Why the Property Market Slows to a Crawl in December and January

On the 1st of November, you might be thinking that there are still 2 months until the end of the year… and you’d be right. However, come November 1st, there’s really only about two weeks left for new listings to come on the market. So no matter whether you’re a buyer or a seller you’ll need to get your skates on if you want something to happen this year (or any year in early November).

A typical marketing campaign for a property is around four weeks and there’s no guarantee it will sell in that time and so most agents will probably suggest having six weeks up your sleeve and in six weeks time it’s Christmas.

This means that any vendor who wants to sell a property this year will have already listed their property on the market and so virtually no more will be listed.

That’s correct – virtually no more property will really be coming on the market this year.

If you’re lucky, you might get a few more listed in the next two weeks if they’re willing to take the risk of running close to the wire.

Despite what many people might think, most agents work very hard during the year, often doing open homes from Monday to Saturday and whilst Sunday should be a day off, they still take calls and reply to emails.

They’re desperate for a holiday by mid-December and as soon as they can sell their last listing, they’re on a plane, headed for overseas and you may not see them again till after Australia Day. Not a lot happens in January and so it’s their one chance to have six weeks off.

Much of the country has been in shut down and Melbourne has been named the most locked down city in the world. Buyers haven’t been able to go to open homes and vendors have been cautious about putting their properties on the market if no buyers can come through. How can you sell something that no one can see?

So, here’s why 2021 could be different:

  • This lack of supply of properties and cashed up buyers who can’t spend their money anywhere else, have pushed prices up – over 20% in some areas.
  • Those higher prices may incentivise many vendors to put their properties on the market to achieve a similar price.
  • Buyers are out of lockdown, are keen to see what properties are available, which could be an even higher demand than we’re seeing already.
  • Many agents may not have hit their target revenue for 2021 and won’t want to go on holiday if there’s deals to be done. They certainly won’t want their competition to be selling what could be theirs.
  • Our international borders might be open, but not everyone is confident that rules won’t change and they can definitely come back. There’s also still a chance that they might have to quarantine for two weeks on their return.
  • Many people may opt for an inter-state holiday or even intra state given our local borders aren’t all open. Six weeks in Europe is one thing, but that period of time in a regional town might not be everyone’s cup of tea or even available and so there’s a good chance many will opt for just a few weeks away.

So whilst there is only a week or so left for most properties to be listed, no one really knows what’s going to happen. Even if everyone does disappear for December and January there’s always the odd vendor or agent that wants to get a deal done and so it could be worth keeping an eye open to grab a deal that everyone else has missed out on.

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