The Hidden Real Estate Market

There has been plenty of publicity lately about how buoyant the property market is in Australia, defying gloomy predictions at the beginning of COVID-19. While this sounds good for people currently owning real estate, it may not be so good for those looking to buy. Yes, regional areas are now more under consideration due to working from home, as are areas further from the city and major transport routes, generally at lower prices. But how do you know who would be open to selling outside those properties already listed for sale?

Most real estate listing websites seem to provide plenty of information on properties listed for sale and those that have sold in recent times. Looking at all the other properties that are not officially for sale though, rarely gives you the same access to information. Those properties not offered for sale in any year are over 20 times the size of the number of properties sold in Australia. Yet many people openly acknowledge that if a buyer came along with the right offer, they would be open to selling their property even if they are not actively doing so.

Access to this hidden market of willing sellers sitting outside the list of properties for sale would seem to provide an opportunity to find a wider range of suitable properties and at possibly better prices. This is especially true when you look at the costs and complexities of listing a property for sale. Consider the following tasks when listing a property.

  • Assessing potential sale return.
  • Choosing an agent.
  • Deciding on a sale method.
  • Setting the sale price.
  • Preparing the home for sale.
  • Committing to advertising.
  • Arranging required pre-sale documents.
  • Cooperating and preparing for home open days/hours.
  • Facilitating home inspections.
  • Negotiating on offers.
  • Deciding on the next move.
  • Applying for finance.
  • Finding a solicitor.
  • Being on the lookout for the next property to which you will move.

This why most people do not officially list their property for sale unless they are fully committed to moving elsewhere for whatever reason. How can a buyer then tap this market?

Apart from needing to know the type of home and locality in which to live, buyers also need to determine influential factors bearing on an owner’s propensity to sell. Those factors include:

  • Value increases which may not have come to the attention of owners.
  • Regions where there haven’t been many sales against which to benchmark values.
  • Localities where there has been little change in ownership for a number of years.
  • Areas affected by regional planning or infrastructure improvements not yet commenced.
  • Rapidly changing demographics both social and cultural.

All this information is available but, in most cases, requires much research across many different data sources. Once found, pulling all the data into a convenient model against which comparisons with other properties and localities can be conducted is very difficult. This is a challenge being tackled by contemporary PropTech solutions, all looking to leverage the very active real estate market. Residz is one such solution which has mapped every property in Australia, not just listed properties, and then attached a broad range of risk and lifestyle data for the property and the locality. This is then presented in easy to understand visualisations such as the one below showing property sales hot spots in recent years in a specific area.

These visualisations can be drilled into, or widened, to provide insight on areas which may have been “untapped” for potential sales for a number of years. This type of analysis is readily available across Australia for all 15.8 million residential and commercial properties within the Residz platform.

Further, the ability to have summary overviews of risk and lifestyle data for any property allows buyers to easily compare as can be seen by the next two images.

These comparative images apply to a range of property and locality data including crime, school results, traffic density, bushfire risk, and local amenities. When you have this insight at your fingertips you can then view any address in Australia as a potential new home!

Geospatial data analytics and AI Advocate / Strategist / PropTech / HealthTech / Supporter — Indigenous Opportunity / Food and Wine Critic (Not professionally)