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Agents tip interest rates to drive the market in 2024

More than 70 per cent of real estate agents believe interest rates will be the biggest driver in the housing market this year.

According to a CoreLogic survey of more than 1400 agents, 71 per cent of agents said interest rates will play a major role.

Nearly three in five (59 per cent) agents strongly believe rising rates will have the most significant impact on housing this year, while 12 per cent suspect falling rates might also have an impact. 

Despite interest rate concerns, 57 per cent expect to see some level of economic growth, while 59 per cent believe home values to rise this year. 

At the local level, 41 per cent believe low housing stock was the most significant stressor on their agency for the year ahead, with 38 per cent stating high interest rates and inflation were their main concern.

CoreLogic Head of Residential Research Australia, Eliza Owen, said that high interest rates were likely to contribute to lower growth.

“The broad expectation for housing values in 2024 is that the market will still grow but at a slower rate than the 8.1 per cent observed in CoreLogic’s Home Value Index in 2023,” Ms Owen said.

“Growth in housing demand is expected to slow amid higher cost of living pressures, a higher tax take from bracket creep, and high interest rates. 

“This means less savings to put toward housing purchases.”

She said despite some of the headwinds for market demand, growth is still expected to be positive throughout 2024. 

“Ongoing constraints in the construction sector are likely to keep a floor under home values, with the number of completions trending lower throughout 2023,” Ms Owen said.

The survey also found that 46 per cent of agents anticipate a rise in house prices this year of between 1-5 per cent, while a further 13 per cent expect an increase of more than 5 per cent. 

One-quarter (25 per cent) believe prices will stay steady, with the remaining 16 per cent predicting house price falls in 2024. 

On an agency level, the survey found that 80 per cent of respondents recognise the importance of increasing face-to-face interactions with customers for success. 

With the nurturing of their CRM database through emails, SMS and calls named as the top strategy to drive business by 49 per cent of agents.

More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents acknowledged better utilising their CRM data was a priority in 2024. 

While stronger brand building was a high priority behind nurturing their customer databases, with three in five (61 per cent) respondents planning to focus efforts to enhance their digital and social media performance in 2024. 

This drive for improvement is particularly significant considering 69 per cent are currently managing social media marketing in-house or through a hybrid model. 

CoreLogic General Manager, Real Estate Solutions, Dirk Miller, said tight stock levels would make agency marketing more important than ever.

“The results also found low levels of stock and deepening customer relationships are also weighing on their minds,” Mr Miller said.

“This will make smart prospecting, maximising the untapped potential of their databases and building a stronger brand pivotal to success through 2024 and beyond.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.