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Is Adelaide a buyer’s or a seller’s market?

By Brett Pilgrim

One of the things you'll likely be thinking about when purchasing Adelaide real estate is the amount of bargaining power you'll have during sale negotiations. Whether you are arguing the price lower or organising conditions, the sales process can favour the buyer or the seller – or sometimes fall somewhere in the middle. 

The latest CommBank-CoreLogic Home Buyer Index has some positive news for those investing in real estate in Adelaide, as well as those putting their property on the market. It measured the number of properties listed for sale and compared the figure with the level of mortgage commitments – in essence, the index is a reflection of whether supply is outstripping demand. 

The results indicate that property in Adelaide was a balanced market in January 2015, meaning that neither the vendor nor the purchaser had the upper hand at sale time. The report noted that this has been a feature of the city's market over recent months, which can bode well for keeping the property market's wheels spinning. It also reflected the trend across all regions in Adelaide, as well at a state level with South Australia overall experiencing an equilibrium between buyers and sellers. 

Given the even nature of the South Australian market, it will be interesting to see how recent tax reform discussions influence this balance. The Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) has encouraged the state government to remove stamp duty from the equation, which could encourage more people to buy a home. 

"South Australia needs a revenue stream that does not come from the burdening of one industry," said chief executive officer of REISA Mr Greg Troughton.

"And South Australians need to begin to feel confidence again in participating in the joys of home ownership."

Of the other state capitals, Perth joined Adelaide as a balanced market, while Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin skewed more towards buyers than their vendor counterparts. Sydney and Melbourne, which have seen the biggest increases in home values, experienced conditions biased in favour of sellers – in fact, Sydney saw an extreme sellers market over the month, which puts the vendor in a disproportionately powerful position over the buyer.

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