The savviest investors are those who are looking for great bargains when other buyers have their eyes turned away and looking this Christmas season may give some investors an edge over others, according to leading property experts.
Buyers’ agent, Rich Harvey of propertybuyer.com.au, said Christmas is a great time to invest in a property because there is less competition from other buyers and some vendors willing to make a quick sale.
Mr Harvey told Smart Property Investment that since the market goes to sleep for about a few weeks over the Christmas and New Year period, the best time to buy is just before Christmas.
“Christmas brings a deadline to your transactions, and we find that vendors become a little bit more motivated to accept offers and buyers also become keen to secure a property,” he said.
While there is not a lot of new stock coming onto the market, Mr Harvey said there may be an overhang of listings, which may provide opportunities for the smart investor.
In addition to savings in the sub-$1 million market, investors may also be able to secure substantial discounts on properties in the super prestige market above $5 million, he added.
Another buyer’s agent, Victor Kumar, director of Right Property Group agreed that the holiday season is a good time to invest.
However, he warned that investors should avoid buying a property whilst at their holiday destination, and that if they do, buyers should look at the fundamentals before making a decision.
“Quite often the decision is clouded by the euphoria of being in a place you like,” Mr Kumar said. “Ask yourself the question: would I be buying this or even evaluating this had I not been here on holidays.”
Century 21’s chairman Charlies Tarbey explained to Smart Property Investment that while investors currently have a great opportunity, it’s due to consumer sentiment and supply and demand rather than the Christmas season.
“There are no current seasons when it comes to real estate anymore. Whereas traditionally we might say spring time is our best time, in the last 12 months, winter was actually our best time.
“Because of lower interest rate, and a higher demand for property, we expect that December and January will be quite busy months, and not quiet months that you might expect.”
As many young couples are saving more before entering the property market, Tarbey said properties in the first home buyers’ price range, between $300,000 and $600,000, are not as competitive as it is normally, giving investors an opportunity to make offers on properties in that price bracket.
With increased consumer sentiment and lower interest rates compared to the same time last year, there is also more stock coming onto the market, Mr Tarbey said.
“People sat on the fence for quite some time waiting for the market to recover.
“As the interest rates have fallen and the market’s gotten better, and the talk of the bubble in Australia dissipating or disappearing, a lot of people have now started to come back into the market thinking that this is a good time to sell.”
Mr Tarbey said that December and January will be busy months, not quiet months that people might expect.
“Many people think the market’s slow but there are a lot of people looking because they are either moving schools or being transferred, so a lot of decisions are being made around December, January,” he said.
While the season is ripe for investors, Mr Kumar said purchasers need to be more prepared during the Christmas season as opposed to buying at any other time of the year.
“It is always good to have a full pre-approval in place. By that I mean that the only thing pending on your application to go to formal approval is the property valuation when you find a property.
“Many property opportunities are lost at this time of the year when purchasers aren’t financially ready.”
Auctions are a great way to buy during this period because “there are far less committed people around, and particularly institutional vendors such as mortgagees who are keen to get things finalised,” Mr Kumar said.