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When is the best time to sell your home (statistically)?

By Rachel Wallace

New analysis of realestate.com.au data reveals that the end of the year is the best time to sell your property – but the benefits vary significantly by region.

Spring, autumn, summer or winter? It’s one of the biggest questions that plagues would-be sellers – when is the best time to sell my home?

Analysis isolating the effect of sale month from other features that affect price reveals that properties sold in November receive the highest average prices. Across Australia, sales in November have been almost 6% higher than those in January, the statistically cheapest month.

This suggests the end of the year is the best time to sell your home: October, November and December.

Average change in price

By month sold, relative to January

Source: realestate.com.au • Data from Jan 2015 to Feb 2021. Estimates account for location, property type and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms of sold properties

But where your property is matters. Time of sale matters the most in Sydney, Melbourne and in Hobart. In these cities, choosing the right time to sell can bring  higher sales prices of 10 per cent or more.

Cities with strong seasonal effects

Average change in price by month sold, relative to January

Source: realestate.com.au • Data from Jan 2015 to Feb 2021. Estimates account for location, property type and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms of sold properties

There are a few reasons why these property markets display such strong seasonal effects. As well as prices generally going up through the year, in Sydney and Melbourne, spring brings auction season, often cited as when the weather is nicest and properties look their best. This may inspire buyers to pay more later in the year.

But it also may be self-fulfilling: if sellers withhold the nicest homes (after accounting for property type and size) for spring, these times will appear favourable. Properties sold in January are also often those that failed to find a buyer in the previous spring season, making sales at other times of the year look particularly good.

Seasonal effects are weaker elsewhere

Average change in price by month sold, relative to January

Source: realestate.com.au • Data from Jan 2015 to Feb 2021. Estimates account for location, property type and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms of sold properties.

Selling time matters less elsewhere across the country, although prices remain highest at the end of the year. Monthly differences are small in Brisbane and Adelaide, while in Perth the lowest sale prices are in winter, in contrast to elsewhere. In these regions, sellers can be more relaxed about when they choose to sell their home.

Will this hold true in 2021?
The above analysis extrapolates trends from the past six years of sales, but it’s fair to say that 2021 could be quite different. This is because lockdowns and concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have played a much larger role than seasonality when it has come to buyers and sellers’ moving decisions.

So far, the beginning of 2021 has been characterised by the release of significant pent up demand and a consequent surge in prices as buyers rejoin the market. Hence, sellers able to list in these favourable conditions early in the year may be rewarded with strong selling prices, despite usual conditions favouring months later in the year.

Source: realestate.com.au

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