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What does the Christmas season do to the property market?

By Andrew Bell

Like most parts of the economy, the Christmas season represents a break from the status quo of the rest of the year. Beginning on 1 December, many Australians’ calendars quickly begin to fill up with holiday obligations to family, friends, and coworkers. It can seem that the real estate market stalls somewhat starting in the middle of December until the new year. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s present a unique opportunity.

Is Christmas a good time for real estate?

For those who are properly motivated, the last few weeks of the year can turn up great deals on both sides of the transaction. In Australia, rolling over into a new year frequently means a major influx in the housing market. Therefore, those who have had their home listed since the spring may be in a position of wanting to get a sale taken care of before fresh new listings saturate the market and give buyers more opportunities to be picky and negotiate prices down.

Many homeowners who are seeking to sell are also eager to finalise deals before 31 December, which is the land tax date in some parts of Australia. If property owners are over their tax threshold for the year, they may see value in selling off their property quickly to reduce their holdings.

While there are many benefits to buying a home during the holiday season, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely a buyers market. In fact, there are benefits to selling your home at that time, too. You can almost always depend on there being fewer options on the market, so a seller who is eager to buy something before January will have fewer options in front of them. Most buyers who are actively looking around Christmas are serious about making a purchase, which could mean fewer open houses and less time on the market for you.

Of course, there are logistical drawbacks to selling your house during Christmas. Depending on what your celebrations look like, you may have to plan showings around holiday parties or preparing for out-of-town guests, which may feel overwhelming.

While it’s true that either buying or selling a home during the Christmas season can present a bit of a challenge, if you are properly motivated and have the right agent by your side, it can be a great opportunity for both parties.

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