I have often said that the most commonly asked question I have been asked over my 20 odd years in Real Estate is “When is the best time to sell? This is quite often followed by the seller’s comment that they think they will wait until Spring. My answer, though, has always been the same – “The best time to sell is “When you’re ready!” My sentiments have just been echoed by industry data specialists RPData, with a press release that states “Spring no longer represents the best time to sell“. It goes on to say…
New research from RP Data has found evidence to suggest that a great number of listings does not necessarily convert into a great number of sales. RP Data’s research analyst Cameron Kusher found that, on a national basis, March is in fact the busiest month for house and unit sales. Nationally over the last 10 years, March accounted for circa 9.3 per cent of all dwelling transactions.
“Despite the fact that March is the busiest month for sales, the results show that there is minimal fluctuation in sales activity except within December and January when sales volumes fall away considerably,” Mr Kusher said. “Clearly once everything starts to settle down after year-end festive periods, the attention turns back to the property market resulting in strong sales volumes during March.”
The results also confirm that spring is only the second busiest season for purchasers with autumn attracting 26.6 per cent of all sales compared to: 25.4 per cent in spring, 25.3 per cent in winter and 22.7 per cent during summer.
Mr Kusher said that although there is a ramping up in listings from August through to November, the increase in listings is not matched in sales activity. The strongest increase in sales activity is recorded between January and March each year at which time listings also ramp up.
Look at that spread of figures – 26.6%, 25.4%, 25.3%, and 22.7%. Considering the 22.7% includes December & January (during which time I imagine just about everyone already knows it is likely to be quieter), and also considering the volume of sales overall (we are talking about the country as a whole) there is very little difference between the number of sales being made from one quarter to the next.
“But why is this so? I always thought Spring was the best time!” I hear you say. Well, this is where I explain my “When you’re ready” answer that I have always given my clients. You see, people buy and sell Real Estate for a lot of different reasons, all of which have nothing to do with the temperature. Their family got bigger through birth, blended families etc, or smaller through death, divorce, etc. Children grow up and leave home (and then sometimes come back!), people lose their jobs, get new jobs, get job transfers. Some decide on a lifestyle change (be it seachange or treechange), some move to get closer to families (and sometimes to get further from families) or closer to schools…the list goes on. But as you can see, none of these have anything to do with the weather.
But what about along the coast? What about the seaside, getaway locations where holidaymakers buy on a whim in the middle of their holidays? Well, I checked the stats on Alexandra Headland, a seaside suburb on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. Guess what…no difference! Last year, there were -
- 17 sales in June
- 20 in July
- 22 in August
- 18 in September
- 18 in October
- 14 in November
- 8 in December (which follows the national trend of less sales in December)
- 16 in January
- 13 in February
- 10 in March.
Now I know that there are some years in these areas where Summer does have an influence, but last year was not one of them, which goes to prove my point – there is no point using a generalisation as a market barometer when deciding to sell your property. What’s also interesting with these figures is that whilst February 2010 was one of the lowest turnovers in the past 12 months, February 2009 was one of the highest, with 28 sales. What does this mean? (apart from the fact that you can make statistics say anything you want to?) Who knows?
You see there are so many influences on the market apart from the personal ones I have already mentioned (birth, death, divorce, marriage etc). What about interest rates, elections (both State & Federal), unemployment figures…the list goes on here as well. Who saw the GFC coming, and the affect it would have on everything? I reckon it just proves what I have been saying for years, that the best time to sell is ‘When you’re ready!”
Why am I telling you this now – in the middle of Winter? Because if you are thinking of selling, but thought you might wait until Spring, maybe it’s worth calling the agent and getting it on the market now. You never know, you might just get it sold before Spring gets here, and all those sellers who haven’t wised up put theirs on the market and increase the competition. BUT remember…only do it if you’re ready!
For more advice on buying or selling, feel free to contact me, David Meadowcroft on 0412247818, or firstname.lastname@example.org