Spring property market: Will it blossom or fade?

August 22, 2023

Spring is now just days away and with the warmer, sunnier weather comes the traditionally busiest real estate period.

Yet after some extended rocky climes in some parts of the country, and COVID still affecting the market, what will the spring property market look like?

Let's take a look:

Why is spring a more popular time to buy and sell property?

  1. Longer daylight hours, especially in places such as Melbourne, give more buyers extra time to explore homes
  2. Properties appear more attractive in sunnier, warmer weather, as compared to dreary, cold temperatures
  3. Moving towards the end of the year and preparing for a new one - including potential new schools and jobs - equals an excellent time to buy and sell

What to expect in the spring 2023 property market

Expect the traditional spring property market trends - as well as some extra ones, as we move further into a recovery season after COVID and the ups and downs experienced in 2022.

Along with this recovery season, here are some major differences which are likely to affect both buyers and sellers in this year's spring property market:

Brisbane-based Ray White Collective principal and auctioneer, Haesley Cush, said the recent pause in interest rates had given buyers some comfort.

"They have the confidence to purchase a home and know what they’re going to be spending," he said.

Whether we will see further spikes in 2023 or next year is anyone's guess, particularly when considering the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)'s new governor begins work on September 18, who will oversee the creation of a specialist monetary policy board (MPB).

Even if such spikes don't occur  and it is generally believed that we are past the peak of such spikes - the fact remains that households have now experienced a 4% increase in cash rates since May 2022.

  • As with interest rates, inflation is now believed to have passed its peak. It is certainly easing and is sitting at 6% as of the June quarter, the RBA's target figure is 2%-3%
  • Then there's the ongoing rental market "crisis" with extremely low vacancy rates being experienced right across the country, from regional and rural towns to capital cities - with the situation not helped by landlords' rights disappearing in favour of those of tenants
  • Property demand is higher now than earlier in the year, backed also by a major increase in overseas migration numbers including international students returning to Australia to study

Smaller household sizes in and around the pandemic are also resulting in higher property demand

  • Total advertised listings and property supply overall - particularly units - continue to be very low

    Property listings are now 25%-30% lower than a year ago, which may contribute to a recovery in property prices.

    Meanwhile, fresh listings have increased since June, according to CoreLogic's Tim Lawless

In his spring preview released on August 16, Mr Lawless noted that since the beginning of winter, total advertised supply dropped 3.5%, despite a 13.2% rise in the flow of new listings

Plus, property demand hasn’t kept up with the higher flow of such new listings, especially when compared to the pre-COVID decade average, Mr Lawless said.

"Based on (this average), new listings added to the national housing market dropped by 5.2% between autumn and winter before rising by an average of 9.8% between winter and spring," Mr Lawless said.

"(But) in the winter season to date, new listings have risen .... driven mostly by a 17.9% rise across the capital cities compared with a 4.6% rise in ... new listings across combined regional areas."

There are also suggestions from several industry veterans that winter is the new spring when it comes to an active real estate market - including high auction clearance rates.

Spring property market
Spring property market: The (current) property market is working its way through the market cycles driven by various factors such as interest rates, consumer confidence, supply and demand, economic conditions and government policies.

Is the spring property market beginning early?

In an August 19 article for Michael Yardney's, 'My Housing Market' chief economist, Dr Andrew Wilson said:

"Pre-spring weekend auction numbers are now rising strongly with confident sellers keen to take advantage of the current heady competition between buyers for available property – with prices accordingly continuing to rise."

While the article only explored the major eastern seaboard capital cities, as well as Adelaide, it's encouraging to see that such cities are now enjoying auction clearance rates of between 60.9% in Canberra and 86% in Adelaide.

Sydney alone enjoyed its highest weekend listing numbers for 2023 as well as its highest clearance rates for two months, Dr Wilson noted.

Mr Yardney agrees that such clearance rates equal "strong, almost boom-time results (while) property buyer sentiment has lifted and more property sales listings are coming on to the market."

What does the spring property market look like?

While high property demand is an excellent trend for sellers, the continued lack of housing supply is not such good news for buyers.

This lack - which is due in large part to rising construction costs and labour shortages, said Mr Yardney - will see the traditional strong competition of a spring property market increase further, 

"Construction costs have surged by over 25% in the past two years, and builders are passing these costs on to homebuyers, directly impacting house prices," Mr Yardney said.

However, in an encouraging comment for buyers, Mr Yardney added that unemployment rates are at a 50-year low while wages are on the rise. 

The Brisbane market in particular should soon start to experience a flattening of recent property price upswings.

Spring property market: points to remember

  • The property market is a fragmented one, meaning no two suburbs - and no two cities or towns - will give exactly the same results
Brisbane again, for example, saw a "tightening of stock in June and July which pushed supply and demand, and competition heated up," Mr Cush from Ray White said.
  • The property market is a cyclical one, constantly heading up and down with unexpected pandemics or economic crises jarring the cycle further. In Mr Yardney's words: "The (current) property market is doing what it always does – it is working its way through the market cycles driven by various factors such as interest rates, consumer confidence, supply and demand, economic conditions and government policies".

So, whether you're buying or selling this spring property market season, be encouraged!

We're here to help

Listing Loop is a marketplace for off-market and pre-market properties and more, but we’re also an end-to-end property transaction platform to help make buying and selling property easier and more affordable. 

For buyers, we offer a fantastic Buyer Assist service, which gives you the support of expert real estate negotiators to secure the best deal for your property purchase. 

And for sellers, our Seller Assist service ensures you find the most trusted and highest performing agents in your local area - who will also maximise your sale price in any market.

So, sign up to become a Listing Loop member today for free and let us help you find your dream home, or sell your property to make way for your dream home.


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