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Election Didn’t Halt Spring Selling Season

By Rebecca Richmond

Despite the federal election (an event that traditionally halts the property market), the spring selling season has well and truly begun for a majority of real estate agents, according to a recent survey.

In a recent Real Estate Business straw poll, 63 per cent of respondents said the spring selling season had started in their marketplace while 32.1 per cent said it had not. The remaining 4.8 per cent said they were unsure. Sales agent at McGrath Estate Agents Hunters Hill John Paranchi told Real Estate Business that, for him, the spring selling season had even started as early as July. “I think people were seeing some good results out there so they brought their selling plans forward,” he said. “I think a lot of people wanted to get in before the election so that was something that drove the local market.

“Listings were up a lot in July and August for us, and so far in September, we have listed eight new properties for October auctions.” Mr Paranchi, who was named Sales Agent of the Year at this year’s Australian Real Estate Awards, said he had seen huge demand on Sydney’s lower north shore. “Four weeks ago, I had the record number of people through one open for inspection. We had 88 groups of people through a house in Gladesville on Saturday and that was followed up by 30 groups of people through a Thursday one o’clock open. “I’ve been doing this for some time and I’ve never had so many people through one open for inspection before.”

Senior economist at Australian Property Monitors (APM) Dr Andrew Wilson told Real Estate Business last week that low interest rates and strong consumer confidence had led to typical spring market activity occurring in winter. “We’ve got absolutely higher confidence from buyers and sellers in most marketplaces and it is a confidence momentum now that people who have perhaps put off their buying and selling decisions over the last couple of years are now becoming activated again and we are seeing a lot of buyer and seller activity at the moment,” he said.

Dr Wilson said there would be a lot of energy in the market that would continue until autumn next year. “Those that have purchased or sold a house in the spring season this year will be looking to either buy or sell in the autumn season and that’s what tends to happen.” Head of Residential Sales at LJ Hooker Christopher Mourd shares Dr Wilson’s sentiments about the spring market saying that Australia’s property markets could move into unprecedented territory in the coming months.

“Any uncertainty which clouded the market before the federal election date was called has definitely lifted, with vendors now wanting to know what their property could fetch on an improved market,’’ said Mr Mourd. “Vendors have also closely watched auction clearance rates and the number of prospective buyers vying for a property increase. This is on the back of a bottomed property market and a succession of cash rate cuts from the RBA this year. They are now clearly ready to capitalize on the situation.”

Most agents are optimistic about the spring selling season, with a recent straw poll conducted by Real Estate Business showing that 70 per cent of the 313 respondents said it would be better than last year. Owner of LJ Hooker Concord Ben Horwood said consumer confidence this year would be much stronger than in previous years. “I think it will be a late run of spring as opposed to an early one but I wouldn’t say it would be huge in volume,” he told Real Estate Business. “I think the increase in activity means there’s going to be some serious price growth in the last quarter of this year.

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