Long-time Warrnambool realtor Percy Eccles has joined the Professionals network in a move aimed at keeping pace with growth in the local property market.
Mr Eccles, best known as the principal of Percy Eccles Real Estate, has assembled an expanded team to operate under the Professionals Warrnambool banner from November 4.
The office, which is located in new premises at 715 Raglan Parade, will have a staff of four including existing sales executives Tamara O’Keefe and James Fuangsakorn
New to the team will be Melbourne-based auctioneer Michael Stewart who brings a wealth of development experience and national investor contacts to the agency.
Mr Eccles, a Warrnambool local who has seen the city transform from a seaside holiday destination to an intrastate migration hotspot over the past six decades, has more than 24 years’ experience in the real estate industry.
He describes the transition to the Professionals network as an important step for the business in the wake of heightened activity in the local property market.
“The market is changing fast and we need a national brand with the scale and depth of resources we’ve found in the Professionals to better service our clients,” Mr Eccles said.
“From our end we will now have the tools and technology to extend the reach of our agency to more buyers.”
Warrnambool’s ranking this year as Australia’s most liveable region has further elevated the city’s national profile, and Mr Eccles believes this will lead to a renewed focus from the downsizer and investor market over the next year.
“More people are moving here because it’s a beautiful spot, but there’s more to it for property investors,” Mr Eccles said.
“We’re seeing a lot more Melbourne and Sydney investors looking at Warrnambool now than at any time in the past.
“There’s quite a shortage of rental properties in town at the moment and with the vacancy rate around 1.3 per cent, the local market is really generating a lot of investor interest.
“Property returns in Warrnambool are typically around 5 per cent while in Melbourne and Sydney investors are getting about half that.”
Mr Eccles said a number of new residential subdivisions are in the pipeline to address the shortage of rental accommodation as well as a shortage of property listings in the local market, although he believes the planned growth is sustainable.
“There’s always been positive growth in Warrnambool but it’s also been steady as she goes here,” he said.
“We don’t get the big highs and lows you get in Melbourne and that’s how we like it.”