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Is Spring The Best Time To Sell Property?

By Laura Anderson

Winter has come to an end – at long last. It’s not as chilly in the morning, the days are longer and the birds are chirping just a little louder. Additionally Commbank has indicated that spring and summer are the busiest times in the property market. In fact CoreLogic Data shows that each spring over the last few years has seen at least one month where over 3500 auctions occur – that’s over 115 every day. There’s far more homes for sale – but are the warmer seasons really the best time to buy?

Apart from the fact that your couch is less likely to get rained on as you carry it to the moving truck, it’s unclear whether or not this is true. Let’s have a closer look at the data and see if spring is in fact the best time of year to buy or sell (and if not when is).

PRICE CHANGES MONTH BY MONTH

Research from the Swinburne University of Technology suggests that the cheapest time to buy a house in Australia is during, just before or just after winter. In Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin the least expensive month to buy was June or July, suggesting that if you buy during winter you may find yourself a bargain.

Houses in Melbourne and Brisbane on the other hand sold for up to 2.5 per cent less during the month of May – an amount that could be over $21,000 if your buying at Melbourne’s median price.

The most expensive months in which to buy property in our two biggest capital cities are surprisingly also in winter. In fact Sydney and Melbourne real estate’s most expensive month is July – during this time you may get as much as 3.2 per cent more for you sale.

Other cities are quite different as their most expensive months sit mainly during the warmer time of year, as you would expect. In fact the best months to sell in Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane are during summer and spring, as on average sale prices were between 0.8 and 5.95 per cent higher during this period.

BUILDING APPROVALS

Building approvals generally indicate a buoyant and healthy housing market and 2015 was a record year in that respect. Despite this things seem to be slowing down in 2016, as Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicates that both residential and apartment building approvals are trending sharply downwards coming into spring.

In fact apartment approvals and residential approvals fell by 2.9 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively during the month of June.

While this data indicates a downturn coming into spring, the fact is it’s indicative of more long term trends in the market (as many seasonal changes may be). With this in mind is it really better to buy during a certain season?

LOOKING AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

Spring is a time of abundance on the Australian property market, with more listings and more properties sold than any other season. If having a wide selection is important to you, spring may just be the best time to start searching or selling, as you may enjoy better chances of finding exactly what you want.

In fact CoreLogic RP data indicates that auction clearance rates trend sharply upwards every spring, with this year being no exception (although the trend is more moderate than usual).

Despite this it’s most important to look at the bigger picture and long term trends when buying or selling. Instead of worrying about whether it’s the right time of the year, focus on if it’s the right time for you and consider what’s in the future for the market.

Doing so will help ensure that you’re buying or selling for the right reasons, and not just getting caught up in the mad spring rush.

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