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Will early 2024 be a good time to sell?

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It's nearly the end of another remarkable year for Australian property. As 2023 winds down, many sellers will be wondering — what will the market be like in the new year? 

Price records are being broken but interest rates have also risen once again, and it can be difficult to make sense of what comes next. 

Let's break down where we are now, what's being forecast for 2024 and what opportunities the new year could bring.

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Prices rocketed back up in 2023

Australia's property market has been through a rollercoaster few years but it's returned to record-breaking strength

Prices dipped at the beginning of the pandemic then exploded to new highs in 2021. Rising interest rates saw home values drop in 2022 only to come roaring back in a stunning market recovery throughout 2023. 

CoreLogic's latest report shows that Australia's median property value is due to hit a new all-time high during November after gaining +7.6 per cent since January alone. 

Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are already breaking new price records and Sydney is well on the way, having restored a full +11.6 per cent so far this year. 

Melbourne, which has seen less severe losses and gains in recent years, is still ticking up at a steady pace. Hobart, Darwin and Canberra have had a more muted recovery in 2023. 

Regional Australia is a mixed bag. South Australia and Western Australia are both at record highs with Queensland close behind while NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have seen only modest growth. 

Overall, the numbers paint a picture of an astonishingly resilient Australian property market in the face of rising interest rates and some economic uncertainty. 

As the spring selling season has progressed, a growing number of sellers have returned to capitalise on high prices and strong demand that's been bolstered by a rapidly growing population.

What's being forecast for 2024? 

The property market has proved particularly difficult to predict in recent years, but expectations for 2024 are broadly positive. 

The big four banks are forecasting national growth of between +3 and +5 per cent for the new year — less than we've seen in 2023 but still close to the 30-year average

That level of optimism is shared by a range of industry experts. 

The Australian Financial Review surveyed a panel of 10 economists and analysts to find out where they expected prices to be by the end of 2024. 

All 10 predict positive growth for the year, averaging out at +4.8 per cent. 

Shane Oliver, AMP Capital's chief economist, said "Property price gains will continue into next year albeit at a slowing pace as high interest rates continue and unemployment rises, which will constrain demand and potentially boost supply."

He did, however, note that his level of certainty was "lower than normal" as the future of interest rates remains in question. 

PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh wrote in a recent newsletter that the movement of interest rates could still play a role in price growth but market fundamentals remain strong. 

"Unless interest rates move significantly higher from here, population growth, tight rental markets, and a slowdown in the completion of new builds will likely continue to offset the impact of monetary tightening," she said.

Top agents spot opportunities early in the year

The end-of-year holiday period is typically a quiet couple of weeks for the property market before things are kickstarted again in January. But what will that look like in 2024? 

Tristan Tomasino of Buxton Inner West in Melbourne told OpenAgent "We're launching a lot of properties over the Christmas break because we think the market's going to bounce back quite early."

Getting the most out of the new-year relaunch will require putting a plan in place now to time things perfectly and avoid interruptions from long weekends and school holidays. 

"The sooner you discuss with an agent about selling a property, the more time you're going to have to prep it and get ready for next year," he said. 

Max Klimenko from Ray White Touma Group in Sydney agreed, suggesting that buyer demand could be elevated in the early months of 2024. 

"You're going to have an overflow of buyers who didn't buy at the end of 2023 – they're going to be super eager to secure something early," he said. 

"Plus you're going to have the new buyers walking out of the banks with their pre-approval competing against the buyers who missed out last year."

Brenton Buttigieg of Ray White Nerang on the Gold Coast pointed out that the holidays are a perfect time to get a head start on a successful campaign in early 2024. 

"Use the Christmas break to do those skip runs you've been putting off," he said. 

"That way as soon as you get to the new calendar year you're ready to get photography done, your home is looking its best for the market, and we go to market."

Thinking of selling in 2024? 

If you're still looking to get in on the action this coming summer, it's important to be as prepared as possible in order to cut through the competition and achieve a standout result. 

Step 1: Understanding how your market is performing

Every market is different, and understanding your local market is fundamental to making the right selling decisions. Our guide to tracking market trends and data will help you to get a clear picture of how your market is performing and how that impacts you as a seller. 

Step 2: Know what your property might be worth

Getting a free home value estimate is a great way to set a foundation for your selling expectations and begin planning the path forward.

Step 3: Get a no-obligation market appraisal from a top real estate agent

Understand what your property could sell for in the current market by speaking to the top-performing agents in your suburb. Comparing top agents in your area will help you find the perfect partner for your selling journey and move towards a successful result.

Step 4: Finally, get your property listing-ready

Taking a thorough approach to preparing your home for sale is another critical step. From cleaning, decluttering, painting and performing other cosmetic renovations to home staging, photography and marketing, getting your property to sale-ready condition is a must.