Superstar buyers agent Simon Cohen reveals ‘weird’ real estate market’s best buys


In his 13 plus years as a buyers agent, Simon Cohen has seen nothing like it – not even post-GFC.

The star of the hit reality TV show Luxe Listings Australia started out as a buyers agent in 2009, when few people knew what that was.

After ‘begging and pleading’ prospective clients to give him a chance on his first jobs, the company he founded Cohen Handler has since negotiated 100s of millions of dollars worth of deals

And Cohen can understand now why many potential buyers are stumped by a market which whizzed along at 30 per cent growth across much of the country last year and has now slammed on the brakes, due in part to massive and previously unexpected interest rate hikes.

“It’s actually rather weird,” Cohen said.

“The good properties are still selling but those with warts are hanging around. I was looking at two bedroom units in Bondi the other day and one sold easily while another a few blocks ago with a few issues is still on the market.

“It’s those homes across the board with a few issues that are struggling to sell, the homes with 100 stairs to the front door aren’t flying off the shelf anymore like they were a year ago.

“However the top end of the [Sydney] market remains strong.”

In a podcast interview with Yellow Brick Road Home Loans Executive Chairman Mark Bouris on his Property Insights podcast, Cohen also revealed his thoughts on the other major metropolitan markets where Cohen Handler has offices.


“The Brisbane market is still quite strong,” Cohen said.

“When we opened an office there six years ago, we were buying $450,000 to $1m homes, now we are buying four, five six million dollar homes, prices have increased quite dramatically there.”

“I would buy a house with land if I was buying there now. If you’re looking at buying an apartment the closer you can get to New Farm, Ascot and those blue chips areas the better, if you’re buying a house I would go further away from the city.”

Cohen said the mentality towards the property journey differed greatly between Sydney and Brisbane.

“Housing is so expensive in Sydney and more people are happy to live in an apartment,” he said.

“It’s more recognised as the thing to do, live in an apartment, in Sydney than Brisbane.

“In Sydney people sell their big houses and downsize in Brisbane not so much.

“In Sydney you start and end up living in an apartment, in Brisbane you buy a house earlier and sell later.


On the podcast, Bouris put it to Cohen that the Perth market was still charging along, however the founder and CEO of Cohen Handler said he thought that was no longer the case.

“Ive spoken to a lot of vendor agents over there lately, and they are telling me the market has softened,” he said.

“Days on market have blown out and homes are taking longer to sell. What was previously selling in four weeks might now be taking four to six months – that is unheard of in Sydney.”


Areas with a high volume of units, can be problematic to buy in, Cohen said.

“I wouldn’t buy at the low end of the market anywhere or anywhere there is a lot of competition [for buyers] a lot of units,” he said.

“I’m talking about the Moore Parks of Sydney, the high rises in Brisbane, the South Banks of Melbourne, where prices might drop dramatically.