Property market insight: 3 emerging trends in the real estate sector

By Bianca Dabu 20 February 2019 | 1 minute read

As major property markets start to soften and smaller markets begin to rise, Real Estate Business’ Tim Neary believes that three emerging trends in the real estate sector are likely to influence the market this year—from new tools to the dynamic between agents and investors.

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After an unprecedented property boom, Sydney and Melbourne have started to become buyer’s markets, moving in favour of buyers as property value declines and housing stock increases, giving them more options as they seek to snag a bargain.

On the other hand, smaller markets like Canberra and Tasmania have been said to be reminiscent of Sydney two years ago, with dwellings getting sold left and right and yields consistently hiking up.

According to Mr Neary: “Don’t think the whole of Australia is subject to a single set of market dynamics. Every market is different. Some regional locations are actually performing really well.

“This narrative that says Australia’s softening is not the case. The markets within markets in different markets have their own dynamics.”

With these market movements come significant changes in the real estate sector as they affect the activities of real estate agents who seek to thrive amid a changing market.

‘Prop tech’

Technology continues to influence the processes across the property investment landscape, and in 2019, Mr Neary believes that it could effectively shape the business of real estate.

Several innovations such as digital record-keeping, augmented reality and 24/7 consultancy services have come to light over the years, improving the overall property investment experience as it provides better transparency, connectivity and efficiency – from buying and selling to the dynamic between investors and professionals

Both buyers and sellers are keen to take advantage of technology nowadays, particularly to aid the marketing efforts for their property on the market.

“There’s a lot of influence of technology that’s coming in. That shows itself on the sales and marketing side through things like augmented reality and virtual reality, people not necessarily needing to be in the property to understand the property physically. They can get all that information online with virtual tools,” Mr Neary highlighted.

“It gives the buyers bigger reach, it gives the sellers bigger reach and it gives the real estate agent bigger reach. Agents are tapping into this more and more and more to extend their ability to spread themselves a little thicker around the catchment areas.”

Independent agents

Aside from the tools available to real estate agents and investors, the dynamic around the networks of agents have also been shifting as the property markets move, Mr Neary said.

Nowadays, there are less agents relying on ‘bigger name networks’, instead moving towards ‘boutique networks’.

“I think that dynamic’s starting to change around the franchise model and what that looks like.”

In a recent poll done by REB, more agents turned out to be in favour of being independent service providers rather than having ties with big corporations.

“There seems to be a trend. I'd like to watch it a little bit more closely during the course of 2019 as we go forward to see how that’s going to roll out.”

DIY selling

In the same way that agents are opting to be more independent, sellers have also been more keen to sell their properties by themselves.

The rise of technology gives sellers more confidence to go about with transactions independently as more information and data have become readily available for them.

Moreover, the elimination of professional fees is also seen as an advantage.

According to Mr Neary: “Real estate agents now have to work to set themselves up as a professional that can bring something that the DIY model can't bring. They need to understand what that looks like in the marketplace and how to sell that to a vendor.”

“It's all about their ability to negotiate better sales, and that’s not just around using language. They need skills and negotiation, the ability to bring in the right kind of buyers, understand what attract buyers to the property and how to present this property in the best way for those buyers.

“There’s a lot of moving parts that go to setting up that A-grade real estate agent which is going to elevate above the DIY model.”

Despite the pros of using the DIY model, some investors believe that it also presents risks, which may eventually lead to selling at a loss.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant said: “A good agent can really amplify the value of your property at the point in sale. They can get an extra five or 10 per cent purely because they’re professionals and that’s what they do for a living.”

“They could be a huge asset , particularly when the investor is not skilled or expert in the marketing of property or positioning that property within the current marketplace to ensure they are pitching it at the right price.”

At the end of the day, Mr Neary said that investors will be in charge of the decisions made for their portfolio, so he encourages them to do their due diligence and continuous market research and analysis in order to navigate the ever-changing property investment landscape.


Tune in to Tim Neary's episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out more lessons for investors looking to capitalise on the market.



An estate refers to the assets a person owns at death that could be used to pay their debts, including all personal property, real property and other liquid assets.


An estate is the value of an individual’s net worth including assets, properties, financial securities and other valuable assets.


Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

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Property market insight: 3 emerging trends in the real estate sector
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