Spring selling season soon to come

By Steven Cross

The spring selling season should soon kick into gear, one research analyst has claimed.

RP Data's Cameron Kusher said that the lead up to the spring selling season is looking much more positive that at the same time last year, however he remains dubious about whether or not the sales momentum will continue right throughout spring.

"In Spring we begin to see uplift in listings activity with more properties available for sale and subsequently an increase in auction activity. Spring also sees an improvement in the number of property sales, especially following winter, which is usually a slow period for the housing market," he said.

"Spring 2011 delivered somewhat of a disappointing selling season with sales volumes across the combined capital cities down by 3 per cent; lower than they were in the spring of 2010 and with no noticeable improvement from volumes in autumn.

"The amount of stock available for sale during this period was continually increasing throughout the period to historic high levels and home values were falling across each capital city market."

According to Mr Kusher, although most economic conditions are not as strong as they were before the financial crisis, generally most indicators are stronger than compared with this time last year.

Mr Kusher said that it is also important to analyse just how the economy is tracking compared to a longer-term average (10 years) so as to achieve a better understanding of the overall state of the economy compared to what may be considered 'normal' based on the decade average.

"Overall, we've seen some positive movements for home values with new stock being added to the market lower and each of the vendor metrics all showing an improvement. Recent economic data also supports a period of stronger conditions with higher levels of consumer sentiment as well as an increase in housing finance commitments, lower standard variable mortgage rates, and a greater rate of population growth and an improvement in retail trade," he said.

Further, given the poor performance of the housing market over the past year, any positive changes are generally moving from a very low base, albeit in the right direction according to Mr Kusher.

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