The definitive, proven, best time to buy property in Australia
“Is now a good time to buy?”
This is a question that those who work in finance and property hear at least a few times a week. Discussing property prices and where they are headed is practically a national hobby; we all want to know what is the next for our beloved bricks and mortar.
In the midst of the silly season, arguably one of our busiest periods of the year, this question crops up again.
People want to know whether there are certain times during the year when the season favours them as a buyer, Christmas being one of them. Is there going to be less competition in December as other buyers are preoccupied or does annual leave mean they will have more time to wander through open homes?
And are sellers so keen to secure a sale that they are willing to entertain any and all offers?
Of course, the answers to these questions are: it depends. Making the decision to sell a home is a personal one, and there are so many influencing factors that can mean a vendor is under more or less pressure to sell.
Similarly, making the decision to buy (whether it is a home to live in or as an investment) is a personal one. Your job status, length of employment, savings in the bank and a borrowing power will all influence the kind of decisions you can make around purchasing a property.
For these reasons, I truly believe that the best time to buy a property is when you are ready. To me, being ‘ready’ means: you have saved a sufficient deposit; you have paid off your personal debts as best you can; you have a stable employment history; and you have met with a mortgage broker to get a clear understanding of your borrowing power.
Assuming all of these boxes have been ticked and you are ready to start property shopping with a purpose, is Christmas time a good time of year to browse the real estate classifieds?
I think it is – and here is why:
1. Supply dries up
Most owners who are planning to sell their property, generally list it in October or November – unless their circumstances are unique, few vendors come to the market in December.
That means there is an entire month where there is no fresh supply hitting the market. Others who are shopping the market see the same old listings over and over and they begin to get ‘stale’. Any seller who has been on the market for several weeks and is approaching Christmas Day without any serious offers, will begin to re-think their pricing and may be willing to negotiate on price.
2. Other shoppers get fatigued
Those other property buyers I mentioned, the ones who tire of the stale listings. If they have been watching the market through October and November, they are often beginning to fatigue by December. Like takes over in the form of festive season parties, work and social commitments. Throw in a few public holidays and closed real estate offices, and they may take a few weeks’ off the property search – meaning there is less competition in the market.
3. People prepare for big life changes
New jobs, new suburbs, new cities, new decisions: the end of one year and the beginning of a new one is a time of change for plenty of people. Again, this means some Aussies are just too busy to shop the property market with any real intention to take action, which gives you an edge if you are a serious buyer.
4. Decisive action pays off
We all know what the stress of Christmas is like: we are battling the crowds for groceries, lapping shopping centre parking lots for 20 minutes to secure a car park, and “celebrating” with more than our fair share of relatives and friends. If we are also trying to sell a property at this time, then the news that someone has made an offer is festive music to our ears.
The moral of the story? If you are willing to put pen to paper and make a formal offer on a property, the seller is likely to review your offer very seriously.
I’ve known of both investors and homeowners who have secured some great value deals during December, because they have been willing to take action at a time when others banish property shopping to the “too hard” basket.
As I hinted at earlier, the best time to buy a property is not a particular time of the year – it is when you personally are in the best position to buy. The only way to know this is to have a good look at your current financial position, so you can work out where you stand and what your options are. As experienced mortgage brokers, our team would be more than happy to review you finances and give you an idea of your borrowing power, so you can take action towards your property goals and dreams. Contact us today on 1300 855. 022.
This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation or needs before making any decisions based on this information.
Comparison Rate calculated on a secured loan amount of $150,000 for a term of 25 years. WARNING: This Comparison Rate is true only for the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees and other loan amounts might result in a different Comparison Rate. Fees and Charges Apply. Terms and Conditions are available on request.