“We are trading up to more space and somewhere that is a lot closer to Melbourne. It is a lot easier in these markets,” said Ms Filipovic.
‘Opportunity in a stagnant market’
Zoran Solano, a buyers’ agent for Hot Property Buyers, said: “In Brisbane, first-time home buyers also see an opportunity in a stagnant market to jump onto the property market. This is likely to trigger a chain where upgraders and downsizers will trade houses as well.”
The stereotype of the downsizer as an empty nester selling their home to fund retirement in an inner city apartment is also changing, according to market analysts.
Many retirees are cashed up, want to live a more social lifestyle in a bigger house where they can entertain friends, grown children and grandchildren and consider themselves decades away from needing special accommodation.
Rich Harvey, chief executive of propertybuyer.com.au, said deteriorating property markets were a boon for cashed-up buyers seeking to upgrade their homes and lifestyles.
Mr Harvey, a buyers’ agent, said: “Reasons include upgrades, a bigger house for growing children, more space for entertaining friends and family or finding a bargain.”
Housing has fallen by more than 13 per cent, and apartments about 11 per cent, during the past 12 months, according to analysis by Morgan Stanley of national prices. Many analysts predict the peak-to-trough decline could be between 15 and 20 per cent.
Tough for interest-only buyers
It is particularly tough for interest-only buyers who locked into fixed terms at the peak of the market boom in 2014-15.
Many vendors are increasing discounts as time on the market increases.
According to analysis by investment bank Morgan Stanley, discounts in Melbourne and Sydney are about 5 and 6 per cent respectively. Days on the market have in recent weeks increased from 47 to 53.
Mr Harvey said the size of the discount depended on the property, suburb and interest in the sale.
But falling demand, fewer potential buyers attending auctions, growing pessimism and tougher borrower conditions create opportunities for a cashed-up, or finance-ready, buyer.
Mr Harvey said he recently knocked $400,000 off the sale price for a property being advertised for $2.9 million.