A local property professional says the real estate market in Wagga Wagga is set to maintain its vibrancy as it heads towards 2024 despite a current scarcity of properties on offer.
PRD Real Estate Wagga director and sales agent Ryan Smith says a standout feature of the Wagga Wagga market is the notable lack of properties for sale. But, despite this, he says the market remains buoyant, attributing the resilience to the town’s transient nature.
“We know that as a transient town, we do get a lot of people moving to the region post-Christmas break, so there usually is a little bit of buoyancy moving into the first quarter of 2024,” Ryan says.
In terms of financing, Ryan says most buyers are comfortable with the current interest rates.
“While interest rates have moved post-COVID, buyers seem undeterred and are proceeding with transactions based on current market conditions and their own lifestyle needs,” he says.
For those curious about the pulse of various suburbs, Ryan identifies the Central Business District or Central Wagga as a standout performer, closely followed by Lake Albert and Springvale.
A recent highlight in Central Wagga was the record-breaking sale of 92 Best Street, which changed hands for $1.565 million. The property, a beautifully renovated four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with an inground swimming pool, saw competitive bidding among three interested parties.
Ryan categorises the majority of buyer activity into two segments: first-time home buyers and families looking to upsize. Notably, he observes a trend of families leaving town for work, with new families stepping in to replace them.
While investors are present in the market, Ryan says the returns are no longer as lucrative as they once were, with current yields hovering around 4 to 4.5 per cent, compared with the higher figures seen in recent years.
Reflecting on the real estate landscape in 2023, Ryan notes a significant shift in market dynamics.
“The market has achieved a delicate balance, eliminating the extreme sway between a buyer’s and a seller’s market. In the current market, properties are still transacting, but the process demands careful navigation to ensure efficiency and effectiveness for both buyers and sellers,” he says.
Looking ahead, Ryan offers three crucial tips for sellers gearing up for a successful campaign in the coming months.
First, the importance of getting all legal aspects in order early, considering the upcoming holiday season for professionals.
Second, maintaining pristine gardens becomes crucial, especially as the region tends to experience dry spells in the coming months, and first impressions are often made by a buyer looking at the front yard.
Finally, having a well-thought-out plan for relocation is paramount, ensuring a smooth transition for those looking to sell early in the new year.
As for what is ahead in 2024, Ryan says stability will continue so long as supply and demand are relatively balanced.
“We’ve seen a need for jobs in the region, which is creating demand, however, the lack of building and new homes coming to the market is keeping supply low, making it hard for those job seekers to make an effective move to our area,” he says.
Ryan says the local Land Monitor Report, recently released by RDA Riverina, HIA Wagga, and Committee 4 Wagga, identified some trends that need to be rectified to ensure the housing crisis doesn’t continue to grow in the medium term.
“The report shows there’s not enough land for what needs to be built in town, and that means only one thing for pricing, which is not good for young people trying to enter the market at an affordable level.”
In the face of external variables such as limited land availability, fluctuations in interest rates, inflation concerns, and the impact of living costs, Ryan has some advice for prospective buyers and sellers – prioritise decisions based on your own unique circumstances and lifestyle requirements.
“Whether prices are rising, falling, or holding steady, the key is to make real estate choices that align with your individual needs and situation.”