Why autumn property listings are on the rise
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Why autumn property listings are on the rise

Vendors are no longer waiting for spring to list their property, but there’s still an art to get the timing right

By Kirsten Craze
Fri, Mar 31, 2023 9:21amGrey Clock 5 min

 Industries like luxury fashion and elite sport are dictated by the seasons, so why not the residential real estate market? Selling homes is considered a science by some in the business who suggest that when you list can have a direct effect on the final price.

Analysis by property portal realestate.com.au’s data group PropTrack reveals there is generally a more profitable time of year to list a home for sale, but ultimately results can vary by region.

The 2021 research isolated the impact of the sale month from other features impacting price and discovered properties which sold in November received the highest average prices. Across Australia, sales in November were almost 6 percent higher than those in January, traditionally the sleepiest month on the real estate calendar. These results also ranked October and December as additionally profitable months.

Spring saturation

The reasoning behind strong spring selling statistics comes down to a mix of human behaviour and mother nature.

Tim Lawless, head of research at property data specialist CoreLogic, says while there is logic to the popularity of spring among sellers it could also just be an established pattern of behaviour Australians have found hard to kick.

“It definitely comes back to sentiment as well as the ability to present a property well. Spring is a time when the weather warms up, people become more active, the grass is greener and flowers start to bloom. So from a property presenting perspective, it’s a logical time to prepare your property for inspections so people can see it in its best possible light,” he says.

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It’s a great theory for houses with gardens, but he admits there is no real reason why apartment listings also ramp up in spring.

“I think it’s probably so deeply ingrained culturally that people don’t necessarily think about some of the logical aspects, because selling a unit wouldn’t be much different from season to season,” he says.

While this boom in the property calendar is often referred to as “spring selling season” Lawless says it could probably be more accurately be described as the “spring listing season”.

“We actually see the number of sales is equally as strong around March as it is in November, which are sort of both seasonal peaks in sales activity” he says. “But for listings, it’s really clear that after winter there’s normally a solid ramp up in the number of newly-listed properties coming onto the market.”

Understanding the real estate calendar

While spring is an active time of year in property, the rest of the calendar is marked by milestones which can make or break the success of a sale. School breaks, long weekends and even major sporting events should be taken into account when a home’s marketing campaign is being created.

“School holidays are relevant, but probably what’s more important would be long weekends, like Easter, or grand final weekends. The most obvious one is the Christmas period when pretty much everything shuts down,” Lawless says. “If you think about the property process, a lot of people need to be around to make a transaction happen. 

“You need buyers and sellers obviously, but also you need the agent, the conveyancer, building inspectors and those individuals or professions may not be operating due to holidays.”

Avoid scheduling your auction over long weekends or major sporting events, like football grand finals when buyer interest is often lower (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The real estate calendar had its first real shake up in a generation during the pandemic as potential buyers couldn’t leave on holiday or even view interstate homes. 

Auctions moved online, property professionals worked from home and an unprecedented number of buyers bought site unseen. 

As a result, some of those old seasonal selling tropes went out the window.

Bucking the seasonal trend for buyers

Bianca Denham, head of performance at the Ray White Group said bucking the seasonal listing trends could be a valuable move for sellers.

“Even pre pandemic we would train our agents not to fall into the trap of focussing on spring time,” Denham says. 

“Because if sellers have been institutionalised — for lack of a better word — that spring is the best time to sell, then what it creates is actually more competition among listings.”

While there are more properties for sale, that doesn’t necessarily translate into more buyers, she says. 

“Buyers don’t become buyers just because the daffodils are in bloom, they become buyers because something has happened in their life; they’ve got that promotion, finally saved the deposit, or they have a baby on the way,” she says. “Buyers become buyers for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the time of year.” 

Bianca Denham from Ray White says it’s worth looking beyond the traditional spring market to list properties

Alternatively, some agents are testing the water by working against old school traditions. 

“We’re seeing more agents embracing the downtime of summer as an opportunity to sell,” Denham says. “If you look back to a pre pandemic so-called ‘normal’ market then you would have seen it go to sleep over Christmas and January. 

“We’ve found that any agent who makes the concerted effort to list over Christmas is rewarded because there are inspections and they do get offers.” 

She added that vendors who tap into holiday periods could be rewarded with more buyer eyeballs on their listing.

“When people step out of their everyday and go on a break, that’s when they can start dreaming because they’ve got time on their hands. It’s one of our nation’s most-loved pastimes — browsing on real estate portals. We love it even if we’re not actively buying. 

“Not everyone goes away, and some people come from the country to the city, or vice versa, and they start looking at local real estate wherever they go.”

Lawless agrees that savvy sellers should consider just how saturated the market can get at certain periods.

“It’s definitely a factor in decision making. It’s good to know how much competition there’s going to be, or lack thereof,” he says. “So maybe going counter cyclical is a good idea by listing in winter when there’s not as many listings to come up against.”

In the end, do what works for you, he says.

“Your best option is to buy or sell when the timing is right for you rather than trying to time it with the seasons or trying to buy property at the bottom and sell at the top.”


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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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