The South East Queensland property market in the first half of 2013 kicked off with promise, says leading auctioneer Jason Andrews.

175 basis points worth of interest rate cuts since October 2011 had begun to filter through to the broader economy, leading to rising consumer confidence. The media was full of reports spruiking a real estate recovery, with commentators predicting improved conditions for sellers.

Jason goes on to say that although the southern states have fared somewhat better, Queensland’s promise remains unfulfilled. While the positive media reports have continued sporadically throughout the past six months, the underlying data shows that apart from in isolated pockets, the broader property market has failed to ignite.

“Buyer activity was slightly elevated, with average inspections growing from 18 to 20 and average registrations at auction rising from 1.5 to 1.6”, said Jason.

“But the slight rise in buyer interest was not matched in outcomes, with the overall auction clearance rate falling from 55.5% in 2012 to 48.2% in the first half of 2013. The 7km inner city ring appears to be the exception, with the Brisbane central auction clearance rate rising from 52% to 64%.

“Perhaps most significantly, the number of vendors who describe themselves as highly motivated fell from 67% to 52%, while the percentage vendors were prepared to shift their reserve on auction day to achieve a sale fell from 5.3% to 4.2%.”

According to Jason, the data suggests that overall, vendors swayed by media reports have been reluctant to moderate their price expectations in anticipation of the touted market recovery, which has so far failed to materialise. The danger in perpetuating the myth of guaranteed better times ahead is for vendors who would otherwise act becoming paralysed by the tantalising hope for future market improvement.

The recent announcement that Kevin Rudd would once again head the Labour Party as Prime Minister and with the election date now uncertain it’s impossible to judge the effect the new political landscape will have on buyer and seller sentiment.

“Regardless, what is clear is that the fundamentals of supply and demand will always remain the key determinants of property market outcomes”, Jason said.