Real estate agents are heading into the spring selling season with renewed optimism, according to a recent survey.
In the latest Real Estate Business straw poll, 70 per cent of 313 respondents said they predicted the spring selling season to be better than last year. Just 19.5 per cent of respondents said it would be worse than last year, while 10.5 per cent were unsure.
Research analyst for RP Data Cameron Kusher said current market trends were pointing to a much stronger spring selling season this year.
“Combined capital city home values have increased by 4.9 per cent over the 12 months to July 2013,” he told Real Estate Business.
“In comparison, home values had fallen by 2.4 per cent over the same 12-month period a year ago."
Although winter is meant to be the lull period in the lead up to spring, capital city home values rose by 1.9 per cent in June and by 1.6 per cent in July, highlighting strong growth in values through a typically slow season.
Other optimistic signs were the strong auction clearance rates.
“Preliminary results for last week showed that clearance rates across the combined capital cities were recorded at 72 per cent compared to 49 per cent the same week a year ago," said Mr Kusher.
“With low mortgage rates, current growth in home values and a substantial improvement in clearance rates, it looks as if spring this year will be much stronger than last year. Coincidentally, capital city home values rose by 0.4 per cent last spring.”
Owner of LJ Hooker Concord Ben Horwood agreed with the sentiments of the survey, saying the strong performance this winter would carry over to the spring season.
“People are going to have more confidence placing their property on the market come spring time than there has been previously,” he told Real Estate Business.
“I think it will be a late run of spring as opposed to an early one, but I wouldn’t say it would be huge in volume. I think the increase in activity means there’s going to be some serious price growth in the last quarter of this year."
Mr Horwood, who was ranked 62nd in Real Estate Business’ Top 100 Agents, said he had already received queries from vendors ready to list.
“They’ve convinced themselves that they know what’s going to happen at the election and they’re prepared to jump now, but I think a vast majority of people will wait to get it out of the way,” he said
Mr Horwood said his office’s spring results last year were good but many people were taking lower offers than their property had been appraised at.
“The opposite is happening at the moment, so instead of people selling for a few per cent below what we may have originally appraised the property at, they’re selling at prices higher than that,” he said.