By Jarrod McCabe & Brenton Potter
As Spring selling season heads further into November, and the festive season draws closer, many buyers who haven’t locked in a property will begin to ask whether it’s better to hold off and wait until market activity picks up in the new year.
It’s a valid question and one worth spending some time exploring.
To do so, I enlisted the help of Wakelin’s Property Team Manager, Brenton Potter. Together we’ve outlined the key points you’ll need to consider before you decide to jump in or hold fire.
Benefits of buying before Christmas
- Increased supply: The Spring season typically brings a surge in property listings, giving buyers more options.
- Motivated vendors: Many vendors are eager to sell before the year ends, often because they’ve made property purchases themselves, and need to release their old property’s capital.
- Reduced buyer competition: As Christmas approaches, some potential buyers opt to hold off, potentially reducing competition for those keen to secure a property.
- Avoiding a new year spike: The new year can see pent-up demand from buyers, resulting in increased competition and potentially higher prices.
- Optimal timing for rental market: Buying in Spring can align settlement with the early year peak rental demand. Coordinating this offers a strategic edge for investors, whereas a post-holiday purchase might miss this peak period.
A word of caution, as the year draws to a close. At first glance, many enticing property deals emerge. However, astute buyers should exercise caution. If a property has not been purchased during the busy Spring selling period, it’s essential to understand why. It could be a simple case of overpricing, but often deeper issues or inherent flaws are at play. Always conduct thorough research and due diligence before making a decision.
The upside of waiting for the new year
- Better quality stock: The new year often brings a fresh wave of high-quality properties to the market. These listings might come from vendors who’ve strategically planned their sales after the holiday season.
- Clearer market sentiment: The emotions that drive decisions in the December market, often fueled by a sense of urgency, might not accurately reflect true market conditions. The new year provides a clearer picture of the market’s direction.
- Early starts: While traditionally properties have started listing in February, recent trends show that many sellers are kicking off in January, especially in the apartment market. This can mean a much shorter wait before you’re back out there.
- Clearer decision-making: Amidst year-end pressures, some buyers rush decisions, feeling the need to purchase before Christmas. This haste can lead to settling on the wrong property. In contrast, waiting for the new year offers clearer thinking and potentially a wider range of choices, ensuring you select the right property regardless of the price.
Whether you’re considering a purchase before or after Christmas, the core of successful property investment goes beyond just timing the market. The critical thinking should always be focused on asset selection – choosing a quality property that promises strong capital growth in the years ahead, irrespective of the month it was acquired.
Always bear in mind: the true key to successful property investment lies in the quality of your property purchase, and time spent in the market – rather than trying to time the market.