CONTRIBUTORSElite AgentOPINION

John Hellaby: End of year stats reveal aggressive buyer behaviour

Buyer activity has been at an all-time high, and Market Buy CEO John Hellaby says that’s reflected in the business's annual figures.

It’s no secret that despite the economic turbulence brought about by COVID-19, the real estate industry has been booming.

Market Buy has just analysed its annual stats for 2021, and when you look at the figures, three things are for sure – there are more active buyers per property than ever before, those buyers are more aggressive than they’ve ever been, and that means, properties are moving – fast. 

To have an average of nine or 10 buyers per property is absolutely huge, and definitely not something we’ve seen over the past 20 years. 

Properties are moving faster than ever before, and that’s being reflected in Market Buy’s end of year market report.

If we look at the last two years, when we compare December 2019 with 2021, Market Buy has seen a growth of 994 per cent in terms of the number of sales transactions made. 

Last year was also monumental, with growth in excess of 365 per cent, from January to December, with buyer activity also up by 828 per cent.

No doubt, one of the main reasons Market Buy saw such exponential growth in 2020 and beyond was because of the pandemic. 

Joining the platform was one way to ensure agents stayed in business during lockdowns while continuing to operate in a Covid-safe way, limiting the risk to themselves, their colleagues and their clients. 

But what we’ve also seen is there hasn’t been any drop off when lockdowns have lifted, and people had the option to go back to traditional real estate. 

We believe the reason for that is simple – people are seeing the efficiencies of real estate when you have a high quality offer management platform working for you. 

Market Buy can save you two hours per buyer, per sale, by taking care of arduous, but critical, tasks for you. 

The Market Buy platform will ensure your seller and your buyers are kept up-to-date with the sales process, as and when the action happens. 

It also saves agents from having to go back and forth with contracts, as buyers are able to make offers online, immediately alerting the vendor. 

That’s two hours you can spend prospecting, which is incredibly important in this market when listings are hard to come by. Or if you’re happy with how things are, it’s two extra hours you can spend with your family. 

So, despite COVID-19 prompting many agents to look for an online solution to stay in business, the reason they’re sticking with it is for the myriad efficiencies offered. 

We look at it as the birth of an industry. It’s the new way of doing things. 

COVID-19 just gave a fledgling industry a shot in the arm, which was really important. It gave people the nudge they needed to give it a go, and now they don’t want to go back to the old ways. 

They’d rather have that efficiency, speed and transparency. 

One of the most interesting discoveries we made as a result of analysing our end-of-year stats was that buyers have become particularly aggressive.

Buyer feedback also shows that they feel more confident in the process with greater transparency and are willing to compete more aggressively for a property they want. 

We can identify buyer aggression by looking at the average difference between the first and last offers.

So if you’ve got 20 buyers, and they’re all competing for a property, but they’re going up in small amounts, they’re not as aggressive as the buyers that are making large jumps in offers. 

When you’ve got aggressive buyers, you’re seeing a difference of $75,000 or more, and that’s what’s become the average in the current market. 

In some cases it’s been more than $200,000. The following stats from around the country paint an interesting picture. 

Stats for the full 2021 calendar year

StateIncrease first to last offerNumber of offersNumber of buyersDays on market
Queensland$76,50629.1510.467.56
Victoria$82,96522.099.1612.41
NSW$79,85918.469.136.66
WA$67,52413.137.3810.28
NZ$83,51222.885.1114.37
SA$61,83515.417.2610.48
Tasmania$22.2396.174.0613.47
ACT$151,833267.820.12

It should be noted that the ACT is predominantly auctions, meaning less active days on market, and a lot more offers. (Market Buy can be used for any method of sale all on the one platform)

When you compare these numbers to some places in the USA where they’re seeing one or two buyers per property and an average increase of only $2901 on offers, it really demonstrates how aggressive buyers in Australia and New Zealand were throughout 2021.

This was particularly evident in Queensland and with headlines suggesting a significant population migration to the sunshine state, 2022 looks to hold much of the same. 

Of course it’s not just buyer aggression that leads to a great result, agent strategy and environmental factors also come into play, particularly when you consider things like lockdowns preventing open homes and the need for private inspections. 

Looking forward to 2022, we’ve got some big things coming, especially as we start to use our data more and more to help our agents 

What we’re seeing is amazing and it’s interesting to compare this reality with media headlines when they are preaching doom and gloom in many markets. 

When we see the inside of thousands of sales all around the country, we get to look at that data and go ‘hang on, the buyers have dropped off, but there’s still eight or more buyers missing out on each sale,’ so that demand isn’t going away. 

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John Hellaby

John Hellaby is the Chief Digital Strategist at Market Buy.

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