If there’s one thing that has characterised 2016, it has been the unpredictability of the Sydney real estate market.

Despite predictions of a downturn, that seemed to be a reality early in the year, prices continued to surge to new highs and auction clearance rates went right back up with them. It has also been a year where we started to see listings slow. Any homebuyer in the current market can tell you that there’s far less to choose from than at almost any other time in the cycle, which has left many in a stalemate – sell and struggle to buy, or struggle to buy and hold off on selling?

The one lesson we should all learn from this is that the property market changes faster than you might think. What this means for buyers and sellers is that it’s always hard to predict what the next year holds, and 2017 will likely be as unpredictable as ever. You should be determining your own buying and selling actions by looking at your personal circumstances and what suits you best. One thing we are increasingly becoming aware of is that listings will be on the rise as we enter into the New Year.

This will come as a welcome relief to homebuyers, who have often chosen to renovate and put off their buying aspirations due to this year’s unexpectedly tight selling season. But buyers shouldn’t expect to face any less competition. While there will be more stock on the market, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw more hopefuls become motivated buyers. We’ll all be watching how demand and supply plays out in the early months of 2017.

Spring, and much of 2016 has seen sales lag behind, with an election and the holidays taking up a lot of the market’s attention. And now the end of the year is close by, the result of all these disruptions has been little stock to choose from and plenty of frustrated buyers still waiting in the wings.

Interest rate rises, including those independent of the Reserve Bank, could see a loosening of the market in 2017 but the underlying market forces from growing families who need to make a move, and those needing to downsize, still exist and will likely underpin the desire to sell.

Already, we’re beginning to feel a shift in the market. A lot of people have sat on their hands through the last half of the year and now they’ve waited for long enough, it’s time to sell. Based on the level of inquiry we’ve now seen, and those that will turn into sellers for next year, we’re anticipating a strong selling season. Many who have bought this year opted to buy before they sold, to ensure they managed to secure a home. These homeowners are ready to sell in next year’s market.

Due to all of these drivers, we’re expecting sales volumes to increase in the second quarter of 2017, after the usual seasonal slow-down towards the end of the year, and the gradual pick up through January and February. But what the flow-on effect of this will be to prices, and buyer activity, is yet to be seen.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot 2016

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot 2016

A detailed annual assessment of the property market focusing on the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

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