The best time to buy or sell property in Australia: Why the seasons impact real estate

Terrace houses on a sunny day, ready for real estate inspections and auctions.

If you’re on the hunt for a new home or are preparing to farewell your current abode, you’ve probably heard whispers about the best seasons for buying or selling property

Spring, with its bright blooms and comfortable home inspecting temperatures, is often touted as the biggest property season. But when you dig beyond the flower beds you’ll find a lot more goes into finding the ideal time to buy or sell a house.

The benefits for home buyers or sellers often swings both ways. For example, sellers might want to avoid the winter months as the cold could put-off buyers, or skip over summer sale dates when they’re away over the holiday period. 

However, these traditionally quieter times in property might be the ideal time to sell, as fewer properties on the market could mean serious buyers are likely to scout out your place first. For buyers, a traditionally slower season could mean less competition. 

Then on the flip-side in the busier autumn and spring months, sellers could be keen to capture rising prices from higher demand, but not necessarily find as much interest with so many properties for sale.

It may even come down to avoiding specific events or tourist spikes which could turn your quiet street into a parking fiasco, making it look less idyllic. And while supply and demand might be a vicious cycle in major cities, you might not see significant fluctuations in regional areas where housing can be more affordable and less competitive. 

So, when is the best time to buy or sell property in Australia? Basically, there isn’t necessarily one right time. It comes down to a range of factors including the broader state of property prices and a bit of luck. Then throw a global pandemic in the mix and you’ve got an even more complicated property market equation (thanks COVID).

However, there are some things to consider with each season that might enhance your chances of getting a good deal on a property sale or purchase. If you’re in the buying game, be sure to figure out your price range by comparing home loans and assessing your borrowing eligibility. Then get stuck into these property season tips:

Spring property tips

For buyers: Know what you want, what you can afford, and stick to your guns. Yes, there are going to be a lot of properties to inspect and a lot of other buyers vying for the sale, but if you have a strict budget and idea of the kind of home you want, then you’ll save time competing for less desirable options.  

For sellers: Get ready for a proper spring clean. Banish any mould and air out rooms you might have kept sealed during winter. Then, since people are favouring the outdoors, make sure any garden beds and greenery are well tended, pavers washed and decking recoated.

Summer property tips

For buyers: While there may not be a glut of for-sale listings right now, you might have extra time to get productive researching and inspecting homes if you’re on holidays. Get busy understanding what the competition is like in your area during the festive period, and get out there. 

For sellers: If you live in Australia, it’s probably pretty hot. Plan inspections and auctions in the morning to avoid sweaty buyers, especially if your home gets a hot westerly glare (consider pumping the air con before people arrive). If the garden is looking a little scorched, it may be worth investing in a few green replacements.

Autumn property tips

For buyers: Competition is heating up again as the mercury drops down. Be prepared for busier inspection, and stick to that list of property must-haves (and a few solid ‘wants’) rather than rush into something just so you can move in before the cold winter weather hits.

For sellers: Autumn weather is all over the place, so be prepared to crank the heat one day and provide cooling lemonade the next at open houses. This shoulder season is also becoming increasingly busy in Australia, so ensure your sale listing pops with some epic autumnal colours in the photography. 

Winter property tips

For buyers: It’s worth braving the rain to get a great price on your dream home. While there may be a more limited selection, it’s an ideal time to beat the competition to the prize property gem of the season if you can find it.

For sellers: The weather outside may be frightful, but you can make indoors delightful. If you live in colder parts of Australia, highlight areas of your home that have plenty of natural light and heating options (wood fires will be your best friend). Prepare for a potentially quicker sale with winter buyers who are determined to make a purchase despite limited options. 

Whatever time you choose to buy or sell, make sure you understand these home loan features which could make replaying your mortgage cheaper. Then, start researching home loans with the options below.

Compare home loans - last updated 8 December 2023

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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