Understanding the listing cycle, trends & seasons
Once the decision to sell a property has been made, the next question is usually “when”?
Stock levels (demand) play such a crucial role in the performance of a real estate market.
There are predictable periods (trends) throughout the calendar year when experienced market operators know stock levels will be tight and other times stock levels will be elevated, inadvertently favouring buyers.
The best time to sell is when you are offered the right amount. If that happens unconventionally such as an unsolicited offer or a strong offer in the first week of the campaign, then that may be the best time to sell.
Many off market sales fall under this category too. There were many off market transactions before Christmas 2020 as determined buyers made strong bids to avoid the respective properties going to market in 2021.
There tends to be 5 unofficial market cycles throughout the calendar year.
New Year Listings – These tend to be listed after Australia Day with the intention of selling before Easter (which comes relatively early in the year). With the lack of stock over December and January creating pent-up buyer demand, this can be a reasonable time to sell. Particularly those that are in the market first to engage New Year buyers.
Post – Easter Autumn Market – Campaigns in this part of the year have the intention of getting soft before winter sets in. By this time of year, the market has usually found its level and can be a high transaction period as there is a fairly good understanding of where the market price is set. Sometimes, larger external events such as COVID can upset the seasonal trend too.
Winter Market – Stock levels tend to be tight during winter. Admittedly many properties don’t present their best in winter. However, winter should not be instantly dismissed as a poor season to sell. Stock tends to be tightened more than demand does during winter, creating clear advantages to the winter property sellers.
Spring Market – Spring is by far the most overrated time of year to sell. Even during the boom years, there are clear examples where the clearance rates softened as excess stock on the market diluted demand. A great strategy can be to sell in winter with a long settlement and buy in spring when listing numbers are at their highest.
Pre – Christmas Market – The excess spring stock begins to subside by about early to mid November. This can throw up a selling opportunity for the unsold stock from earlier in the year or for those who suddenly decide to sell Pre-Christmas.
It surprises most people how many transitions are completed in late November and December, many ‘off market.
Economics trump seasons when it comes to deciding upon the best time of year to sell.
If the market is rising, you can afford to be patient and relaxed about the timing of the sale.
When the market is falling, waiting for a better season may not be your best option as prices are facing downwards pressure.
It’s the classic ‘market conditions’ vs ‘selling season’ debate?
Article from Harris Partners Real Estate