Disclaimer: These comments are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the current opinions and policies of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
Spring is considered to be the “selling season” for real estate, a time where gardens, moods and sales volumes improve. In the middle of winter, it is tempting to suggest a rainy weekend was the reason a buyer was not found. REIWA numbers report an increase in listing stock of over 800 homes last week alone as spring entices sellers to the market, hopeful that warmer weather and an improving market will produce a sale.
However, according to REIWA Research, the notion that more properties sell during spring compared to the rest of the year is more urban myth than truth. Analysis of sales volumes since 1994 for the September to November period each year shows sales activity slowed for eight of the past 22 spring periods with little change in 1998, 2014 and 2016.
Interestingly, the month of September normally considered the start of improved selling conditions has shown itself as being a poorer performer compared to the other spring months October and November. Since 1994 on only one occasion has September out-performed October and November (September 2008) with every other September over the past 22 years seeing sales falter.
This is probably due, in part, to September having one less selling day than the months either side July, August and October, it normally being the month of the AFL Grand Final and the start of the school holidays.
With spring not necessarily being the selling season it is purported to be, it is noted that neither is summer. In fact, the greatest occurrence in fall-off sales is in summer with sales volumes dropping comparatively twelve times over the past 22 years.
Consequently, autumn is the season that comes to the fore with sales numbers increasing on sixteen occasions since 1994 during the collective months of March to May.
Overall it appears that the Perth property market relatively ignores seasons as a contributing factor to sales activity or median prices.
Here, major economic, political and social factors play more of a role in affecting sales prices and changes to interest rates, population growth, employment levels, consumer confidence and policy stimuli impact more substantially irrespective of the season.
by Hayden Groves
REIA Deputy President