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Locked down but not locked out
by Megan Sheedy - Mornington Peninsula Licensed Estate Agent

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Andrew and Helen sold their Peninsula property to an inner-Melbourne buyer who paid a premium price to secure it two weeks before the proposed auction.

The Mornington Peninsula has experienced a positive period of growth despite being locked down since the end of July.  The REIV quarterly report for September shows days on market for the Peninsula are lower in many areas compared with metropolitan Melbourne – 34 days – while sold prices are still trending up. There are some reports that many properties are selling sight unseen and others before they go online. Ones that do go online are met with multiple offers from buyers trying to secure their piece of Peninsula paradise.

Mornington, Rosebud and Rye were three of the 20 suburbs listed by the REIV as top growth suburbs for September. Between June and September, Mornington saw an average sale price increase of 27 per cent, Rye 20.01 per cent and Rosebud 15.4 per cent.

EThe market is currently experiencing high buyer demand for properties on the Peninsula because if COVID has brought any good news, it’s that many of us do not need to work in the CBD anymore and are choosing to work from home. Combine this change in office workers’ mentality with a lack of confidence in some homeowners looking at selling in the near future, and the supply-demand pendulum is currently swinging heavily in the seller’s direction for those who dare to sell.

The recent announcement from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority outlined changes to the way lenders assess a new borrower’s ability to service a mortgage. Essentially, banks would be expected to test whether a borrower could repay a mortgage rate if that rate was three percentage points higher than the product rate on offer. This is a subtle change to lending conditions and is unlikely to move the market into negative territory as we saw back in 2017. APRA estimates the typical maximum borrowing capacity would only be reduced by about 5 per cent. Jade Murphy, from RateOne Home Loans in Mornington, estimates that “this may reduce a client’s maximum borrowing power from anywhere between $40,000-$50,000”.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for buyers. As the weather warms up and Melbourne is lifted from the clutches of Lockdown 6.0, we should expect to see an increase in homeowner confidence and in turn an increase in the number of properties for sale. That means we should expect a more level playing field for buyers over the next three months.

MEGAN SHEEDY – Mornington Peninsula Licensed Estate Agent

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