September 2018 Newsletter


With the Sydney housing market beset by weaker prices and auction clearance rates throughout autumn and winter, it’s no surprise that the arrival  of spring is being met with plenty of  nervous anticipation.

While some may put the cold season’s less-than-stellar results down to the traditional winter lull, there’s evidence to suggest there might be far  more significant factors in play. Indeed, Corelogic believes that the 20 per cent drop in winter auction clearance rates from last year represents “a substantial weakening in vendor confidence driven by the softer housing market conditions”.

Having been in the business for more than 30 years, Charles+Stuart has experienced a number  of booms and downturns. The latter are always extremely informative, with various players within the real estate industry responding in different ways.

As Warren Buffett once said: “A rising tide lifts all boats, but it’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

In the face of a weakening market, there are plenty of agents now being exposed as lacking a thread or two. It’s in these conditions that agent successes are increasingly the result of good skills, good marketing and superior negotiating ability. Luck no longer plays a part.

That’s why tough markets weed out the real estate industry’s “cowboys”. During boom times, it’s easier for “almost anyone” to sell a property – particularly as there are often many potential buyers for one property. But now, with the market trending downwards, any agent worth their salt truly comes into their own.

At Charles+Stuart, we don’t rest on our laurels. We’re proud of our skill sets and our ability to provide realistic solutions that meet our clients’ needs. We also pride ourselves on being able to identify opportunities where others might just see ‘doom and gloom’.

We have already identified many such opportunities within the current slowing market – the most impressive being discounted prices for tracts of apartments, sometimes well below current market prices. It’s why we are establishing a special “buyers’ group”, which will allow us to negotiate and secure these apartments at significantly reduced pricing. The discounts on the current market will be a minimum 10 – 15 per cent – and in some cases they will be below replacement costs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the buyers’ group and the opportunities, please contact us on (02) 9327 6444.


While it’s never a good idea to talk politics, it’s certainly worth mentioning the new Prime Minister’s appointment of a dedicated Minister (Alan Tudge) to deal with cities, urban infrastructure and population matters.

With Australia’s population recently surpassing 25 million, the timing couldn’t be better. Indeed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says the growth rate will average 1.5 per cent over the next 10 years – making it one of the highest population forecast growth rates in the developed world.

According to the ABS, most Australians (67 per cent) live in capital cities. The majority are in NSW (65 per cent in Sydney), followed by Victoria (77 per cent in Melbourne), South Australia (77 per cent in Adelaide), Western Australia (79 per cent in Perth) and the Northern Territory (60 per cent in Darwin). Only Tasmania (44 per cent in Hobart) and Queensland (49 per cent in Brisbane) buck the trend.

Melbourne and Sydney are home to more than 40 per cent of the Australia’s population. Together, they generate about 43 per cent of gross domestic product. They both rely heavily on big universities and growing education sectors and are magnets for migrants and overseas visitors.

On current trends, Sydney and Melbourne will each have a population of six million by 2025. One obvious challenge to result from such rapid population growth is the strain placed on city infrastructure.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Property Council of Australia has welcomed the appointment of Minister Tudge, saying it will create great cities for current and future generations of Australians.

“As one of the most urbanised countries in the world, our economic future will largely be based on the success of our cities, both large and small,” said Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison.

“It is vital the Morrison Government keeps building the momentum on nation-building investments and city-shaping policies so that our cities keep growing well. Australia’s major cities are experiencing strong growth from natural population increase and immigration, so ensuring they grow well and their residents can prosper and enjoy a great quality of life requires good planning and smart investment.

“Population growth is certainly playing a role, but we must also recognise that people are attracted to cities for the economic, education and lifestyle benefits and opportunities they offer.”

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September 2018 Newsletter