It’s no secret that property decisions are always monumental and hinge on various factors, including fluctuating home prices and real estate markets across the country, and knowing how to time the market can be challenging at the best of times.
This article delves into the current Australian property market, focussing on key elements to consider whether you are looking to buy or sell property, providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
Key considerations when deciding whether to sell your home
Current market conditions
The latest CoreLogic Home Value Index1 reported an 8.1% increase in Sydney home values over the last 12 months. This capital growth underscores the strength of Sydney house prices, even as broader economic factors such as inflation and interest rates remain a concern. Despite the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holding the cash rate steady at 4.1% since June after months of rate hikes, a report on economic conditions in Australia from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)2 suggests further tightening may still be in the pipeline.
Even though interest rates are low, in historical terms, another rate rise will affect buyers’ already stretched borrowing capacity, adding pressure to the market as mortgage interest rates rise. However, despite blaring media attention on the so-called “interest-rate cliff,” people are generally managing to service their home loans, and we have not seen a significant influx of distressed sales that could potentially expand supply and drive prices down.
Despite these macroeconomic pressures on market prices and the wider money market, the current housing market remains resilient, and the property market forecast positive, in part due to a low housing inventory, which is favouring a seller’s market. The positive performance in the Sydney property market aligns with the national trend, backed by a strong labour market and considerable household savings. Overall, Australia’s property markets continue to thrive amid broader economic uncertainties, suggesting a measure of stability and resilience, with people continuing to buy properties, and prices rising in many areas.
Deciding whether to sell your home is not only dependent on external economic factors. Life events like marriage, a growing family, retirement, or divorce often prompt a re-evaluation of your living situation. These transitions could mean you need more space or perhaps less, pushing you to consider if your current home aligns with your evolving needs.
Besides rising property prices, personal financial aspects, such as a greater share in your home’s equity, can also play a significant role for many home owners, offering opportunities to upgrade, cash in at a premium or dabble in real estate investing. Whether driven by logistical challenges, financial incentives, or simply a desire for a change in scenery, the decision to sell is often a response to shifting circumstances, making it crucial to assess how your home fits into your changing life.
Your long-term plans can also serve as a significant catalyst in your decision to sell, intersecting closely with both personal and financial goals. For example, if you’re nearing retirement and foresee a nomadic lifestyle filled with travel, selling your home can unlock the necessary capital and eliminate ongoing maintenance responsibilities.
For those contemplating relocation for work or personal reasons, selling your house before the move could offer strong tax incentives and free you from the complexity of managing a property from another country.
Ultimately, the decision to sell your property should align with your long-term plans, whether they involve setting up a new life in a foreign country, downsizing for easier maintenance in retirement, or freeing up capital for major life events like starting a business or funding educational opportunities for your family.
Selling in a rising market
A shifting market is inevitable as the property cycle turns. In a rising market, we tend to see price growth, often due to factors like a robust economy, low supply and high demand. Selling in such a market comes with its own set of pros and cons. On the upside, you’re likely to get a higher sale price for your property, given the heightened demand. Homes also tend to spend less time on the market, and you may experience increased competition among buyers, potentially leading to bidding wars that drive the price up even further. However, there are drawbacks to consider. The favourable conditions can entice more sellers onto the market, increasing competition and potentially making it harder to stand out. Additionally, rising markets often come with rising interest rates, which can affect borrowing power and decrease the pool of qualified buyers, making it somewhat challenging to capitalise on the favourable conditions.
Selling in a falling market
In a falling market, you’ll generally see property values drop, often triggered by economic challenges or an imbalance of supply and demand. Selling in such conditions also has its positives and negatives. One advantage is that there are usually fewer properties listed, meaning less competition from other sellers. This might make it easier for your property to get noticed. Additionally, interest rates are often lower, which could attract more buyers who can now afford to finance a home. Of course, it’s important to consider likely pitfalls when selling in this kind of property market. The sale price your property could potentially achieve may be lower than in a rising market, and homes often stay on the market for longer periods, increasing the costs associated with maintaining the property while you wait for a sale. Falling market conditions can create a buyer’s market, giving those looking to purchase more leverage in negotiations, which could further impact your selling price.
Moving forward and deciding whether to sell your house now or wait in the current Australian financial climate requires careful consideration. It’s essential to consult professionals to assist with your financial planning, speak with top agents for the latest real estate news, and, most importantly, align your choice with your long-term life goals and economic aspirations. Making an informed decision now can set the stage for future success, whether you’re looking to upgrade, downsize, or simply exchange your current home for exciting new horizons.
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