No one is quite certain what the market and the economy will look like when the support packages such as JobKeeper are removed.

Those prospective vendors considering listing on the market will be faced with a decision – sell now in winter whilst COVID-19 continues and the cooler weather sets in, or wait until spring?

The winter vs spring debate rolls around every year with predictions of low or no activity over winter and a plethora of new listings ready for the spring market.

Buyers are not seasonal. They buy when the right opportunity presents itself. Even though the number of listings on the market tends to fluctuate with the seasons.

This year the equation is further complicated by COVID-19; thankfully it increasingly looks to be a diminishing issue in the eyes of the market.

This spring will coincide with the likely end to the COVID-19 support packages. No one is quite certain what the market and the economy will look like when the support packages such as JobKeeper are removed.

The mortgage holiday the retail banks have afforded homeowners has been instrumental in protecting the market from the worst of COVID-19. Clearly the bank’s profitability is severely hampered as a result and they need to get back to normal operations – meaning the mortgage holiday will almost certainly end in spring.

Whilst the medium term outlook looks somewhat choppy, the market is performing surprisingly well right now, during this mortgage holiday period.

Aside from the practical considerations such as work commitments, school terms and actually being ready to go on the market, the impact of the season on the campaign’s success is often misinterpreted.

There is a widely held view that more people sell in spring because the house & garden present better and therefore sellers achieve a higher sales price as a result.

There is no doubt on the first two points of the accepted wisdom about the spring selling season.

Firstly, there will be a lot of new listings to hit the market in spring that have been held back over the winter. Secondly, most properties do present better in spring than winter.

These two points can cause people to jump to a third, incorrect assumption. The mistaken assumption being that spring is a better time to sell than winter, from a price perspective.

Low stock levels can create artificial strength in the property market as buyer demand outstrips seller supply. Even during a pandemic as we are learning.

Winter is often under-rated as a selling season. The fact that many competing home sellers traditionally hold their properties back for the spring creates a shortage of stock on market between June and late August.

*Article by Peter O’Malley – Author Inside Real Estate

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