Usually, real estate agents represent sellers, not buyers, and work to attract willing buyers to the homes they have for sale. But now agents are forced to deviate from the usual sales dynamic because it has become more difficult finding willing sellers than it is serious buyers.
Throughout Australia, the existing number of homes for sale declined to a 25-year low earlier in 2017, based on research by CoreLogic and Morgan Stanley. Much of this decline was the result of a Sydney listings drop which is also typical in Newcastle.
Compared to Melbourne, Harbour City presently has 42% less homes for sale. It has the same number of listings to Brisbane, a city that has about half the number of homes.
The present situation in Newcastle is very similar and agents are now finding themselves with big networks of prospective people ready to purchase, but not enough homes for sale to match them with.
Homeowners are unwilling to sell because of the difficulty of buying back into the market and steep stamp duty fees.
Fewer houses listed for sale in Newcastle has seen many 'off the market' sales and if the home does make it to the market there are as many as 90 groups viewing the properties.
Some properties are selling prior to the first open home even being conducted and many buyers from Sydney who can't get to Newcastle before the weekend are now resorting to signing up with buyers agents who act on their behalf so they don't miss the opportunity to inspect. The last two homes I've sold have been to Sydney buyers using a buyers agent and more house hunters are choosing the same approach, driven by frustration.
There are even some buyers who are offering on properties without inspecting the home in the belief that they will have a better chance of securing the purchase. Yes, they often pay a premium, but buyers are opting to do it because they feel that the market is getting the better of them.