The top 7 trends for 2024 borrowers
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The top 7 trends for 2024 borrowers

The clouds are starting to clear for mortgage holders and first homebuyers but the sun hasn’t quite come out yet

By Rebecca Jarrett-Dalton
Tue, Dec 26, 2023 7:30amGrey Clock 4 min

After a turbulent 12 months, 2024 is shaping up to be another challenging year for Aussies looking to obtain a mortgage and those already servicing one. Despite 12 rate rises, inflation remains stubborn and isn’t expected to fall to the RBA’s intended range of 2-3% until 2025. Parts of the housing market remain as robust as ever, with prices for standalone homes steadily increasing due to fierce competition and low stock levels.

This scarcity of housing combined with a construction industry in distress are major factors that are pushing more first home buyers into making the jump. However, tightened lending means these buyers are more restricted in their options than they were a few years ago.

With that in mind, here are some of the key trends to watch for in the mortgage industry in 2024:

First home buyers head for the fringes

Sydney’s property market continues to soar to new heights, with house and unit prices growing further out of reach for most first home buyers. Even with a healthy budget of $800,000 – the price cap for buyers taking advantage of the government’s first home loan deposit scheme – buyers are priced out of most of Sydney’s suburbs. Currently figures show the median price of a unit in Sydney is $817,059 while median house prices sit at an eye-watering $1,333,985. To stay within budget, first home buyers would need to search for properties on the city’s fringes on the west, south-west and as far as the Blue Mountains.

First homebuyers may have to consider properties on the city fringes. Image: Getty

Singles are being hit hard

Singles in Sydney are facing formidable challenges when it comes to entering the property market. For the most part, property prices in Sydney show no sign of falling which presents a major barrier for those on a single income. Limited housing affordability coupled with stringent lending criteria and the high cost of living further compounds the issue.

Many singles find themselves struggling to save for a substantial deposit, and even with the Federal government’s first home loan deposit scheme and the NSW government’s waiving of stamp duty among other concessions, buying property as a single is still difficult thanks to most properties exceeding the price cap for government assistance.

Female homeowners on the rise

The rise of female homeownership reflects the country’s rapidly changing economic and social dynamics. According to census data, 35% of all households in NSW are single households. Single parent households have reached unprecedented highs. Empowered by increased financial independence and the growing emphasis on gender equality, women are no longer solely reliant on men when it comes to property ownership. CoreLogic reports that women currently own 26.8% of Australian property, with 35.7% of apartments in the hands of female owners.

Divorce trends also play a role in this change as women increasingly have the means and motivation to buy out their male partner’s share in marital property settlements. Additionally, more women are pursuing homeownership independently, heralding a broader transformation of the property market as greater numbers of women aspire to invest in real estate.

Second marriages’ effect on home ownership

Second marriages often bring complex issues regarding home ownership, especially when safeguarding assets is a priority. For individuals entering into second marriages, protecting investments or previous family homes for their existing children is a major consideration. In these cases, it’s common for couples to keep ownership of such properties separate to ensure they are inherited by their respective children rather than being factored into the new marital union.

When it comes to purchasing new marital homes, couples often enter the property market with clear financial agreements in place. These agreements ensure that the financial contributions of both partners are explicitly recognised, adequately reflect the financial realities and priorities of their second union and ensure that the new home is equitably shared. In the context of mortgages and property ownership, the importance of effective financial planning and communication when blending households in second marriages can’t be understated.

Appetite for new builds remains dampened

The appetite for new builds in Australia continues to be subdued primarily due to a variety of factors that have left many prospective homeowners cautious about embarking on new construction projects. With construction companies folding left, right, and centre, potential homeowners are understandably apprehensive about building their new home.

With uncertain timelines, cost overruns due to the rising price of building materials, and labour shortages to contend with, many Aussies are instead opting for existing properties or considering alternative measures like renovating as a more secure and predictable pathway to homeownership.

Residential construction rates will remain low in 2024.

Cash is king

Whether they accumulated cash through savings during the pandemic or are sitting on extra dough through the sales of investment properties, an increasing number of Australians are poised to buy into the market in cash. Data shows that 1 in 4 property purchases in Australia’s three most populous states are cash purchases.

Undeterred by high interest rates, these buyers are a formidable force in the property market. Consisting of downsizing Boomers and international buyers, this cohort could potentially price out buyers who rely on mortgage financing, intensifying competition for the most desirable properties and possibly driving property prices even higher.

Mortgage sideliners

A growing group of individuals often referred to as “mortgage sideliners” are sitting in the wings for longer and longer as they await more favourable market conditions. For these potential homebuyers the increasing unaffordability of homes coupled with tighter lending requirements is a major barrier to entry. Mortgage sideliners hope for a market correction and for interest rates to fall before making their move. While they continue to monitor the market for the right opportunity, mortgage sideliners risk the current market spiralling even further out of reach as a low interest rate period is sure to spark more competition for desirable properties.

Two Red Shoes founder Rebecca Jarrett-Dalton

Rebecca Jarrett-Dalton is founder of mortgage broker, Two Red Shoes


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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