An early return of auctions and an expected rise in listings will help restore balance to the Knox market.
While there was a correction in prices in the second half of 2018, local agents are confident the market will be stabilise this year.
They say demand is still strong in many Knox suburbs and sales will rise as sellers adjust to the new market conditions.
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The years of strong annual price growth of 15-20 per cent in some suburbs would not be repeated for some time, Ray White Ferntree Gully director Patrick McConnachie said.
The agency is, however, confident of a steady start to 2019, with some deals already close to finalised in mid January.
It is powering ahead with auctions, starting them a little earlier than usual with eight homes heading for auction on January 19, including both on-site and in-room auctions.
And on January 30, seven properties have been slotted in for auction with more expected to be added.
“Most agencies don’t hold auctions in January but we are confident they will do well and it is better to be early than late and there is less competition,” Mr McConnachie said.
With the Australia Day holiday on a Saturday this year, few auctions are expected that day, which led to the agency choosing January 19 to kick off its auction year.
The Ray White group in Knox is the most active agency with its midweek and weekend in-room auctions and also on-site campaigns throughout the year.
“Many listings on realestate.com.au get the most hits in January because most people are on holiday and have time to look up properties,” Mr McConnachie said.
He noted high inspection numbers for the first Saturday this year, with an average 10 groups at each home inspection, compared with an average of five groups per inspection in December.
“We also saw sellers list strongly and we should see a spike in listings over the next few weeks,” he said.
Barry Plant Rowville sales manager Anthony Johnson said the strong price growth of recent years was not sustainable over the long term.
“The market should stabilise and a balanced market will help buyers,” Mr Johnson said.
“There are already signs of buyers coming back into the market and making offers. Those who held back at the end of last year should be buying now.”
KR Peters director Peter Nicolls expected buyers to return to the market after going missing late last year.
“While buyers still attended inspections, they took their time to buy in the hope of falling prices,” Mr Nicolls said.
“But agents who have been through similar market conditions know that quality properties will still fetch good prices.”