December 2020 recorded a two-year high in property sale settlements, bringing an end to the long and taxing year which saw many Australians hold off on pursuing their home ownership goals, whether due to indecision or social distancing restrictions which complicated the process.
Over the month, more than 79,000 settlements took place nationally; underscoring Aussies' eagerness, 1,711 settlements occurred on Christmas Eve itself as people rushed to finalise their deals before the New Year break.
While this year’s activity was notable in its strength, December is often an active month for property settlements in Australia, with the Friday before Christmas historically the busiest day on the property sector calendar.
Notably, in November, Victoria witnessed a 43% month-on-month increase in property sale settlements, according to online property settlement platform PEXA.
“All those involved in the property settlement process brace for December activity, which in 2020 saw an increase in settlements of 22% nationally year-on-year when compared to the month of December 2019,” said Mike Gill, PEXA senior research manager.
“We saw property settlement numbers begin to recover following the easing of restrictions nationally in the second half of the year, however the rebound in Victoria was delayed due to the second lockdown.”
Over the period, New South Wales generated the highest number of property sale settlements with more than 24,500. Next came Victoria with nearly 21,000 and Queensland with just under 20,000.
Settlements in Western Australia and South Australia held consistent throughout 2020, with both regions seeing only moderate increases across the second half of the year.
In releasing the data, PEXA also celebrated its role in providing digital, secure and non-contact property exchange to facilitate these transactions.
“Special mention must go to the conveyancers, lawyers, financial institutions and all those in the property settlement process who displayed flexibility, innovation and collaboration to make the buying and selling of property as seamless as possible during an extraordinary 2020,” Gill said.