With rumours swirling that the Federal Government is considering calling an early election, Angus Raine, executive chairman of Raine & Horne, believes owners considering selling should seriously consider placing their property on the market sooner rather than later.
“It's fair to say that when the Federal Government call an election, the campaign period – whether it's four, six or eight weeks – can create distractions for investment markets such as real estate,” Raine said.
“With this history in mind, coupled with the Canberra rumour mill that is already in full swing, I'd urge owners considering a sale in 2016 to list their property after Easter to avoid the election campaign drag,” he said.
With this year’s election campaign likely to feature heavy debate on taxation measures on housing, Greville Pabst, WBP Property Group executive chairman said it is highly likely that buyers may take a backward step once an election date is set.
“When an election is announced, people tend to be a lot more cautious. Big capital expenditure decisions likes buying a house get put on hold until there’s a bit more clarity around everything,” Pabst said.
“The Labor party has announced what their plans for negative gearing are, but the government hasn’t announced their tax policy and there’s a good chance people would want to wait till after the election so they know what changes are actually going to happen,” he said.
While Raine said listing soon after Easter would give owners the required time to achieve a solid sale price, Pabst said there could be a post-Easter surge in listings even if an election is not called.
“It’s been a bit funny start to the year and that’s caused there to be shortage of stock on the market,” Pabst said.
“Easter was earlier this year and we’ve just had the Labour Day weekend in Melbourne and that’s meant a lot of people haven’t been able to get that four or five week run where they can really get a good campaign for their property. Once we get through Easter I’ll think we’ll see a bit of a surge in stock.”
While waiting until after Easter may bring vendors closing to trying to sell during winter, Ian Reid, head of Vendor Advocacy Australia, said the colder months don’t have the same drag on the market as they once did.
“Traditionally the winter months have been when sales are slower. People say there’s less light and less opportunity to show properties and that properties don’t look as good as they do in spring or summer, but I’m not sure that’s quite the case anymore,” Reid said.
“Buyer demand is strong at the moment and the houses that are listed in the winter are going to see strong competition. I think people are realising that supply is usually lower in the winter and they want to take advantage of that.”