Should you sell your property in winter?


By Hayden Groves – REIWA President

In a city that thrives in hot summers, it’s no surprise Perth’s colder months see locals retreating inside. Naturally, this ‘winter effect’ has an impact on the real estate market, with activity tending to quieten between June and August as the cold temperatures and rain keep people indoors.

As a result, vendors often choose to hold off selling their homes until spring, when both the weather and dispositions of the Western Australian buying public improve.

In a balanced market, when opportunity is evenly spread between buyers and sellers, deciding not to sell during winter is a smart strategy. Improved weather conditions will often benefit a garden’s aesthetic, adding value to a property, and a more positive atmosphere will generally emerge once winter ends.

On the other hand, it would be foolish to avoid selling your property in winter if market conditions were short on supply and high on buyer demand – particularly if future trends indicated a move back towards market parity.

In today’s real estate market, where conditions – although improving – are relatively flat, buyers have more time to make a decision that if supply was low and demand was high.

The residential rental market in particular tends to ‘nod off’ during winter, with notably fewer tenants making enquiries for vacant properties.

REIWA statistics also suggest rental vacancy rates move with the seasons, even during periods of high demand from tenants.

For sellers, however, broader market conditions have far more impact on selling outcomes in WA than the change of seasons does.

One important consideration for would-be sellers in today’s market is the thought process of like-minded sellers. If they too are choosing to hold off listing their property for sale during winter, then spring brings with it an over-supply of available stock and competition between sellers increases.

In the current climate, a surge in the volume of houses for sale is not ideal and would likely stifle the signs of improvement we’ve been observing this year, putting downward pressure on sale prices.

While seasonal trends have some impact on sales and rental activity in WA, generally speaking, any time of the year can be a good time to buy and sell. This is especially true if you are buying and selling in the same market conditions.

If you’re unsure if it is a good time to sell, speak with your local REIWA agent about how your local market is performing and how well properties similar to yours are selling.

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