Spring is always the busiest season for real estate sellers. Gardens look their best, homes photograph well with natural light streaming in the windows and the weather entices buyers out of their homes and into yours.
But will this year be different? 2020 has sent shockwaves through every part of our lives, and the property market hasn’t escaped unscathed.
However, there is plenty of good news for sellers this spring season. Here are our three top predictions.
1. There will be strong buyer demand
When the pandemic first hit, there were dire predictions that property prices would crash. As a consequence, any vendor in the position to do so pulled their listing. This caused a huge drop in available properties, with buyers competing for the little stock that was on the market.
As restrictions have eased off everywhere but Victoria, that trend is reversing itself. Data from SQM Research shows that national listings increased by 3.8% over winter, with new listings up by 18.3%. However, the uptick in listings still isn’t matching buyer demand. As spring brings everyone out of the house, you can expect more interest in every property.
Land is particularly popular right now thanks to the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant and matching state initiatives. If you have something to sell, now might be the perfect time.
2. Home offices and larger houses are hot
With so many couples suddenly working from home, space is at a premium. The Australian Financial Review reports that most people who are selling right now, are doing so to upsize and gain more space.
In Melbourne, where the lockdown has been stricter and more prolonged than in other parts of the country, searches on Domain for “home office” have spiked by an unbelievable 1107%.
This makes sense when you consider that working from home is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Homes with a single, open plan, living space feel cramped when there are two people trying to make work calls and hold video conferences at the same time.
If you’re selling a house with three or more bedrooms plus a study, your property is likely to be in hot demand. Turnover of larger houses tends to be low, so now is the ideal time to downsize.
3. Regional properties will be more popular than ever
The shift to working from home has other consequences. One of those is a shift to the regions.
Part of this trend comes from the phenomenon above: people want larger homes with more rooms (and gardens for kids who are stuck at home while schools are closed). To make that fit into the average budget, more buyers are looking outside the major capitals and in more affordable regional areas.
With the daily commute a thing of the past, there is less incentive for people to pay a premium for central locations. As long as there is a strong internet connection, why not live in the country and enjoy the space?
Regional vacancies for rental housing are also tightening, with many tenants moving out to the country. If you’re looking for investment property, a regional town might be the ideal spot to get a foothold on the ladder.
For buyers and sellers alike, Spring 2020 will see increased activity in the property market and a likely recovery in property prices — along with some much-needed sunshine!