Keep calm and put your house on the market in winter.
When the weather’s cold, it’s easy to assume that spring is a better time to sell your home. The sun will be shining, the grass green and birds singing, tra-la-la.
But is it really the best time to sell? Yes and no, according to statistics compiled for H&G by property-research company CoreLogic. While spring is indeed the peak time for total property listings, more homes are actually sold in autumn, albeit by a small margin. And listings in autumn are only fractionally behind spring anyway.
In terms of individual months, this pattern is maintained. November is the peak time for total listings in all capital cities except Darwin, and March the peak month for sales (except in Adelaide and Darwin) followed by May. Adelaide has its peak selling period in June and Darwin in December.
Not surprisingly, January is the slowest month nationally for sales and listings – with December second slowest – when the nation’s at the beach.
“Over the 10 years to February 2018, the number of properties listed for sale in November was 1.5 per cent greater than the second-highest month for listings, October,” says CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher.
“Sales volumes do not match the volume of listings,” he says. “The month of March has the highest number of sales over that period, but only the fourth-highest number of listings. May has the second-highest number of properties sold and the third-highest number of listings. November and October had the highest and secondhighest number of property listings respectively, but only recorded the fourth- and fifth-highest number of sales,” says Kusher.
But what time of year achieves the highest price? A team from Swinburne, Monash and Griffith Universities found quite a variation between capital cities when they compared home prices between 2008 and 2015 – the first study to examine the impact of the seasons on selling prices.
“Our main finding is that substantial seasonal effects exist for both the smallest (Darwin and Hobart) and largest (Melbourne and Sydney) capital cities, and these are mostly predictable,” said Professor Abbas Valadkhani from Swinburne’s Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
In Sydney, July was found to be the best month for achieving the highest prices for houses, and June the best month for units. In Melbourne it was May for both, in Brisbane January/ November, Adelaide April/September, Perth December/March, Canberra March/February, Hobart January/ February, and Darwin March/August. So it seems only Brisbane and Adelaide units fetch the best prices in spring.
Still convinced this is the best time to sell? Perhaps the best time is when you’re ready.