Election date now uncertain – how will it affect the Sydney property market?

Last week’s dramatic events in federal politics have created uncertainty regarding the federal election date. It now seems likely that Australia will not go to the polls on 14 September.

Julia Gillard had taken the unusual step of setting the 14 September date much earlier than constitutionally required. With the return of Kevin Rudd, we have the more common situation of not knowing the date on which the poll will occur until much closer to the event. 3 August is the first possible date, with 30 November being the last.

The September election date fell within the traditionally busy spring selling season. There were some early indications that vendors may hold off placing their property on the market until after the poll, effectively pushing back the beginning of the season. This would have made for a busy October and November.

An August date would avoid that problem. However, as many campaigns are already set down for August, the announcement of an early election could cause some concern for vendors. While it’s unlikely that an election would negatively affect clearance rates or prices, it could quieten things down for a week or two either side of the date.

An October election would probably see the period September to December divided into two selling sessions – pre- and post- election, with a lull in activity for a couple of weeks around the date.

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