Most of the world has waved away the celebrations of the new year and is settling back into ordinary life.
Not so the millions of Chinese people around our globe, with the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit about to hop into our lives on Sunday, January 22.
And 2023 brings with it the luckiest of all of Chinese culture's 12 animals, with the rabbit symbolising outstanding hope as well as peace and prosperity.
Adding to this optimistic blend is the fact that 2023 is also the year of the water element - or in other words, the Year of the Water Rabbit - which symbolises a more fluid attitude and space to reflect.
The Chinese New Year of the Tiger in 2022 was forecast to be a fast-paced one for property, with investors in particular expected to boldly pounce ahead of their competitors with notable strength and courage.
With its expectations of hope and prosperity, the upcoming New Year of the Rabbit still denotes hare-raising success for the property market - and this includes those from our international buyers and sellers, including China.
That being said, the recent outbreak of more COVID cases in China could see far fewer Chinese holiday-makers travel to Australia during this year's two-week Chinese New Year holiday period.
This fortnight is a popular time for Chinese travellers to come to Australia and buy property, as well as visit friends and family; however, both China and Australia now require travellers to have a negative COVID test before arriving in either country.
Still, much like the rabbit of traditional Chinese culture, property buyers and sellers in 2023 have learned how to be witty and quick-minded after the severe ups and ups of the pandemic period and the adjustments of 2022 including eight consecutive cash rate rises.
At the same time, the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit is forecast to be a quieter, more reflective one than that of last year's often aggressive and bold tiger.
This is particularly notable given this year is also a yin (more passive) year rather than a yang year.
As a result, the property market of the Year of the Rabbit can enjoy some moments for rest and renewal, which will certainly be appreciated after the last few years we've experienced.
But make no mistake - while rabbits are gentler creatures than their tiger neighbours, they are also highly agile and cunning (any gardener can tell you this!)
Rabbit buyers and sellers will also certainly have the energy to leap ahead of the rest in 2023.
Luckily, the combination of much-needed reflection, hope and prosperity should see the property market of 2023 enjoying both the chance of a secure burrow as well as nearby green grass in which to rest and recover.
You don't have to read Watership Down to know rabbits can jump into action in seconds.
Such agility can save their lives but the question for buyers and sellers in 2023 is whether we need to jump as fast as rabbits to enjoy a great purchase or sale.
Put simply it's a seller's market out there.
So, buyers need to definitely jump to action if they want to dive into a great burrow before their competitors.
However, rabbit buyers should be aware that reflection and research are as crucial as agility, cunning and fluidity.
Raise your ears, listen to experienced property experts and dig into data and statistics while ensuring you separate the lush grass from the rotten vegetables.
For example, yes, city and regional prices declined in 2022 - but even Sydney, which has seen the highest annual declines in the nation (12.1%) in this year, nevertheless experienced a COVID trough to peak growth of 27.7%, according to CoreLogic's Home Value Index report this month.
Indeed, Sydney and Melbourne were the only capital cities to experience serious property value drops in the Year of the Tiger.
Adelaide actually boasted a 13.8% annual growth while still being highly appealing to buyers, with a median house price of $701,493, says CoreLogic.
Most importantly for both rabbit buyers and sellers, the Year of the Rabbit is expected to continue the adjustment - note: not a crash - of the property market that we saw in the Year of the Tiger.
CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, points to the Year of the Rabbit as being one of contrasts - as was 2022 - and the property market should use ears, eyes, and nose to look out for the following:
Specialist real estate researcher and writer, Terry Ryder of Hotspotting, also noted this month that affordable areas and properties - particularly units and apartments - now dominate the property market.
Finally, Australian rabbit buyers and sellers should also be all ears about foreign competitors in Year of the Rabbit's heartland: China.
Despite current and former pandemic restrictions - and Australia's hare-raising real estate prices - Chinese buyers are still very willing to take a chance on our country's property market.
Indeed, when it comes to the number of investments made in the December 2022 quarter, mainland China and Hong Kong topped the world when it came to the highest number of approved residential investments in Australia.
According to Foreign investment Review Board (FIRB) data, China and Hong Kong together can boast of having seven times more of these investments than the next-ranked country (Vietnam).
In terms of the money approved for such investments, China and Hong Kong account for five times more than that of Vietnam.
Together, these figures result in a 67% annual rise in residential investment from mainland China.
Such high investment currency between China and Australia is nothing new either with the FIRB noting that in the 2011-2012 financial year, Chinese investors spent $4.187 billion on Aussie property.
Whatever home loan road you wish to take in the Year of the Rabbit, we’d love to help you travel it!
We can find you the best home loans from more than 40 of Australia’s biggest banks and specialist lenders and we can also help you refinance your loan to help you keep more money in your pocket.
So, give us a call today at Lending Loop - and may the new warren you dig into be a peaceful and prosperous one!