Should I sell my property now or wait until after Christmas?

Posted: by Jane Ahern

If you are thinking – “Should I sell my property now?” you may also think “No one wants their property on the market over Christmas!” – or do they? The Christmas/New Year holiday season was often seen as a ‘dead time’, when properties languished on the market as everyone celebrated the festive season with their families or headed off to ‘Canberra by the Sea” – Batemans Bay and beyond – to holiday in style.

The last few years though have been quite different in Canberra, with the market busy throughout much of January.

So – I can put my property on the market now?

Yes, you can – it just depends on which market you will be selling to – apartment buyers or families looking for a suitable home.

Canberra has a unique, relatively stable housing market thanks to approx. 45% of our work force being public servants. This means that we experience a LOT of interstate migration, especially at this time of year. In January, flocks of fledgling public servants graduate and head into town to take up their new positions. In addition, seasoned public servants and parliamentarians return, Defence Force personnel come and go, with their families, and interstate/overseas students arrive to begin a new academic year – I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. For these reasons, now probably is a good time to have your Canberra home for sale – and it won’t matter if it sits on the market over the Christmas holiday period. There will be buyers looking online, waiting for the first post-holiday open home inspections, in January, so they can buy their new home.

Are you selling an apartment?

Then bingo! Now is a great time to put your apartment on the market. My colleague Sarah, our office apartment-selling aficionado and expert, reckons it is one of the best times be selling a unit here. Actually, she is flat out keeping up with the demand from buyers already! As you can imagine – people want to know they will have somewhere to live when they move here. This demand will continue until February – going on previous years’ experience – and buyers will range from parents buying investment properties to secure accommodation close to universities for their student children through to parliamentarians or interstate public servants, wanting a home during their working week.

Are you selling a house?

Then it is still bingo! Perhaps not quite as much as it is for an apartment, but it is still a good time to be selling a house here. Defence Force personnel relocated to Canberra, especially those with families, usually want houses – and they want to know where they will be living in enough time to enrol their children in local schools.

Canberrans too are on the move at this time of year. Not everyone goes away over the holiday period – especially those buyers who didn’t find their dream home before Christmas. Also, at this time of year, we have buyers moving up from their first homes to larger ones as their families grow and their children reach school age. Then it gets interesting. Suburbs become very important and I have had buyers waiting, waiting, waiting, for the right house, in the right price bracket, in the right suburb, come onto the market, to ensure they can enrol their children in the right school before the academic year begins.

So, don’t despair if your Canberra home is on the market over Christmas. It’s unlikely to be ‘dead in the water’, languishing on a becalmed Lake Burley Griffin. People will always be buying and selling, moving around and wanting new homes – especially in Canberra, especially at this time of year.



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