Those looking to cash in on the recent strong capital growth seen in some real estate markets across Australia should do so sooner rather than later according to one property expert.

While capital growth in Australian real estate may not have been evenly distributed across the country in recent years, a recent survey by law firm Slater and Gordon revealed that 78% of Australians believe their home has increased in value in the past year.

The survey also revealed that 31% of Australians would consider selling their property to cash in on that growth, but Sam Saggers, chief executive officer of Positive Real Estate, said people should consider a different path to benefit from the growth.

“Right now, especially in places like Sydney and Melbourne, you’ve got a lot of people who are in a situation they’ve never been before,” Saggers said.

“They’ve bought a home and after what’s happened in the last few years they’re now in a situation where they’ve got all this equity built up in it and they’re thinking they should make the most of it,” he said.

While selling may seem like an easy way to benefit, Saggers said people shouldn’t be too hasty in placing their property on the market.

“A lot of the people who have benefitted probably thought they would never really be in that situation so they’ve never learned how to properly activate that equity in the right way.

“There’s a great opportunity for people to make the most of it right now and they should really consider creating a team to help them. Find people like a good finance broker who can help you and show you what’s possible.

While those looking to cash in should have a well thought out strategy, Saggers said people shouldn’t delay the process too much.

“My advice would be find out what’s possible for you and lock in that equity now.

“Firstly there’s no real use in having the equity if you’re not going to use it and the other thing is that conditions can change. In my opinion we could see prices drop by 3% or 4% in Sydney this year, so you could easily lose out if you put it off for too long.”