think we still need to take responsibility in the way that we’re interacting with others, our cleanliness, our behaviours, et cetera or to stem the tide and keep COVID at bay. Probably what I’d like to talk about now let’s switch to tune to sales update. Let’s talk about COVID recovery. Let’s use the word recovery for the moment between now and Christmas. Jump in, because you know I talk. Jump in and ask me any questions. So sales related what’s the last six months look like?
In the last six months, surprisingly, I believe in the Moreton Bay Region has been fairly insulated to the effects of COVID-19. I think the unemployment that was projected, I think we had loss of jobs, income problems, maybe transitional problems or moving locations. I think we were fairly insulated in our Moreton Bay bubble let’s call it. So business did continue fairly normal in regards to activity and volume of business. So from March through to now, let’s talk about the six months. We’ve seen a consistent flow of sales transactions across the region, but no different to rentals now. We have got a shortage and there is a real shortage of properties available for sale. Again, we’ve got qualified buyers. An example, we had an acreage property at Burpengary two weeks ago, listed on the Thursday afternoon by the Sunday lunchtime 47 different families had been through that property, a multiple offer of four families making an offer on the property, sold the [inaudible 00:09:33] afternoon, within 72 hours above the asking price on a cash unconditional sale.

Karen George:
[inaudible 00:09:39] took time.

Scott Lachmund:
There’s very much competition in the sales market, just as there is the property management market. Sales have continued across the board from again, the low range to $300,000 properties to the mid four to four fifties, up to the [inaudible 00:09:55] acreage of 600 and beyond across any platform of real estate, whatever that stock is, there has been genuine buyers missing out on properties, basically due to the supply and demand.

Karen George:
So [inaudible 00:10:08] now I know who thought, okay, well we might make the move to North Queensland. How do I go about… What do I do? Do I just ring you and say, come and tell me what its-

Scott Lachmund:
Yeah, ring me and I’ll be there in a minute, because… Yeah, we need the stock. As I say, we can produce to our potential sellers, an actual dedicated buyer hot list, and we’ve got different price ranges, different names. And if I went to you and you were thinking about selling a property, I would suggest it would be in a very timely fashion. And there would be multiple people looking at your property within a matter of days.
Again, it’s not a sales pitch. You’ve heard the terms in real estate, buyer’s market, seller’s market. Moreton Bay Region at the moment is a seller’s market. It means that there’s more buyers than there is stock. So supply and demand is creating that seller’s market activity. And with the hope that when there is more buyers than there are sellers, we start to see a gradual price increase, in values increasing. Without blowing out ridiculously like our southern markets, where there is supply and demand. And all of a sudden the house goes up 200 grand over reserve overnight.
What we’re seeing is probably properties priced realistically to meet the market. And if that bit of demand is there, hopefully it ends up in a good result for the seller, not only in price, but also the conditions of that sale. Touching on conditions of sale. I have personally experienced, and from talking to fellow agents in the region, finance is a problem. Sounds ridiculous. Money is as cheap as ever. I know some lending institutions are offering 2% interest, if not lower, 2% interest coming in the budget. Spit it out Scotty, in the budget announcement of Josh Frydenberg coming stay tuned in the next couple of days. There’s families in certain wage brackets, that will see some tax reductions or tax benefits, meaning an extra 50 or a hundred dollars in their pay packet with that tax reduction.
Now, majority of families or people looking to buy property are within a certain income bracket. Let’s say 50 grand up to 200 grand. If they’re the people buying property and they’re going to have an extra 50 or a hundred dollars in their pocket, it makes the loan service ability and their ability to borrow money even stronger. But having said all that, you could be organised. You can have a deposit. You can go to the bank that you’ve banked with a million years.
What I’m going to tell you is the processing of that loan application is stretching out old days. We talk about seven or 14 days of finance. We’re now talking 21 days, finance with a seven day extension. Now waiting a month to get the okay, whether you can buy the house or not is pretty stressful. Not only for the buyer securing their loan, they’re in a comfortable position. They’re positive, they’re organised. They’re still waiting a month for that green light to say, yes, their loan is approved.
For the seller, it brings anxiety and they’re also waiting a month to see if this property goes unconditional. Even though we have all that competition in the marketplace, we have all the buyers. A lot of buyers are in a position where they have to enter into a conditional contract of finance, [inaudible 00:13:24] et cetera. Unless you’ve got cash to lay on the table, it’s not really an advantage at the moment, but it’s just interesting.
We talk about cheap money, low interest rates, but the bank processing times is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous that a bank is taking 21 to 28 days to process a loan application. I don’t know who I can talk [inaudible 00:13:47] the camera to that, but I need to voice it because it is a frustration. We’re in good times, we’re coming into the COVID recovery, but we’re still having this objection of people waiting to be approved for finance.
Having said all that, it is positive. The run-up between now and Christmas, if you are looking to secure a property and move in before Christmas, get a move on. Because as we said, 11 Fridays away from Christmas, 70 odd business days. With the average contract being 45 to 60 days at the moment, it pretty much means you need to buy a house the next fortnight to move in for Christmas.
The only way to do that is if we have stock available. So again, a [inaudible 00:14:27] at the other camera, if you’re watching this update. If you’re considering selling, now is the time to call us and list your property for sale, so that we can do all this and help you before the fat man comes down the chimney. So [crosstalk 00:14:40] that’s about it for our real estate update.

Karen George:
We’re fully staffed everyone’s on deck. The team are very refreshed, excited about new things happening. We’ve had staff on leave and really come back ready to get into it, Tim said so. Yes, we have made some changes with our office being less accessible here in person, because we’ve all got our phones. We’ve all got our emails, everything’s contactable. So then we can personalise that appointment and go and meet people and talk to them about them.

Scott Lachmund:
Yep. We’re ready to help. If you’d like any information about real estate in general, happening in the Moreton Bay Region, only happy to help. Richardson & Wrench Caboolture, Morayfield Road. Karen and Scott. We’ll see you for the next update.

Karen George:
Thank you.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood

Radio Announcer, Freelance News Video/Photographer/Journalist and Media/Marketing Consultant.