PHOTO: Melissa and Alan Gavalakis, pictured with daughters Mia and Evie, are selling their Craigieburn home. Photo: Justin McManus

Pent-up demand from Melbourne home buyers could prompt a busy late spring selling season, but experts say prices could still fall over the coming year.

Buyers and sellers have barely 12 weeks – the time it can take for a property settlement – to make a move before Christmas, after private inspections resumed this week.

Melbourne’s peak period for property transactions started a month late this year, thanks to strict COVID-19-related restrictions banning all in-person property inspections until late September.

A handful of sales took place based on virtual tours, but home values in Melbourne fell harder than any other capital city in September, down 0.9 per cent in the month on CoreLogic figures.

“Some buyers have set that arbitrary emotional date of Christmas, others have access to pre-approval and they’re not keen on going through that rigmarole again,” Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia president Cate Bakos said.