Best Time to Sell Property, the Definitive Guide

With the passing of spring you may think you have missed the best time to sell your property. Somewhat surprisingly the best time to sell your property is autumn, with most property transactions occurring during the month of March, followed by May.

RP Data analysed sales volume between January 2000 and December 2009 and found that March was the busiest month, for both units and houses, across Australia.

Autumn most popular month

Interestingly volumes do not change that significantly throughout the year with the level of transactions remaining relatively steady other than the Christmas slow down over December and January.

An academic study by Peter Rossini (Senior Lecturer, University South Australia), came to a similar conclusion. “While the so-called “spring rush” in the residential markets may possibly result in more human activity, there is no evidence to suggest compared to summer and autumn, there is more transactions or higher prices”.

Peter Rossini found that the month of year you sell your house appears to have very little bearing on the price achieved, with one small exception – during the Winter months properties sell for approximately 1% less than other seasons.

What about spring?

Even though there is an increase in the number of listings in spring (as seen in the chart below), this isn’t supported by an increase in the number of sales. While vendors may be drawn to selling their homes as the weather improves after winter and the flowers start to bloom, it may actually be in their interests to hold off until after Christmas.

Listing in spring will put the your property in a competitive sellers market and at a time when buyers are not at their most active.

Spring increase in property listings - best time to sell property

Glut of properties on the market

This year the spring period has been tough for sellers. There are currently more properties on the market advertised for sale than at anytime over the last five years. The competition for that elusive buyer is intense, with many properties failing to even attract one registered buyer at auction.

Properties on the market - best time to sell property

This is due to a shortage of buyers and a slow down in the time it takes to clear existing stock, rather than an increase in the number of properties coming onto the market. Newly advertised properties being added to the market are approximately 11% lower than the same time last year (RP Data).

This is all particularly evident when recent data on the average number of days it takes to sell a property is reviewed. Witness the increase over the last 12 months in the average length of time it is taking to sell property in the chart below.

Average days on market

So when is the best time to sell property?

From the data available it appears listing in the new year and positioning your property to sell between March and May will maximize your chances for success. This will place your property on the market during a period when historically most sales have occurred and buyers are at their most active.

When is the best time to buy property?

Conversely if you are looking to buy property spring may be the best time, when there is an abundance of choice (especially at the moment) and the competition from fellow buyers is relatively low. You may wish to also consider purchasing in winter, as Peter Rossini found, on average purchasers secured property marginally cheaper during the colder months.

Refer to our recent article ‘when is the best time to buy’ for more information on the topic.

If you are considering selling your property, make sure you contact us before talking to an agent, we provide unbiased and free advice on who are the quality real estate agents in your local area. It’s all we do.

It is a currently a buyers market and now it is more important than ever to ensure you have the best possible agent selling your property.

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