Have you heard the one about….

I thought I’d heard just about everything in my real estate career but last week was proof that you’re never too old to learn new things. I watch the market closely and monitor movements in buyer sentiment, so it was a surprise to hear a new market phenomenon has emerged with an eerily familiar ring to it but a name I didn’t recognise. Have you heard of FOOP?

FOMO, the fear of missing out, I’d heard of. I’d seen the impact of FOMO on the market throughout the lockdown when demand was high and values rising as buyers desperately tried to find the right property and were prepared to pay top dollar to secure it.

What I hadn’t heard before last week was FOOP. My thanks to Buyer’s Advocate Rich Harvey for filling me in and explaining this acronym to explain the new phenomenon that is dominating the current market. FOOP – ‘fear of overpaying’. Yep, the dominance of buyer caution because of the easing market now has its own acronym!

FOOP. Great word, but not such a great movement to be influencing market conditions.

But perhaps that’s a signal for savvy buyers. If so, many people are holding back that a new acronym has emerged…. then perhaps now is exactly the time to enter the market! When everyone else is out of the market is the right time to get in.

I absolutely understand the nerves of buyers. Interest rate rises are reducing borrowing capacity so approaching a property commitment with caution is clever. I’m equally conscious of the power of the herd response and how it can be scary going against what seems to be the ‘normal’ response to conditions.  

However, the best opportunities for securing a good deal on a good property are to be cautious and clever, but also to be brave enough to overcome ‘the FOOP’ while others are still engulfed by it.

I think vendors are much more realistic about the state of the market now. They can see the value growth achieved over recent years and those who have listed are doing so with a clear view of the value of their property, understanding the rapid returns were not sustainable.

FOOP might be on the way out because Now Opportunity Does Exist. ‘NODE’ isn’t a great acronym, but it is a great reflection of the current market, and I am confident more and more buyers will recognise that, so I think we’re in for interesting times ahead.