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Media release – date YASS PROPERTY MARKET SET TO MODERATE IN 2012 Bernard Johnson from Yass First National expects the Yass property market is set to moderate in the coming six months, due to shortage of supply, with potential for the market to decline as the year progresses depending on what happens with interest rates, global economies and stock market movements. Mr Johnson said in the First National 2012 Property Market Outlook released this week, Canberra was going through a price correction phase, probably the first since the bushfires of 2003 and the Yass property market often follows that of the city. “Public servants are generally better educated and better paid, but are consequently more careful if they believe the economy is about to head down, which then has a knock-on effect on the property market,” Mr Johnson said. “Any decrease in interest rates should stimulate activity as it further improves home affordability.” Mr Johnson said the global economies of America and Europe are the key challenges the Yass property market faces in 2012 as they will impact on buyer confidence given their affect on stocks and superannuation returns. “Government policies are also significantly impacting on the local property market, especially through its Land Environment Policy (LEP) which should open more land up for subdivision,” Mr Johnson said. According to the Outlook, residential property prices are expected to remain relatively flat, across all property sectors, of houses, apartment/strata and land, with movements of up to 1 per cent. “House prices should hold because of Canberra’s influence and there is a limited supply of units coming onto the market which means that market is barely moving at all,” Mr Johnson said. “Land prices have the potential to trend upwards, with increases of up to 5 per cent with a shortage of vacant residential land available for sale.” The rental market should see vacancy rates ease in the coming few months, as part of the normal end of year turnover, with movements kept to below 1 per cent overall. Weekly rent prices are expected to trend upwards, with a lack of rental properties pushing rents up by between 1 to 5 per cent.

Mr Johnson said investor activity is subject to Europe’s economy and stock market movements, so could potentially increase with the property market outperforming the stock market and improved market conditions producing stronger yields. “But I expect retirees to represent the strongest growth in activity with Yass offering good community facilities and being in close proximity to Canberra,” Mr Johnson said. Interest rates are expected to decrease by up to 0.25 per cent, which should improve market conditions and bolster consumer confidence, steadying the market by the middle of the year. The economic events in Europe and America are expected to impact on consumer confidence, and the introduction of the carbon tax is expected to further erode consumer confidence. The rural market could see demand for rural properties come mostly from those seeking 2 to 8 Ha lifestyle sized properties, however, there is a lack of properties available for purchase in this range. “Lifestyle property purchasers are also more particular demanding good access to water, easy commute to local facilities and amenities and a bargain price,” Mr Johnson said. “The main issue facing the Yass rural sector is commodity prices, which impact significantly on rural property prices in the region.” - copy ends Issued by: First National Real Estate For further information or to receive a copy of the 2012 Property Outlook, Bernard Johnson, Principal from First National Real Estate Yass, on 02 6226 3338

Yass - Media Release