Auction clearance rates and their numbers have decreased in recent months in Canberra, but what is going on is not unusual for this time of year, according to agents in the ACT.
The housing market in winter regularly has less stock available for purchase and fewer buyers looking to relocate than in the warmer months at the beginning and end of each year, said Justine Burke of Luton Properties Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley.
"What happens isn't actually a reflection of market conditions, but rather that fewer sales are recorded over the period," she said.
"The winter market is often undersupplied, meaning that buyers have less choice and have to go into competition with more people to secure a home."
Despite there being fewer houses on the market, selling in winter can provide opportunities for vendors.
Burke said there was a misconception that the best time to sell was in the warmer months "when, in fact, a great time to sell is when stock levels are at their lowest, and that is during the winter".
"Those sellers who are willing to go to market when their garden is dormant and the days are cold are often rewarded with better results due to the lack of competition," she said.
"We do encourage sellers to consider selling during winter, or at least to get ahead of the jump in spring stock and launch in August for that reason."
Jacob Stanton of The Property Collective said that, in Canberra, "there is a steady demand for buying homes all year round, even in the colder months".
"There is also a constant cycle of people buying new homes and selling their existing ones to upsize or downsize," he said.
"With that said, buyers who are not needing to urgently move or make a purchase right away may decide to hold off until spring as they know there will be more options to choose from."
This year's declining auction clearance rate in Canberra is due in part to the regular winter effects, but there are other reasons why it is record-breaking, Stanton added.
"The recent federal elections, as well as increased interest rates ... these large changes have occurred in a similar timeframe, which has caused a lot of uncertainty," he said.
"We are finding more buyers are holding back to see what happens, and not rushing to make a decision.
"Properties are still selling for reasonable prices post-auction in a timely manner, which is reflective of a normal [winter] market."
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