More than ever the buying and selling of real estate is a year-round business. These days, prospective buyers constantly check what’s new on the online listing sites. They can easily arrange for email alerts so that they’re fully up-to-speed with the listings of preferred property types, their suburbs of choice and even favoured pockets within suburbs.
It’s a 24/7 scenario that means the residential property industry no longer gets to take an extended summer holiday.
Some analysts believe the start of the year has morphed into one of the best times to sell. This is because there is a large number of people looking to buy, but fewer properties available to purchase.
Buying by interstate and international migrants is on a powerful growth trajectory in January and February.
But despite a relative shortage of listings, compared to the high-inventory autumn and spring markets, there are good opportunities for buyers, too.
For example, properties that have failed to sell in the pre-Christmas period frequently come with a price discount in the New Year.
“I think anyone who has not sold in November or December will probably be at their most pliable on price in January and February,” says Arch Staver, Nelson Alexander’s Sales Director.
“A buyer should be in tune with this and ready to make an offer because that’s the time when a vendor will be likely to listen to any adjustment on their initial expectations.”
These held-over properties are typically good real estate. Their only fault may have been that they were initially overpriced, or they lost out in a head-to-head competition with a rival property that caught the imagination of more buyers.
But Nelson Alexander is also seeing a general increase in new listings coming on stream at the beginning of the year.
Mr Staver says the traditional autumn market is today kicking off in February, earlier than traditionally was the case.
“There isn’t an oversupply of properties being listed in the first part of the year,” he says.
“But a number of vendors have realised that the 24-hour news cycle and the rise of 24-hour shopping, and the constant emphasis on being plugged into what’s current, is starting to drift into residential real estate.”
He says real estate listings are present and accessible through different types of media today and the market is becoming less seasonal.
“We used to take January off because newspaper classified advertising took the month off,” Mr Staver notes.
“But we have moved away from relying solely on classified advertising and the online space is very popular with consumers.
“These trends are changing some of the dynamics and timelines of the market: the traditional autumn selling season is now definitely beginning in late-summer.”
Domain Group data on Melbourne’s real estate market show that auction clearance rates in December were the strongest of the year and that sales volumes almost hit the same level.
In the run-up to Christmas, many inner Melbourne auctions in December attracted between four and six bidders. It’s a clear market plus-factor that suggests there is a lot of unsatisfied demand among buyers – and solid opportunities for vendors who elect to go early in 2017.
Speak to the expert team at Nelson Alexander now to get a head start on your 2017 property goals.