It’s pleasing news that despite the spending cuts and tax increases announced in the Federal Budget in mid-May, the government has decided to leave negative gearing alone. 

At the same time, the increased financial commitment to infrastructure is always good news for bricks and mortar, as new roads, railway links and bridges create jobs, which typically drives up demand for property. 

Over the next 5 years, big ticket developments such as Sydney’s West Connex (Stage 2) and North Connex will see the light of day, while money has been set aside for the second stage of Melbourne’s East West Link. Billions have also been set aside to fix the Bruce Highway. In fact, every state and territory will benefit from the Federal Government’s pledge to increase infrastructure spending.

Away from politics, the property market continues to tick along, with trend property values continuing to climb, with Sydney once again the front runner. In the NSW capital, prices are up almost 18 percent year-on-year, thanks to the return to form of Sydney’s prestige markets, while the next best is Melbourne, which is up by a healthy 11.6 percent. According to the latest ANZ Housing Market Update, combined Australian capital city prices are up 12 percent since late autumn last year. 

Underlining the strength of the housing market, research from my company Raine & Horne shows that our recently-collated national average property appraisal figures for April were up by more than 21 percent, compared with February 2014. Leading the way was NSW, where appraisals have jumped nearly 26% since February, followed by Victoria (22%) and Queensland (15%).

This is significant as appraisals are usually a yardstick of real estate sales strength two to three months down the track. In other words, a very healthy winter market is not out of the question, which is great news for homeowners considering a sale. 

Why a winter sale is worth considering?

Common real estate wisdom traditionally dictates that spring is the best time to sell a property, but times have changed and it’s becoming more popular to try to sell a house or apartment in the colder months of the year. 

Our research indicates it’s possible that listing a home between May and August could mean that your property is competing with 15 to 20 percent fewer homes for sale than in early autumn or spring. Committed buyers won’t be put off by winter chills, while outdoor factors will have little impact on smaller homes and apartments for instance. However vendors would do well to heed the advice of their real estate agent when settling on the pricing of their homes to ensure a timely sale this winter.  

It can be confusing to know whether to get a variable rate or fixed rate mortgage, and what features are important. That's why it's important to not only check the right rates, but make sure that you're getting the right features in your home loan. Get help choosing the right home loan

Angus Raine

Angus Raine is a leading commentator on the Australian property industry and has been CEO of the Raine & Horne property group since 2006.

Mr Raine started his real estate career over twenty six years ago, previously working with three blue-chip international real estate firms, before becoming director of Raine & Horne Holdings Pty Limited in 1998.
 
Mr Raine is an accomplished real estate specialist and his academic and industry qualifications include a Diploma of Business (Valuation) and a Diploma of Business (Franchising). He is also a registered valuer, a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute, Member Royal Institution of Surveyors (MRICS), and a licensed real estate, stock and station business agent.
 
Angus is a Graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Programme, and has a professional certificate in Advanced Corporate Real Estate (API/UWS).
 
Since 2000, Mr Raine has been a committee member of the Family Business Association’s New South Wales chapter.