This $1.65 million apartment sale in Cottesloe shows there’s still a market for expat boltholes

Was it overpriced? No. It was a market price.

What did you think it would go for? I thought around that.

What was surprising about it? In the western suburbs we’re seeing buyers just being a bit more considered. But you are seeing the occasional property going on the market for one weekend and still selling.

The London-based buyer, who had been unable to travel back home to Perth, had missed out on other properties he had tried to buy.

I sold this off-market property to an expat who missed out on some properties – he couldn’t get back. He wanted to have something secured, so he could come back from London with family and have a space to go to.

He was only here for a week. He had tried to buy from London and hadn’t been successful. It had been so hard for him to get here. He even got to Heathrow and was bumped off his flight. That was earlier this year. He’d probably missed out a couple of times.

He got here and said: “I just want to buy a bolthole in Cottesloe for when we’re coming back.”

But if the buyer was keen it wasn’t a one-way proposition: the vendor had to take a lower price than she was expecting, too.

I don’t think people muck around any more. They go: “Yep, we’ll go.” As part of coming through the pandemic, people are far more flexible, or open with their thought process and acting quickly. They understand the market can change.

With any transaction, if the buyer knows what they want and the seller is hearing what the market is saying, that will happen very quickly.

I’ve got a lovely vendor. But you have to present the facts.

Was the vendor hoping for a higher price? She was. For a bit more, for sure. But at the same time, you don’t dilly-dally.

With those international people, there’s a sense of people wanting to have a connectedness to where they came from. Maybe they were always going to do it, but there’s a heightened sense of “It would be great to have a bolthole in Cott”.

Do you reckon we’ll see another result like this: a) next week b) next year c) next cycle d) never? I think we will. As the confidence in our market that borders are going to stay open – I’m talking WA – if people feel confident they can come back and visit and go again and visit, we’ll see more expats looking and purchasing.

But it’s a level of confidence they’ve got to get around – particularly the WA borders – staying open.

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