‘Ideal time’ to act as buyers gain the upper hand heading into busy spring selling season

Buyers are gaining the upper hand from sellers heading into the peak spring selling season, meaning it could be “an ideal time” to buy.

With demand easing and housing market activity cooling as interest rates rise, buyers face less competition and have more choice and time, as listings grow and homes take longer to sell. It has changed from a strong sellers market to one that’s shifting in favour of buyers.

There’s a lot less competition, stock isn’t moving as quickly and the fear of missing out has subsided. Many are waiting for the predicted fall in prices, however the challenge for any buyer is knowing when the market has plateaued. The next three months is one of the ideal times to buy because consumer sentiment is at its lowest point right now.

If you’re a smart buyer and you’re ready to buy, why wouldn’t you buy now when there’s very little competition. If you can find the right property, go for it. Waiting until interest rates finish rising means the market will stabilise and then there’ll be a lot more competition.

Some buyers may be holding off waiting for a better deal, but trying to time the market isn’t necessarily a great strategy, Many buyers are also sellers in the same market, so although the property they buy could be cheaper, they would also get less for their own home.

Homes are taking a little longer to sell

Competition has eased with an increase in properties available for sale this year and moderating buyer demand, meaning properties are no longer selling as quickly.

PropTrack data shows the median number of days a property was listed on realestate.com.au in July was 43 days, up from 39 days in June. Demand has weakened and that is likely to be a lasting trend. This has brought a much healthier balance to the market as dynamics shift in favour of buyers, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, with competition easing and days on site climbing as a result.

As spring approaches, this dynamic may intensify with sellers listing before the market slows further and older stock taking longer to sell, providing even more choice for buyers and further easing competition. With home prices falling and expected to decline further, vendors’ price expectations will need to adjust in line with market forces.

Buyers really feel like they’ve got more power now in the negotiations. There has been a wave of newly-advertised stock for sale on realestate.com.au this year. While new listing activity slowed during the quieter winter period, July marked the largest year-on-year increase since 2010 in the total number of properties listed for sale.

Spring is traditionally a peak period for homes to come onto the market, although last year’s selling season was delayed by Covid lockdowns in key markets. There’ll be a lot more buyers that will hopefully see the light and realise now’s actually a good time to buy and get out there and be serious about buying.