The property market has taken a turn for the better – but with such a diverse market in Australia, you’ll need to know where to look if you’re looking to step onto the property ladder.
And if you were looking to snap up a property in an Australian capital city, Canberra is your best bet, according to property economist Anna Porter.
Porter ranked the ease of buying property in Australia’s states according to four metrics:
The ability to undertake due diligence
Agents’ attitude to buyers
Costs associated with purchase
Competition with other buyers
When measured against these metrics, the nation’s capital leads the country in being the easiest state to snap up a house.
“Agents treat buyers with a huge amount of respect, they allow them time to do their due diligence without undue pressure and they encourage them to work with solicitors straight away,” Porter said.
“The Australian Capital Territory is the only state that has pest and building reports in the contract of sale as mandatory, so the buyer has a full pest and building report to view before they even make an offer.
“Once they have an offer accepted, the property is deemed ‘off market’ for about two weeks to allow them time to get finances and legals sorted.
“The buyer then enters into an unconditional contract but has had the time to do all their due diligence first.”
The ACT also has the country’s second-lowest stamp duty, which means the buying process is affordable and easy for both buyers and sellers.
The toughest cities to buy property
On the other end of the spectrum, buyer will have a rough time if they want to buy a home in South Australia (Adelaide), Victoria (Melbourne), and NSW (Sydney).
“The reason Adelaide makes the list is because there is strong buyer competition and a number of ‘cash’ buyers in the market at the moment, making it tricky for buyers to get the property they want before someone else snaps it up,” Porter explained.
Victoria also ranks there because Melbourne is the auction capital of Australia, she added, meaning the buyer has to do all the due diligence before signing the contract or attending the auction.
And NSW – Sydney in particular – is worst of all, given that stamp duty is some of the highest in the country, and the contracts are unconditional, putting the onus of due diligence on the buyer.
According to Porter, not only does the sheer buyer competition in Sydney drives people to sign contracts prematurely to avoid missing out, but Sydney property agents “can be some of the savviest, and skilled agents in the country who know how to influence buyers to get the outcome they want, often at the buyers’ peril”.
“Let’s not forget, the agent is there to look after the vendor’s best interest and not the buyer’s best interests, so it can be a case of ‘every man for himself’ on the buyer’s side of the equation,” she said.
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