Long-held wisdom says that spring is the best season to sell property, but this may not always be the case.
In recent years, we’ve actually seen less of a seasonal market, with fairly consistent sales throughout the year.
Here, we take a look at what to consider when you’re picking the season to sell your home.
What is happening in 2020?
Real estate sales typically follow a pattern. We have predictable annual or calendar events, like Christmas or holidays, with dips and surges in stock and sales accordingly. We usually see a rise in sales in Autumn and Spring, while things can be very quiet in January.
This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the property market as it has so much else in our lives.
According to CoreLogic’s Home Value Index results, Australian dwelling values posted their first month-on-month decline in nearly a year in June, with five of the eight capital city regions recording a fall in values. However, by July, the number of home buyer searches on realestate.com.au was up 72.5% from the lows experienced at the end of April. There has also been a surge of first home buyers in the market.
While the ongoing pandemic makes it harder than ever to make predictions about the year ahead, always an imperfect art at the best of times, here are some things to consider about the various seasons and when you should sell.
Data from Domain Group suggests that, over the decade to 2018, spring was the most popular season to sell, with 30.3% of houses coming onto the market during the season. In 2019, the number of new property listings in the national housing market through November was up 56% from the depths of winter, and this surge was actually lower than previous years.
The popularity of the season does increase competition amongst sellers, although this factor is typically off-set by the fact that there are usually more active buyers in the market too.
Unquestionably, spring’s lovely weather can help you present your property in its best light. Gardens, in particular, look wonderful at this time of year, so be sure to give yours some extra love if preparing for a spring sale.
Second only to winter, which is typically the least popular month to sell, many sellers view summer as a poor time to list their property, largely because it’s such a busy time of year. People are often away on holidays or are simply too busy enjoying their time off to want the hassle of attending open homes.
On the plus side, advertising in summer can help your home stand out in a less crowded marketplace. It can also be a particularly good time to sell if you have a property by the ocean, as it can really help sell the dream of a beachside lifestyle – which we have here in Lake Macquarie.
If your home is dark during the cooler months, summer’s bright light may also play to its advantage.
An analysis of CoreLogic data on the average number of national sales by month and season over the last thirty years found that twenty-seven per cent of all sales were transacted in March, April and May, with the most popular month being March.
Another positive of autumn sales is that the season’s foliage can make gardens look especially beautiful – just be sure to keep gutters and yards clear of leaves to give your home its tidiest appearance.
Many overlook the winter months as a time to sell but if the season works for you for other reasons you can still achieve strong results. For one thing, you’ll be competing against less listings, which can attract more buyers. Those looking are more likely to be serious contenders too.
Homes that get good winter light can really stand out. West-facing windows that are a problem in summer are a great feature now. Ask your agent about the best time of day to show your property to make sure it’s literally presented in the best light.
Consider also features that make your home feel warm and cosy, from a lit fireplace to turning on lamps or adding more soft furnishings to your living spaces.
The right season to sell is when it’s right for you
Ultimately, the best time to sell depends on many factors, including your reason for selling, your finances, whether you have bought something else, the local area and the wider real estate market. The right time to sell is when it’s right for you.
The season may have an impact on the sales strategy we take, but it certainly shouldn’t be your main consideration, as there are benefits to selling in any season. Besides, quality homes in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle are always in demand.
Need help selling your property in the Greater Newcastle or Lake Macquarie area? Talk to our expert team.