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Buyer activity up by 15% is good news for vendors considering autumn property sale

March 21, 2023

Stronger open for inspection activity in February is a bellwether for sales in April and May: Angus Raine, Executive Chairman Raine & Horne.

  • Raine & Horne reports a 15% increase in open for inspection (OFIs) numbers in early March compared to January.
  • The upswing in buyer activity presents a significant opportunity for property owners as the number of homes for sale in autumn is usually less than in the traditional spring selling season.
  • Lower listings and strong buyer numbers have pushed down days on market to 42.25 compared to 54.86 in January.

A robust increase in buyer activity in February presents a significant opportunity for property vendors considering an autumn sale, according to new research by leading real estate group Raine & Horne.

Nationally, the leading real estate group reported a 15% increase in the number of groups attending open-for-inspections (OFIs) between January and February 2023.

“Buyer activity in February is a bellwether for sales in April and May,” says Executive Chairman Raine & Horne, Angus Raine.

At the same time, Mr Raine said, listings nationally were down by 10% from January.

“Lower listings and solid buyer numbers are already making a mark with our research showing that days on market have tightened to 42.25 compared to 54.86 in January, so vendors can also expect faster sales in autumn.”

Pleasant weather also good for property sales

Mr Raine continued, “Ignoring the first weeks of March, which can be as steamy as mid-summer, the autumn climate won’t typically be as warm as summer.

“The pleasant conditions in autumn make it an agreeable time of the year to show a property, while the cooler temperatures can make it more relaxed for aspiring buyers to walk around outside the property and explore the surrounding neighbourhood.”

In southeast Queensland, Andrew Lynch, Principal of Raine & Horne Toowoomba, agrees that an autumn sale often produces excellent results for those vendors. 

“Selling in spring is one of the most overrated things I have ever heard. But because of the springtime fallacy, there are always fewer homes for sale in Toowoomba in autumn than in spring, and this year there seems like there will be fewer.

Mr Lynch confirms that unlike other parts of Queensland to the north of the state, Toowoomba does have an autumn period from the middle of April to June. 

“Autumn is ideal for selling real estate in Toowoomba as the buyers are still out in force, and we have an average of 10 groups and significantly more in some cases at Saturday open homes, and each property is attracting multiple offers.

“The ten interest rate hikes in a row have had minimal impact on our entry-level markets where it’s still possible to buy properties under $500,000, so people aren’t borrowing significant amounts of money.

“Autumn is a fantastic time to achieve great sales results in Townville, and with plenty of buyer interest, those vendors planning a sale should get their skates on and list now.”

Fewer listings in Adelaide good news for vendors

In South Australia, the Principal of Raine & Horne Kurralta Park, John Cullen, says there are always fewer properties for sale in autumn. At the same time, ample buyers exist regardless of the market cycle.

“From March to May, Adelaide’s weather is still very good for those attending open for inspections. The Christmas and New Year hiatus is well behind us, and buyers are back looking at real estate.”

According to Mr Cullen, average Saturday open for inspection are drawing a very healthy 10-15 groups, and each property attracts a handful of competitive offers due to super low stock levels. 

“While listings are lower than in spring, there is still some stock for sale, but buyers don’t have as much choice in autumn.”

According to Mr Cullen, the winter months in Adelaide can be bitterly cold, which impacts the numbers at open for inspections. “Many savvy vendors want a sale done and dusted before July when the mercury plummets.”

Autumn is better than spring for Bathurst sales

In NSW’s Central West, Grant Maskill-Dowton, Director of Raine & Horne Bathurst, says autumn is traditionally a great time to sell a property.

“The autumn climate in Bathurst is perfect, and it’s a better time to sell than spring. In spring, buyers expect gardens and lawns to be showpieces, but they are more forgiving about how landscapes present in autumn.

“Also, whether you’re selling a house with a swimming pool to combat the heat or another with fabulous wood heating for our chilly winters, these features attract interest in autumn. In the other seasons, it’s either the pool or the heating.”

Mr Maskill-Dowton confirmed that listings in autumn are lower because many Bathurst property owners still prefer to sell in spring.

“So, if you list in autumn, you have a better chance of your property attracting buyer attention.”

On the demand side, Mr Maskill-Dowton confirms that enquiries tend to drop off for a few days after an RBA rate rise decision before they return to open for inspections.  “We average between 5-10 groups at open homes, and our days on market are starting to fall. It’s a great time for Bathurst vendors considering a sale.”

Benefits of selling in autumn

  • Fewer competing listings.
  • Plenty of motivated buyers.
  • Autumn weather in Australia is generally mild, which can make it more comfortable for potential buyers to attend OFI.
  • Autumn foliage can enhance curb appeal.