Our guest today: Jan Somers from Somersoft.com.au.
Kevin: Welcome into the show. Once again this week, we’re going to be looking at a cross range of our experts as we enter into 2016, and we’ll be looking at what their views are of the market post-2015 as we go into a brand new year.
My guest to start the show off this week is Jan Somers, and Jan, of course, is from a great website, Somersoft.com.au.
You get a lot of feedback from people around Australia, Jan. What were they saying about 2015?
Jan: A lot of feedback. “Up and down” would be the key word, and depending on what city you’re in. Sydney and Melbourne were just unbelievable and I think beyond anyone’s expectations.
Kevin: Was that the big surprise for you, the Sydney market in particular?
Jan: It was a big surprise, just the amount of surge that continued for such a long time in Sydney. I don’t usually watch a market that closely except my son had a property in Sydney that he was selling because he’d been there six years and he’d moved on and was going to buy somewhere else. If ever there was a property sold when the bell rings at the top of the market, he sold it on that very night.
Kevin: Oh, wow. Is that right?
Jan: I was very astutely aware that the weekend before, there was a 70% or 80% clearance rate, as they say in Sydney, and the weekend after, it had dropped to 40%. He hit the nail on the head, and that was just amazing to watch.
Kevin: Yes. Incredible stuff. Let’s have a look at 2015. Were there any areas or property that you became disappointed in – in other words, you thought that they would perform better?
Jan: Yes. Because I was involved in a small development, I would have to say that building new properties, one, the construction costs were exorbitantly high, and secondly, dealing with councils was just… I would have to say it’s not my cup of tea.
That was very disappointing because if they do want to expand the property industry in Australia, they need to overcome those two aspects of councils dealing with developers, even small developers like myself, and just the price of construction is exorbitantly high compared to the cost of an established property these days.
Kevin: Do you find that some of the regional councils are worse than the cap city councils, or doesn’t it matter?
Jan: Possibly some of the regional ones who are trying to encourage growth might be a little bit easier to deal with than those that don’t really care whether people or developers come and go. It could well be, and from my anecdotal evidence, that dealing in regional Australia where they’re trying to encourage growth is probably better than dealing in the big city.
Kevin: Yes. Looking ahead at 2016, what do you think we’ll be saying this time next year about this year?
Jan: It’s a bit boring, but I think if you take a long-term view, then my view is we should be looking at the same as, same as. We don’t need to be looking at the ups and downs of the cycles, although it’s very interesting to observe. But if you’re in it for a seven- or ten-year period, I think next year should be it should be the same as it has been for the last ten years if we’re looking in decade lots of property investment.
Kevin: What are the markets? Are there that you’ll be keeping your eye on during 2016?
Jan: I will. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Brisbane market. We have a lot of properties in Brisbane after watching happened in Sydney and in Melbourne where people get given this exorbitant amount of money for their property and then find that they want to spend it somewhere else where it’s cheaper, and Brisbane right now is disproportionately lower than the Sydney/Melbourne market.
Kevin: Always great talking to you, Jan Somers. Thank you so much for your time. Jan, of course, at her website, Somersoft.com.au.
Thanks for your time, Jan.
Jan: You’re welcome, Kevin.