SEASONS VS CONDITIONS – By Peter O’Malley June 2021

The Goulburn market often experiences a sharp decline in stock levels during winter. Prospective vendors tend to hold their properties back from the market waiting for the warm weather and the flowers to sprout in spring. A spring campaign also dovetails nicely with the end of year and being settled for the forthcoming New Year. This collective mindset often brings excess stock levels to the market in spring whilst leaving the market undersupplied during winter.

With market conditions extremely buoyant this year, prospective vendors will need to weigh up the selling season vs market conditions. This is not to suggest market conditions will decline during spring. But there are no guarantees in life and some vendors will undoubtedly be tempted by the high prices on offer in the current market.

The key question in determining when to list your property should be, ‘when will it sell better (for the best price)? Whereas many sellers ask themselves ‘when will the property present at its best?’ in the assumption a better presentation means a better price.

In 2020 the market enjoyed a strong rally during winter after the COVID-19 lockdown in autumn.

At that stage, many felt the winter rally was a potential false dawn and prices wouldn’t hold. A deluge of listings came to the market in spring which actually created sluggish market conditions from September through to late November. The market only regained confidence when stock levels dried up and buyer demand outstripped supply in December. This supply was tight through to March 2021. As we now know, the prices soared on tight stock levels in the early months of 2021.

A lot of sellers also prefer selling in spring because they will trade their existing home for a new one – which is easier to do when stock levels are higher. One alternate solution to ‘buy and sell in spring’ is to ‘sell in winter and buy in spring’. The way to structure such a move is to insert a delayed settlement clause into the contract of your winter sale. This will allow you to sell in winter when stock is tight and buy in spring when stock levels rise.

Just as winter can be a surprisingly good time to sell, so too can the early summer, between late November and Christmas. There is a mistaken belief the market ‘shuts down’ in the run up to Christmas. Nothing could be further from the truth though, as transaction numbers often soar in December.

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