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Why winter selling is still a worthwhile option 20 years later

By Emma Smith

Queensland Auction Services auctioneer Michael Vettoretto believes an article he wrote more than 20 years ago about winter’s impact on the New Zealand property market still has relevance today.

  • Queensland Auction Services
    Queensland Auction Services auctioneer Michael Vettoretto.
    • Queensland Auction Services
      Queensland Auction Services auctioneer Michael Vettoretto.

    In 1998, the General Manager of the North shore offices for Harcourts Group in New Zealand wrote an article about the advantages of selling property in winter.Entitled Why winter selling is a worthwhile option, the article aimed to dispel the stigma of buyers going into hibernation during colder months, while also outlining the case for vendors to sell during the season.

    More than two decades later, author Michael Vettoretto believes the principles of the letter are more relevant than ever.

    The Queensland Auction Services auctioneer told WILLIAMS MEDIA much of what he wrote could easily be applied to the current Australian market.

    “The article talks about people waiting until spring to sell because they think their house looks better, but they need to realise that buyers buy real estate – not sun and flowers,” he said.

    “In today’s market buyers that are actively engaged set themselves a price point of where they are comfortable to purchase.

    “During the negotiation, they reach an emotional cut off point and this is best and final.

    “We noticed that properties that are well presented and promoted correctly are achieving great results”.

    Mr Vettoretto said Spring brought its own set of challenges to the market.

    “There may be more stock in spring, but the buyer pool is reduced because there is more choice out there,” he said.

    “You can have stock, but unless you’ve got buyers, transactions don’t occur.

    “We’re finding a lot more of the top agents are spending more time with buyers because of this reason.”

    The beginning of winter has coincided with a disruptive time for the auction market, with the federal election and the public holidays impacting activity.

    While auction volumes have risen and fallen week-on-week, there has been some consistency in the clearance rates of the bigger markets, with Sydney rate remaining strong throughout the past few weeks.

    Mr Vettoretto said all signs pointed to a strong start to the financial year, despite the anticipated seasonal downturn.

    “We are noticing more enquiries for markets such as the Gold Coast post-election, particularly in the high end of the market,” he said.

    “Whereas once the market was sitting dormant, we are now getting people into the marketplace that believe the time is right to make a real estate purchase.

    “Obviously, the Reserve Bank has decided to cut the cash rate by 25 basis points and it’s looking like there could be further cuts.”

    Read Mr Vettoretto’s article below: 

    Based on results achieved over the past three or four years, winter selling has proven to be a worthwhile option for vendors.

    Contrary to conventional thinking, all buyers do not hibernate during the cold spell and this year, with many buyers unsatisfied by the limited selection of the late Autumn offerings, demand is showing every sign of being maintained in the coming month or two.

    And while inclement weather may deter spectators, serious buyers will still go about their business.

    Equally, vendors can look forward to one of the longest periods of the year unfettered by holiday breaks and other distractions.

    While a seasonal decline in numbers can be expected, the quality of properties coming forward appears exceptionally high across the full range of property types and price ranges.

    Demand in the bays and inner suburbs has become more selective but no less competitive, with a rising number of properties finding buyers prior to auction.

    Economic concerns about interest rates and the effects of the economy while not disappearing appears to be less ominous than many at first believed.

    In fact, good established residential property is in a very sound position. There are indications that the increases in interest rates may be at or near their limits.

    For vendors, the option of selling over winter should appeal because of the reduced choices available and because unrequited demand for quality property means the market still favours the seller.

    Thinking of selling?

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