Residential real estate agents in locked down Sydney and Melbourne are bracing for a late start to the spring selling season as homeowners wait to offload under fewer restrictions.
The promise of warmer weather traditionally coincides with a rush of new listings, often creating the busiest period of sales.
Smaller capital city markets are on trend and agents are getting ready to sell to the high numbers of active buyers. Meanwhile, lockdown restrictions barring in person inspection in Victoria and permitting strict one-on-ones in Sydney and Canberra pressed pause on the big city markets.
The number of new listings through August was down 26.3 per cent nationally on the count of data firm SQM Research. The source of falls was largely in those three capitals.
But The Agency’s chief executive of residential Matt Lahood said agents were being advised to book in a short summer break to capture an expected wave of sales.
“A lot of people want to sell but it’s all paused, especially in Melbourne,” he said. “I’m still tipping a bumper spring. We will be making up for the lost September as most people won’t be going away for Summer holidays.” It was a similar mood at Ray White. The national network – which sells one in every eight houses across the country – said the number of homes signed up to hit the market in the coming weeks across the country was up more than 10 per cent on both last year and 2019 figures over the month of August.
These figures, better referred to as listing authorities, showed smaller markets had performed well above the national average, while the joint lockdown-affected states lagged: NSW/ACT up 7.8 per cent and Victoria/ Tasmanian down 3.1 per cent.
Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee expects a repeat of last year’s conditions, when sales started in December and carried through the new year period all the way to Easter, when the rate of property price gains peaked.
Gold Coast couple Luke and Vathary Goody, aged 33 and 31, are taking advantage of the first spring opportunity. They are going to take their home at Willow Vale to auction on Saturday after a five-week campaign.
“It was a change of lifestyle for us that made us list,” Mr Goody said. Ms Goody added: “The fact the market is strong made us more secure in our decision.”