The real estate market in 2019 "read somewhat like an action novel", according to one Illawarra agent.
"The opening scene saw the hero in trouble as the Royal Commission continued their investigations," Matt Dignam, director of Bulli-based Dignam Real Estate said recently.
"A few political villains made numerous threats and left the buying public nervous and cautious.
"But when the sun came out in the spring, the hero prevailed as the threats became just that and the buying public returned to town, blinking in the sun but feeling buoyant and hopeful for the future."
In reflecting on 2019 in property, Mr Dignam said the beginning of the year featured a "subdued" market.
"There was a reluctance from buyers to move forward and owners were holding," he said.
"This came off the back of the Royal Commission, which tightened lending and the length of time it was taking to go through."
Mr Dignam said the uncertainty was also due to proposed changes in the lead-up to the federal election.
He said Labor's policies regarding negative gearing and capital gains tax were causing buyer anxiety, with the caution spilling into the real estate market.
"Spending was down, but with the election of a Morrison government, a greater sense of optimism returned as the Coalition provided reassurances that buyers needed to return to confidence," Mr Dignam said.
"This, coupled with the Australian Prudential Lending Authority (APRA) relaxing on the assessment rate, and an interest rates reprieve mid-year meant that the second half of 2019 painted a much better picture."
Mr Dignam said in the northern Illawarra, the lowered level of confidence had caused a "high stock market" as buyers hesitated.
"In July, people started looking again," he said.
"As sales increased, so did the stock levels, so we're now seeing a greater number of properties for sale and mathematically, we have greater competition between buyers.
"This means we've seen more off-market and competitive prices."
Mr Dignam said the real estate market has taken a battering, "but like any good hero has pulled itself to its feet and started on the road to recovery".
Mr Dignam said he believes 2020 will see a continuation of the recovery of the market - although admits there could be some bumps along the way.
"The greatest indicator of growth in the property market is buoyant employment and economy," he said.
"We may see a subdued recovery as those sectors reset, but generally, I think we've seen the bottom of the market and are now on an upward trend."
Mr Dignam's advice to anyone thinking of buying or selling in 2020 is to consider that we are currently in a balanced market.
"There's no reason not to sell," he said.
"There is no pending uncertainty and no real reason to delay. We're looking at some very good conditions and if they keep going, it will only get more expensive."