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Spring selling season a myth

By Elyse Perrau
27 August 2014 | 1 minute read

The idea that seasons control the strength of the real estate market is outdated and causes agents to take their “foot off the gas”, says a real estate agency chief.

Starr Partners chief executive Douglas Driscoll said if you “triangulate” the market in Sydney, approximately eight per cent are first home buyers and anywhere between 35 and 40 per cent are investors.

“Now, that being the case, you are then left with around 60 per cent, which is probably everyday mum and dad buyers – typically families,” he told Real Estate Business.

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“So do we still believe as an industry that people put their property on the market as of September 1 because the daffodils pop their heads through?

“Or now do these people make the decision not based on season or type of year, but things like school holidays?” he added.

Mr Driscoll said surely for a vast majority of the market there are more impacting considerations in regards to when to move than whether or not it is winter, spring or summer.

“I don’t think people act and behave like that any more, and I don’t think they have done that for at least five years,” he said.

“I think if there is anything that is defined as a season, I think it would be based around things such as school terms, because if you think about it, it is logical.

"You wouldn’t pull your kid out halfway through the school year; you would do so when the timing is right, and normally the timing is when it is most convenient or most practical.

“I think the spring season is a myth, I don’t think it has existed for a while now,” he added.

Mr Driscoll said for real estate agents it should always be “full steam ahead”, regardless of the season.

“Because what you are doing is creating excuses for yourself, saying ‘well this is a quiet time of year’,” he said.

“If I see another ‘spring has sprung’ mailer from a real estate agent, I will shoot myself.

“We have got to get out of this erroneous view of the market working, acting, behaving in seasons – we are missing opportunities because we may be potentially or most inadvertently taking our foot off the gas”.

Also speaking to Real Estate Business, Property Auction Services director and auctioneer Rocky Bartolotto said it is a clear fact when you look at winter months compared to the warmer months that numbers are significantly down.

“We will have weekends in October and November where Sydney will do 700-1,000 auctions a weekend,” he said.

“We just need to look at the four last weekend auctions in Sydney, and we have only had between 400 and 450 auctions.

“So if you look at whether there is a seasonal difference, well there almost is by about 50 per cent,” he added.

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