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News and insights: the latest developments in the Australian real estate sector

How does Australian real estate compare to the rest of the world?

It’s undeniable that the Australian housing market has fluctuated dramatically over recent years. Concerns around housing affordability continue to persist, particularly in major cities, yet how does the real estate landscape compare to other countries and cities worldwide?

The Australian Property Market

EliteAgent have published that the median house price in Australia has exceeded $1 million, with Sydney leading at 58.7% higher than this, boasting an average house price of $1.5 million. In contrast, Darwin has the lowest median price in the country at $560,000. The Sydney Morning Herald also highlighted that Brisbane had surpassed Melbourne in terms of median property value. As of January 2024, Brisbane’s median house value stood at just over $787,000, edging past Melbourne’s nearly $780,500. As a result, Brisbane has become the third most expensive capital city in Australia for median house prices, following Sydney and Canberra. The property market in Perth has also been soaring over recent months and predictions are that it will remain the top performing capital city in Australia for the immediate future.

A Global Perspective

Real estate prices vary significantly around the globe, and with the relentless surge in the Australian property market, it’s interesting to gauge our position on a global scale. In 2023, conducted an investigation into the average property price by country around the world and shared what they discovered. The research focused on the average cost, in Australian dollars, to purchase a two-bedroom apartment located in the city centre across 106 countries. Australia ranked as the ninth most expensive country at just over $746,000. Hong Kong emerged as the most expensive, with the average price reaching nearly $3 million. Singapore and Switzerland followed in second and third place, with property prices ranging from $1.6 million to just over $2 million for a two-bedroom apartment.

Finda also examined the least affordable cities to buy a property, revealing Sydney and Melbourne in the Top 10, at second place and ninth positions. Other cities that featured in this list included Hong Kong, Vancouver, Auckland, and Los Angeles.

The right to disconnect and the impact on real estate agents

Recently, it was announced that the Fair Work Act 2009 will undergo an amendment to incorporate the Fair Work Amendment (Right to Disconnect) Bill 2023. The primary aim of this Bill is to provide protection to employees by:

  • Establishing the right to refuse contact from employers outside of designated working hours.

  • Ensuring they are not obligated to check and respond to emails, phone calls, or monitor any employer- related communication outside of their working hours.

Employers have the opportunity to contest an employee’s refusal if they believe it to be unreasonable, provided they consider various factors, including the reason for contact and the nature of an employee’s role. While employees may choose to monitor communications at their own discretion, the Bill provides assurance that they are protected from extreme employer repercussions should they choose to disconnect.

 A date for the Bill to come into effect is yet to be determined. More information can be found here.

What implications does this hold for the real estate industry?

Given that real estate professionals typically operate beyond standard office hours, The Real Estate of Queensland (REIQ) suggests that employers carefully assess the best way to align with the new Right to Disconnect Bill and managing their business operations.

Further insights from the REIQ include:

  • According to clause 13.3 of the Real Estate Industry Award, employee’s average weekly working hours must not surpass 38 hours and they are entitled to 1.5 days off per week. When the right to disconnect takes effect, it will apply to contact made outside an employee’s 38 work hours or on their designated day off.

  • The right to disconnect may apply differently to employees in roles that are required to be on stand-by or call-out duties, such as specific management positions and property management and strata. This is due to employee and employer agreed arrangements in writing about call-out and stand-by duty compensation.

For more detailed insights about the Bill and recommendations on managing its implementation, refer to the article released by the REIQ.

What are the most desired qualities in a real estate agent according to property sellers?

Have you ever wondered what are the essential attributes property sellers consider most important for real estate agents?

 Elite Agent, recently conducted a survey engaging 1000 property sellers, tasking participants with ranking 23 qualities of real estate agents based on their importance. The results were announced at Ready24 by Serge Petrichenko, REA Group Head of Research and Customer Experience, and Kirstin Hodgson, Senior Market Research and Insights Manager.

The survey results identified the top-qualities property sellers seek in a real estate agent is someone who will secure them the best result and is a hard worker. This was followed by an agent who is confident they can secure the best price during a sale, someone who possess a clear strategy to generate enquiries from buyers and has strong communication. Additionally, expertise in their local area was recognised as important to property sellers.

The survey also highlighted two weeks is the average time it takes for property sellers to research agents. Some of the most popular ways of doing this were by online searches and recommendations from family and friends.

Read the full article here.

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