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Listing Now For An Early Christmas Present - October 2021

By Guest Blogger, Leanne Pilkington, CEO,

Laing & Simmons and President REINSW


The end of lockdown. Phew. Sure, many challenges remain, and COVID-19 will still be a part of our lives, but a glimpse of normality is for most people, most welcome. And for those who have been waiting on an end to lockdown to list their properties for sale, the time has come for the next decision: to list now or delay – again – until after Christmas.

REINSW President and Laing+Simmons CEO Leanne Pilkington looks at some of the factors to weigh up.

It’s reasonable to expect that greater freedoms for people should mean greater freedoms in the market. That is, for vendors hesitant to sell during lockdown, the re-opening of the economy should free up the market and give them more confidence to list their properties for sale.

Of course, those who chose to sell during lockdown are most likely happy with the decision. The market remained extremely strong, demand from buyers remained intense, and prices continued to rise.

The re-introduction of open homes and the relaxation of other restrictions to the way agents work may make getting a good price for property even more achievable.

Many vendors are counting on it. In coming weeks, through November and December, news from agents on the ground, from around Sydney and across the state, suggests a surge in listings could occur. Freedom is breeding confidence. But some unknowns may have an impact.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently increased the interest rate buffer against which banks must assess a borrower’s ability to meet repayments, in the event of an upward shift in rates.

Tipped to impact investors most, the net result is a reduced borrowing capacity for buyers. Some lenders, including the Commonwealth Bank, had already moved independently to tighten their lending criteria. Such measures might put a lid on a buyer’s ability to offer a premium on the property they want.

But let’s not forget the most pressing fundamental influencing house price growth in recent times. Supply – namely, the lack of it. The strength of unmet demand will keep prices strong and despite the coming influx of listings, which may temper the pace of price growth, the underlying supply-demand imbalance should continue to give vendors confidence.

This is the state of the market as we know it. On the plus side, we have increased confidence and a sense of relief resulting from the end of lockdown.

To watch out for, we have the impact of the APRA crackdown and any other tinkering that may occur to quell surging house prices. But this skews into trying to predict the future, waters always dangerous to wade into.

So, should vendors list their property now, as many others are, before Christmas, in the hope of an early present?

As always, it comes down to the individual’s circumstances, but sometimes it’s a safer move to sell when the conditions are known, instead of trying to read the tea leaves.

Either way, a tried and tested truth is still worth reiterating: the importance of buying and selling in the same market. Do this, and the variables influencing the price you get will be the same as those influencing the price you pay.

And while a great price for your property may be the icing on the Christmas cake, the purchase of a new property may be a better gift yet.

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