New year, new home: Aussies prefer moving home in January

Happy family with two sons playing in living room of their sunny new home

Kicking off the new year with a new home seems to be a popular choice among Australians, with January being the most popular month for moving house according to new research from Budget Direct. 

And it's not even close: moves in January are 50% more frequent than in any other month, underscoring the importance of being well-prepared, including ensuring the right home insurance cover.

Monthly distribution of total house moves in Australia, 2021 - 2023

Bar chart showing the monthly distribution of total house moves in Australia from 2021 - 2023

Budget Direct’s chief growth officer, Jonathan Kerr suggests that the appeal of January could be linked to factors like pleasant weather and the extended school break, making it a more convenient time for families to transition to new homes.

"The warm weather and longer days are certainly part of the attraction, but many people simply consider January a quieter time of year and when they have more time to move," Kerr said. 

He also noted that the extended school holidays in January make it a convenient time for families to move, especially those changing schools or neighbourhoods.

The data showed significant regional variations. In the Northern Territory, a striking 19% of moves occur in January, with the next popular month, March, witnessing only 8% of relocations. 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Tasmania reported 18% and 17% of moves in January, respectively. New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia also saw January moves ranging between 13 and 16 percent.

This trend impacts the housing market dynamics. 

"Depending on settlement arrangements, if people are moving in January there’s a good chance they’re buying in November and December which could impact prices," Kerr added. He also highlighted that an increase in renters moving during this period could influence the demand and prices for rental properties.

Safeguarding Your Move: Understanding Insurance Essentials

Alongside choosing January for their big move, there's another important decision Australians shouldn't overlook – getting the right insurance cover. Moving home isn't just about packing and unpacking; it's also about making sure your treasured belongings are safe every step of the way. 

This is where understanding your insurance needs comes into play, especially during the busy January moving period.

Moving insurance: top tips

When preparing for a move, especially in a busy month like January, it's crucial to think about the insurance aspect of your relocation. The right insurance can be a lifesaver, covering unexpected damages or losses. 

Here are some essential tips to ensure you're well-covered during your move:

  • Check your current policy. Many people don't realise that their home and contents insurance might not cover items during a move. It’s important to check your current policy for any transit coverage.
  • Understand coverage limitations. If your insurance does cover moving, know the limits. Some policies cover damages only in specific scenarios, like a motor accident, and not if items are damaged while being loaded.
  • Hire insured removalists. Ensure the removalist company you choose offers transit insurance. This can be a game-changer in protecting your belongings.
  • Consider separate transit insurance. If your current policy doesn't cover moving or if the coverage is limited, think about getting a separate transit insurance policy.
  • Review settlement terms. Look for a policy that handles claims efficiently. It's vital to have a quick resolution, especially for essential household items like a fridge or a bed.
  • Update insurance post-move. Once you’re settled in your new home, review and update your home and contents insurance. It's a good time to shop around and possibly find a better deal.

As alway, it’s important to review your product disclosure statement (PDS) to understand exactly what you are and aren’t covered for. That way there are no surprises when it comes time to move. 

You can start your insurance research right here by comparing some of the top policies below.

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