Spring and summer tend to be the peak times for buying and selling property, as spring is traditionally the season in which the volume of stock peaks on the market. However, there are disadvantages to buying in such a crowded market.
Property prices are determined by the balance of supply and demand and, with many people listing their property for sale in spring, there are advantages of buying in a slower season.
My reasons for buying property in winter:
The fewer buyers there are on the market, the more of a chance you could have to secure the property you want and at a more reasonable price. Winter might also be a time to seek off-market sales. While these “silent sales” are common throughout the year, it might be a good strategy when there is less stock on the market. A buyer’s agent or real estate agent can contact property owners in the street you want, to see if they’re in the market to sell.
As most people think spring is the best time to sell, if a property owner is selling in winter, they probably need to sell. This, combined with the fact that there are fewer buyers on the market, may also give you more room to negotiate on purchase price.
Properties that have been passed in at auction in summer and are still on the market in winter may present an opportunity to secure an investment at a better price. You might also be able to get a better prices for properties that are less sought after in winter — beachside apartments, for example.
If you’re a time-poor investor, the advantage of beginning your property search in winter is that you have more leeway to find and secure a property towards the end of winter, before the spring buying frenzy begins. This might also be a good time to research avenues to help you search and secure an investment, such as a buyer’s agent. If you don’t have the time to inspect 50–100 properties a week, a buyers’ agent can help you to understand the market and find the right investment. Some might find you a cheaper property to buy, whilst others might find you a property that’s going to grow at an average of 10 per cent a year rather than 8 per cent a year, which means you could be making $10,000–$20,000+ a year extra for the rest of your life.
If you’re looking to invest in a property, consider going against the grain and buying in winter. While many people associate winter with dark and gloomy properties, properties can be more reasonably priced. Plus, if you’ve done your research, the entire process becomes relatively straightforward — no matter the season, just ensure you invest in a property that still has an abundance of natural light and warmth.