Weigh up the pros and cons of buying property during different seasons to get the home you want for a better price.
If you’re no stranger to the property market, you’ll know all about the surge in new listings that’s expected after the winter lull. But is Spring Fever in real estate just a myth? Are there other seasonal trends you can use to your advantage when looking for the best deal on a new home?
Springtime sales frenzy
Real estate agents often use the idea of a spring rush to tempt owners into selling and entice buyers with the idea of hundreds of new properties to choose from. And the most recent springtime figures for Australia’s property market are backing them up. Core Logic RP Data figures show new residential property listings across all eight capital cities for September 2015 were at their highest since March of the same year. A similar rush to sell occurs in March, as we move into autumn following our long summer holiday and festive season.
So what does this mean for buyers? You can certainly look forward to busy Saturday mornings with plenty of open house inspections to pack in to your schedule. But buyer numbers are often on the rise too, leading to more intense competition and a temporary boom in prices.
Beware the urgency buying in a hot market can create. With properties being snapped up quickly, you can feel you’re forever missing out. Don’t let the pressure force you into paying more than you really should for a particular property.
Wise buys in Winter
Getting ahead of the spring stampede can be a good strategy, especially if you’re buying in a coastal or holiday destination. The lure of a sparkling ocean and sun-drenched beach is usually a big draw card for these properties. You’re likely to have fewer buyers to compete with and a seller listing their property out of season may be more open to negotiation and keen for a quick sale.
If you’re shopping in the winter be sure to think about how your prospective home might feel when the sun is blazing again. A cosy apartment or cottage could have you roasting in summer without good ventilation or air conditioning. And of course the opposite could be true; a property well suited to summer heat could leave you shivering in winter.
End of year specials
The summer month of December, and the end of financial year in June, can both be good times to bag a bargain property. Owners in a pre-Christmas market are often keen to sell before the long January slump. Rather than waiting six weeks or more for the right price, a slightly lower offer may be enough to secure a sale.
For apartment hunters in particular, there can be rich pickings in the lead up to 30 June. Many investors are looking to offload properties within the financial year for tax purposes and a quick sale at a small discount may represent a bigger overall gain for their portfolio.
Watching the market
Regardless of the time of year, taking a long term-view of the balance between buyers and sellers in your local housing market, will indicate when it’s a good time to buy. And getting a great deal on your new home isn’t only about the price tag. A competitive interest rate on your mortgage can save you even more in the long term so it’s worth seeking advice on the best home loan options before you buy.
Are you waiting for the “right” season to buy a new home? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.