With Covid lockdowns hopefully a thing of the past, both buying and selling agents are saying Christmas this year is shaping up to be a busy time to buy and sell property.

According to Sydney buyers agent Michelle May (pictured below), Christmas can present an ideal time for buyers.

"If anything, the run-up to Christmas is one of the best times to buy because a couple of very significant things happen," Ms May said.

"Firstly, droves of buyers leave the market. They put buying property in the too-hard basket as they hit the shops. So, there’s always less competition in the market at Christmas.

"Secondly, vendors and agents are very motivated to get a deal done before Christmas as everyone wants to relax and enjoy the holiday vibe."

One headwind Ms May flagged was that many properties go off-market in the holiday period, forcing buyers to dig a little deeper and look at off-market property alerts.

That said, listings may be coming out of 'hibernation', with auction numbers over the past two weeks some of the greatest in history.

"As with most areas of business, Covid has had a dramatic impact on sales, so there is a lot of ground to make up," Michelle May told Savings.com.au.

"Selling agents have indicated that they will be working longer in December and be back in the office earlier in January than normal.

"Plus, some agents are showing properties not due to hit the market until Australia Day just in case the right buyer is out there now."

Ms May's tips for buyers in the Christmas period include: be realistic about prices and set yourself a budget; organise loan pre-approval in advance; and look at selling agents' social media accounts for properties that may not have gone on-market yet.

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On the other side of the coin, Jason Adcock (pictured below), Principal of Adcock Prestige in Brisbane said the market generally softens around this time.

"As we know there is a lull and then listings explode early in the New Year. There is a definitely a segment of the market that is keen on acquiring their prime piece of real estate ahead of the opening of international borders and before the competition heats up again post-Christmas," Mr Adcock told Savings.com.au.

"Prospective buyers and sellers turn their attention toward retail spending. Real estate just isn’t at the top of the priority list and this translates to fewer properties listed and less interest from buyers.

"In our experience interest does drop off in early December, but there are still plenty of eager investors looking to get a deal done."

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New listings surge 

REA's 'PropTrack' listings report shows listings on the realestate.com.au website were at multi-year highs in November.

Listings nationwide picked up 12.5% month-on-month - Sydney's uptick was at its highest level since 2015.

All capital cities recorded listings growth, led by Adelaide up 23.9%, and Canberra up 22.1%.

PropTrack economist Angus Moore said this bodes well for buyers at Christmas time.

"We may see a busier December than typical as activity spills later into the year, with sellers who were held back due to lockdowns gearing up to make a sale before Christmas," Mr Moore said.

"As buyers and sellers pause for the Christmas break, property markets will be quieter over the next couple of months.

"Measures of buyer demand remain high but have eased slightly in November. At the same time, new supply coming to market has meant buyers have had more options to choose from than has been the case for much of this year."

However, the regions paint a different picture - compared to pre-pandemic levels, total listings in regional NSW are down more than 40%, and more than a third in regional Queensland and regional Victoria.


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