Chances are if you were to ask any real estate agent at any time of the year when the perfect time to buy a home is, undoubtedly 99.9 per cent of them would answer, “Now!” And if you were to ask them why “now” is a perfect time, it is because the price is about to hit the ceiling. Prices are always about to hit the ceiling.
If a home seller were to ask those same real estate agents when is the perfect time to put their home on the market, they would get slightly different answers: “The market is a tad bit soft this time of year. It might be a good idea to lower your asking price,” one says. “You just missed the perfect window to sell,” another one replies
The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of variables that dictate whether or not it is an excellent time to sell or buy a home; variables that include neighbourhood quality, region, the overall market, and, of course, the time of year.
The Best Time to Buy a Home Depends on the Season
Like any market, real estate has its up and down seasons. For those who have some knowledge about buying and selling a property, you know what seasons pose the best opportunities for sellers to get the most out of their real estate investment, and what parts of the year are best to be a buyer looking for a good deal.
However, for those looking to purchase their first starter home, choosing the ideal time to buy can be a difficult call to make. New homebuyers might be wondering if it is better to save for a deposit over the winter months and start shopping for a home in the summer, or the other way around? And though there are a lot of mixed views on the topic, facts and statistics cannot be disputed when it comes to the impact seasonal factors have on the Australian property market.
So, What Seasons are Best for Homebuyers?
The Holiday Season
School holidays bring about a hiatus in real estate listings. That is according to Malcolm Gunning, president of Real Estate Institute of Australia. School holidays mean parents want to spend time with their kids and thus postpone their house hunting. Since family units make up a bulk of Australia’s house buying market, sellers really feel the crunch during these months. As a buyer, you have the ball in your court.
With fewer buyers to contend with and possibly lower property prices, you will also find fewer homes for sale. As the market slows down, sellers will wait to list their homes after the holidays. However, most homes that had already been on the market will still be available.
The Winter Season
Real estate activity is reflective of ordinary life. All around the world, spring is one of the busiest times of the year. As for winter, people generally commit to less activity. Potential sellers do not want traffic going through their homes when they are hunkered down in their houses more. This is a perfect example of how life’s rhythm impacts the real estate market.
In particular, July is a pretty quiet month in the real estate business, as the school holidays interrupt normal market activities and the colder weather discourages a vast majority of buyers from house hunting. But for those who do not let the seasons deter them, July is a great time to start searching for a home to buy since there are not many other buyers to compete with.
The Pre-January Sell-Off Season
A large portion of home buyers is rushing to purchase their home before Christmas, before the slump during January when the entire country takes off for New Years and summertime activities. This makes the month of January and possibly February another good period to buy a house. Patient and diligent home buyers can find excellent bargains on properties that were passed overlooked during the pre-Christmas buying frenzy.
Starting from November through around the third week of December a lot of activity is taking place in the housing market. From the average buyer’s perspective, the month of January especially fits since a lot of the properties listed before Christmas are done so as a private treaty sale.
When it is all said and done, deciding when you will buy is wholly based on your circumstances. Nevertheless, it helps to understand how the market works so you can get a leg up on the competition. And, remember, though landing a great deal on your home, it is equally important to save a nice sized deposit so that you get a good start. Lastly, be sure to get professional advice on all the home loan options available before you buy.