The Market this Winter

The Market this Winter

By Ray Fadel

Selling your home in winter, not summer, can have its advantages.

Summer temperatures reached record highs this year and with most people huddling indoors to escape the heat one could be forgiven for wondering if it was the best time to be selling property. People traditionally prefer selling their homes in the warmer months, when their gardens are in full bloom their house looks its best, but selling in late autumn or winter can have its advantages.

And nationally, there is a far greater number of buyers pounding the pavement every Saturday, thanks to the historic low interest rates. Sellers who do choose to list in winter may be trying to make the most of less competition from other properties, but they might also be much more motivated to sell quickly. It is a great time to be paying off a mortgage and plenty of people are looking to get in on the action before rates begin to rise, which is tipped to happen later this year.

Mainly, it means less competition from other properties, so you get more of the buyers to yourself. Most sellers will opt to put their properties on the market during the warmer months, so there may be a little less stock to choose from in winter. Properties tend to present best during spring and autumn but these periods can hide a property’s flaws.

With demand at an unseasonal high, sellers only need to worry about the temperatures. This is another easy hurdle to overcome when you consider that a winter in most parts of Australia means changing from T-shirt to jumper to head to an open house.

Of course, if you do decide to sell your home in the colder months, it can pay to think about how best to present your property, to take people’s minds off the cooler clime, and grab even more of an edge on the competition. Decorating with heavier fabrics and throw rugs can make a home seem warm and inviting, while the use of darker colours can add to the cosiness. It also helps to enhance winter features, by making sure natural or gas fires are operating throughout inspections and using mellow lighting.

While in the hotter months you want to make your home as neutral as possible, maintaining that warmth in winter might just make a difference. One of the benefits of buying a home in the winter months is you are generally seeing it at its coldest and most unflattering time of the year. This means homes that provide good natural light and are well-ventilated will be more obvious upfront. Winter can reveal many details about a property that buyers typically wouldn’t be able to see in the forgiving months of spring and summer. The cold months offer a good chance to keep a close eye on the home’s heating, and visiting a home during a rainy period can identify any problems a home may have regarding drainage or leakage.

But given low interest rates, vendors remain strong through winter, providing ample opportunity for purchasers.

Contact your local Raine & Horne for more information and strategies for selling your property in winter.

How can I save for a first home faster?

Unless you recently wrote the algorithm for the next social media phenomenon or inherited a Scottish castle from a long-lost uncle, you are probably in the same position as many other Australians trying to save a deposit for a new home this year.

For most of us, there is no quick fix when it comes to amassing a deposit, but it is achievable if you make – and more importantly, stick to – a budget. A budget is a plan that shows how much you are spending, and hopefully saving, on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Once you know your financial status quo it will be easier to identify areas you might be able to cut back on spending to speed up the process.

Making a few changes to your spending habits, without completely compromising your lifestyle, will help to achieve your savings goals sooner. Calculate how much you spend on non-negotiables such as food, rent and household bills. Whatever is left over is the absolute maximum you can save in a week or month.

Consider what sacrifices you can realistically make to cut spending and maximise your savings? Do you really need that new putter or pair of Nikes right now? Work out which non-essential purchases you can eliminate and set new weekly or monthly savings goals and stick to them. Set a target date to achieve them, but first, consider what other measures you might be able to take to get there sooner.

Are you currently renting? It may or may not be an option but think of how much cash you could save if you moved back home with your parents, even for just a few months. And have you considered putting your money into a term deposit or high-interest savings account? Read all the terms and condition or consult a financial advisor before opening any new accounts.

Alternatively, if dealing with finances and a budget all sounds too complicated, there are some simple tools to help. The Australian government, through its Understanding Money website, has a valuable budget planner which takes away most of the preparation work. For more information, go to and start saving today.