Sydney property market has grown tougher for agents: Starr Partners

Starr Partners’ CEO Doug Driscoll posits that while the Sydney market has remained afloat amidst the unpredictable market movements and changes in policies, it has become harder for agents to maintain their business due to the consistent cooling down of the property markets.

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From an agent’s perspective, Doug always says, “You can control the sails, but you can't control the wind.”

The professionals who guide investors through their wealth-creation journey can only deal with what they’re given. As hard as it is, most of the time, perspective is what helps the financial team deal with the market’s unpredictability.

According to Doug: “We've just transitioned out of what is not just once in a generation but once in a lifetime market.”

“We talk about … ‘The market's doing this, that, and the other, and it's Armageddon'. It's not … [because] if you compare it to a ten-year average, it's still very, very strong—almost on a daily basis, they are still reporting good numbers across open homes,” he added.


The offers per property may not be as high as in 2016 or early 2017, but the Sydney market remains strong. What has moved is the level of competition for properties.

Up to this day, there has been less demand for homes, so the agents have to work harder to put deals on.

Doug said: “Until recently, agents didn't sell homes, people used to buy them—that's very true if you think about this.”

“From that perspective, agents are having to work a little bit harder, they're having to negotiate, they're having to go back to basics.

“It's not just a case now of sticking it on or domain and waiting for the phone to ring [because] they're having to turn a few stones to find buyers,” the property professional explained further.

Despite the current state of the real estate agents’ business, investors have nothing to worry about because, according to him, this is just the norm of the market at the moment. In fact, now might just be the best time to buy for owner-occupiers.

“There are more listings coming on, there's slightly less competition … and rates are still at record lows,” Doug said.

Investing might be a different proposition altogether, but there will come a time when the Sydney will shift back and offer good opportunities to property investors once again.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, who is an avid investor himself, has personally benefited from the Sydney market in the past years.

Phil said: “I haven't been investing in those western suburbs of Sydney purely because there's better opportunities elsewhere at this point in time.”

“That said, there will be a time when investors will shift back to those areas where you guys are strong,” he concluded.


Tune in to Doug Driscoll’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out how the real estate market has been impacted because of the property markets, what you should be looking for when thinking of investing in a certain area, and how infrastructure is impacting the property game.

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