Study reveals best times to sell or buy

Posted on 1/01/2016 | By Terry Ryder

636834-9512cf52-7374-11e3-82a9-fbdd3ae7c5dfReal estate professionals have been arguing about it for years – when is the best time to sell a house? Some advocate Spring because the garden is at its best and the moderate weather entices buyers out to inspect properties. But the nay-sayers point out that this can also lead to an oversupply of properties for sale.

Conversely, some property die-hards maintain Winter is the best time to sell because there is less competition, while there are those who are adamant that holiday periods bring the best results because buyers have free time to look around.

Each argument has its own merits, but regardless of which theory you subscribe to, there is now scientific evidence that the month does matter. However, there are other influences apart from the seasons at play, and they differ from city to city, with the results drilling down to houses and units.

The Seasonality in Australian Capital City House and Unit Prices, carried out by Monash, Griffith and Swinburne Universities, found there were five key measures that affected property buying patterns from 1995 to the present day – including start of the new school year, the beginning of public service contracts, the weather, tax time and holiday periods.

The data reveals that an average of 2.52% can be saved when buying a house in Melbourne in May. That’s a saving of $20,657, based on the 2015 median house price for the Victorian capital. Similarly in Sydney, a house bought in June will save $12,276.

The most expensive month to buy a house or a unit in Melbourne is July, with house prices increasing by an average of 3.22% and unit prices rising by 2.79% for that month.

For those looking to sell their home in Sydney, an extra $23,638 on average could be gained if the property is sold in July.

The smaller markets, like Hobart and Darwin, are the most volatile for houses and units; Adelaide and Brisbane are the least price volatile house markets; and Sydney and Melbourne are the least price volatile unit markets.

The report indicates that buying behaviour has changed since the pre-2008 period (GFC) when patterns were more stable and traditionally centred around November and December.

“Both house and unit prices were noticeably more volatile in the more recent period, compared to the period before the GFC, where they were much more stable,” Economics Professor Abbas Valadkhani from Swinburne says.

The following is a summary of the best times to put your house on the market or go property hunting:

Houses

CITY

BEST MONTH TO SELL

BEST MONTH TO BUY

  Month

Extra cash earned

Month

Cash saved

Sydney July

$23,638

June

$12,276

Melbourne July

$26,395

May

$20,657

Brisbane January

  $4,106

May

  $3,211

Perth December

$12,462

February

  $8,246

Adelaide April

  $9,948

July

  $7,019

Canberra March

  $9,980

October

$11,708

Darwin March

$21,925

June

$17,713

Hobart January

  $9,682

September

  $8,717

 

Units

CITY

BEST MONTH TO SELL

BEST MONTH TO BUY

  Month Extra cash earned Month Cash saved
Sydney June

$20,682

December

  $6,871

Melbourne July

$14,426

May

$19,080

Brisbane November

  $3,234

May

  $4,751

Adelaide September

  $7,202

June

  $5,630

Perth March

  $9,323

February

  $4,225

Hobart February

$17,913

October

$20,321

Darwin August

  $6,843

September

$10,901

Canberra February

  $4,604

November

  $2,200