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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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UAE Residential Market Review Shows Strong Growth and Record Transactions in Q1 2024

The total transaction volume in Abu Dhabi for the first quarter of the year reached 2,795.

Thu, May 16, 2024 4 min

The CBRE Middle East, a global leader in commercial real estate services and investments, released its latest edition of the UAE Residential Market Review for the first quarter of 2024.

Abu Dhabi Market Overview

During the first quarter of the year, the total volume of transactions in Abu Dhabi stood at 2,795, registering a 22.6% increase compared to the year prior. This increase has been underpinned by an 18.1% rise in off-plan sales and a 34.5% rise in secondary market sales. In the year to Q1 2024, Abu Dhabi’s average apartment and villa prices increased by 4.3% and 2.3%, respectively.

Abu Dhabi’s rental market witnessed a total of 46,130 residential rental contracts in Q1 2024, registering a decline of 10.9% from the year prior. This has been due to a 15.5% decline in the number of renewed rental contracts registered and a 2.4% drop in new rental registrations over the same period. In the year to Q1 2024, average apartment and villa rents have increased by 4.5% and 1.1%, respectively. On the supply front, only 80 units have been delivered in Abu Dhabi in the first three months of the year, with all of this new stock being in Al Raha Beach. An additional 8,660 units are expected to be completed by year-end with 55.8% of this scheduled stock located in Yas Island, Al Sowwah, and Al Shamkha.

Dubai Market Insights

In Dubai, price growth has continued to accelerate during the first quarter of 2024, with average prices increasing by 20.7% in the year to March 2024. Throughout this period, average apartment and villa prices increased by 20.4% and 22.1%, respectively. Although headline average sales rates are still marginally below the 2014 highs by 0.1%, several prominent residential neighbourhoods have already surpassed their 2014 figures.

As of March 2024, average apartment prices stood at AED 1,486 per square foot, and average villa prices reached AED 1,776 per square foot. Average villa sales rates are currently above their 2014 baseline by 22.9%. Rental growth has also gained momentum in 2024, after a period of moderation in 2023. In March 2024, average residential rents registered a year-on-year increase of 21.2%, up from the 20.4% growth registered a month earlier. Over this period, average apartment and villa rental rates grew by 22.1% and 14.5%, respectively. Data from the Dubai Land Department revealed that, in the year to date to March 2024, the total number of rental registrations stood at 159,941, marking an increase of 5.8% from the previous year. As for supply, a total of 6,526 units were delivered in the first quarter of the year, with 59.7% of this supply being located in Meydan One, Jumeirah Village Circle, and Al Furjan. A further 46,086 are expected to be handed over the remainder of the year. However, given historic materialisation rates, the report expects that a limited portion of this upcoming stock will come online as planned.

Record-Breaking Transactions

March 2024 witnessed another record in Dubai’s residential market, with transaction volumes reaching the highest monthly figure on record, marking a year-on-year growth of 13.2%. Throughout this period, off-plan sales and secondary market sales increased by 20.2%, and secondary market sales increased by 2.2%.

In the first quarter of 2024, Dubai’s total transaction volumes reached 35,310. This is the highest total ever recorded in the first quarter of the year, marking an increase of 20.5% from the year prior. Over this period, off-plan transactions recorded an increase of 23.9%, and secondary market transactions rose by 15.2%.

However, in Q1 2024, the total number of sales transactions within the prime market segment registered a decline of 2.1% compared to the year prior. Throughout this period, super-prime transactions recorded a drop of 16.5% year-on-year to stand at a total of 227. These declines witnessed in both markets have been largely underpinned by significant declines in off-plan sales largely attributable to the high levels of demand for off-plan properties and the limited level of upcoming supply. In terms of performance, in the first quarter of 2024, average prime prices registered a year-on-year increase of 16.0%, standing at an average of AED 4,661 per square foot, and average super-prime prices grew by 14.8% over this period, reaching AED 4,978 per square foot.

Taimur Khan, CBRE’s Head of Research MENA in Dubai

Future Projections 

Looking ahead, CBRE expects Dubai’s residential sales market to maintain its upward trajectory. Prices in both the apartment and villa segments of the market will continue to grow, however, not at the same pace. On the rental front, we forecast that residential rents will continue to increase. That being said, the rate of growth will likely moderate.

Taimur Khan, CBRE’s Head of Research MENA in Dubai, comments: “The UAE’s residential market started the year on a relatively strong note, where the elevated demand levels continue to drive performance. The strong levels of activity and high absorption levels, which have reduced available supply, will continue to support price growth in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai over the remainder of the year. In terms of rental growth, we expect that rental rates in Abu Dhabi will continue to rise, with prime areas set to outperform the market. In Dubai, residential rents will continue to increase; however, not at the same rate that we have been seeing to date, and we expect that the rate of change will diminish in the second half of the year.”

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