Traditionally, September 1 marks an increase in ‘for sale’ signs going up, as the warmer weather brings sellers out of hibernation.
However, as the Illawarra enters the typically much-awaited spring season, CoreLogic’s head of research Cameron Kusher said he didn’t anticipate it would be a particularly strong selling period this year.
Mr Kusher said their data indicated that over the past few months there had been some declines in the Illawarra market, which appeared to be in the early stages of a downturn.
“We’ve already seen a pretty sharp slowdown in the rate of growth in the Illawarra region over the past 12 months,” he said.
“It’s not quite as severe as the slowdown in Sydney, but it’s certainly slowed quite a bit as well. We’re already seeing properties taking longer to sell, stock’s sitting on the market for longer and listings mounting.
“So I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly strong spring. You probably will see more properties coming to the market, but I don’t know that the fact that it’s spring is necessarily going to drag too many more buyers out into the market.”
Mr Kusher said it had long been suggested by the real estate industry that spring is the best time to sell.
However, he said particularly when a market is going into a downturn, “I don’t know that the season really makes that much difference”.
“We have found before in spring, in periods where the housing market is into a downturn, that it doesn’t really make a discernable difference,” he said.
Mr Kusher said the season probably plays a role within a strong market.
“But I think in weaker markets, the seasonal thing is overblown somewhat,” he said.
“When a market transitions from one of strong growth to one where you’re starting to fall, I wouldn’t use the seasonal stuff as a really good guide of when to bring your property to market.
“Try and bring your property to the market when there’s not very many similar properties available for sale.”
According to Domain Group figures, the median price at the end of June for a house in the Wollongong LGA was $760,000; Shellharbour was $630,000 and Kiama was $953,000.
Domain data scientist Nicola Powell said spring is seasonally the strongest time for vendors to list their homes, but compared to spring 2017 she expected there to be a lower level of activity in the Illawarra market.
This included less vendors listing their homes for sale compared to last year.
“I think what we’re seeing overall for the Illawarra region is, in terms of price points... The LGAs have all reached their peak in terms of their price growth,” she said.
“Most of those areas are still experiencing growth, but it’s at a much slower pace compared to what each of those areas were experiencing during the boom.
“Looking at the number of listings in all of the Illawarra LGAs, as well as the number of new listings that are coming on to the market, it’s typical of what you see in a slowing market.
“That is the fact that current listings are rising.
“What that suggests is there is less demand within the market, stock is kind of hanging around on the market, and there’s more stock building up on the market because we’re seeing less demand in all these LGAs.”
Dr Powell said the current state of the market was also largely impacted by tighter lending conditions that were affecting all buyers - from first home buyers to investors – and meant that there were fewer buyers in the market.
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