Agents and principals are gearing up for a good spring selling period, with expectations that the 2012 season will be more lucrative than last year's.
The latest straw poll conducted by Real Estate Business showed that 55.6 per cent of agents expect this year’s selling season to be better than 2011.
Around 21.9 per cent were not as optimistic, claiming that the season will be roughly the same as last year, and just under a fifth of respondents believe it would be worse than 2011.
But while agents expect a greater number of listings, top agent Ric Serrao, from Raine & Horne Double Bay in Sydney's eastern suburbs, believed converting those into sales will become harder.
“How we are preparing for spring this year is there will be more properties on the market, that’s common knowledge, however I’m feeling that the success rate from listing to sale will be harder to maintain,” said Mr Serrao, who placed third overall in the Real Estate Business Top 100 Agents ranking.
“With more stock on market, there is more choice for buyers."
“What we’ve started to do, straight from the prospecting stage, is emphasising more on the switchover buyers."
“When we get an enquiry on a property we’re making sure that 99 -100 per cent of enquires are put into our database, we’re making sure we do that now more than ever.
“Also, now that getting advertising money is more challenging, we’re actually capturing and using inquiries on other properties.”
Research analyst from RP Data, Cameron Kusher, was quick to recall last year's lacklustre spring.
"Spring 2011 delivered somewhat of a disappointing selling season with sales volumes across the combined capital cities down by three per cent; lower than they were in the spring of 2010 and with no noticeable improvement from volumes in autumn," he said.
"The amount of stock available for sale during this period was continually increasing throughout the period to historic high levels and home values were falling across each capital city market."
Although most economic conditions are not as strong as they were before the financial crisis, however, Mr Kusher said generally most indicators are stronger than compared with this time last year.
Mr Kusher said that it is also important to analyse just how the economy is tracking compared to a longer-term average (10 years) so as to achieve a better understanding of the overall state of the economy compared to what may be considered 'normal' based on the decade average.
"Overall, we've seen some positive movements for home values with new stock being added to the market lower and each of the vendor metrics all showing an improvement. Recent economic data also supports a period of stronger conditions with higher levels of consumer sentiment as well as an increase in housing finance commitments, lower standard variable mortgage rates, and a greater rate of population growth and an improvement in retail trade," he said.
Further, given the poor performance of the housing market over the past year, any positive changes are generally moving from a very low base, albeit in the right direction, according to Mr Kusher.