Using Property Data to your Advantage

And we’re off! I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Years and for those people who took time off work – had a nice, relaxing break.  2010 has now officially passed, and the team at CENTURY 21 Australia are gearing up for what we believe will be a very busy year for real estate in 2011. 

For one reason or another, people often find themselves making ‘life’ decisions around New Years.   I think it ties into the idea of resolution-making - the start of another year represents a watershed and people are determined to finally go after what they may have been planning for awhile. 

Selling a property and moving into a new type of home (e.g. downsizing from a house to an apartment) or different area (e.g. leaving the suburbs and relocating to an inner city setting) quite often arise as some of these resolutions. 

With the thought that many people may be thinking of moving at the moment, I thought I would use this blog to talk about how both buyers and sellers can make the various types of property data work to their advantage. 

In my view property data is a significantly underused tool; when employed it can give people delving into the property market some great insights into timing, locations and other important notions.  I have a feeling that many people don’t quite know how to find nor decipher the available data and thus shy away from it, not realising the benefits that it could afford them. 

The first step is to know what types of data are available – and realise that it’s not all just about sale prices.  Bodies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as well as specific property data companies such as RP Data, release information covering many topics, such as the number of listings at the moment at one time, the level of housing finance being sought after and granted, the number of houses selling at auction, just to name a few.  

The trick to being smart about using data is to develop an understanding of how the relationships work between different variables.  For instance, if auction clearance rates are down but sales rates are constant, this doesn’t mean that properties are not selling but it may indicate that properties are being passed in at auction with a sale privately negotiated after the fact. 

Both buyers and sellers can then take this information to uncover opportunities.  For sellers – if you can see that the market is not supporting auctions at a particular time, perhaps make plans to prepare for private sales negotiations.  For buyers – take advantage of the lower competition at the auction and be immediately ready to begin discussions with the vendor and agent as soon as the property is passed in. 

Other types of property data such as median price and growth rates will give you an indication as to how much you should be looking to sell for, or pay, as well as which areas are either heating up or slowing down. 

 If you are interested in using property data to your advantage, then I think it definitely pays to stay abreast of the news over a substantial period leading up to when you are looking to buy or sell.  Many property journalists will take straight statistics and figures and highlight the greater meaning – reading such stories will help you to develop an understanding about what the figures indicate and how this can help you with your property plans.   

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 10/01/2011 at 9:56 AM | Categories: Buying - Property Management - Investors -


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