Traditional home buying wisdom holds that spring is the best time of year to buy a home or investment property in Australia. And if we have to revise the numbers, that belief holds water. Data from CoreLogic showed that every spring for the past few years had seen at least one month where more than 3,500 auctions took place, or more than 115 properties went under the hammer each day during the season.
The data also showed that over the past few years the number of properties available on the market has also increased significantly above the year-round average ahead of (and even during) spring, when more and more owners are looking to take advantage of the best weather conditions to sell their properties.
At the same time, the high number of properties on the market in the spring is matched only by strong demand from homebuyers. This is why this period is also known as the spring blitz, as properties seem to sell on their own, resulting in quick sales times and a high volume of real estate sales during the spring months of September and November.
But what about winter? Is it a good season to buy real estate?
Winter can also be an excellent time to buy a house or apartment building. Despite the reputation of the cold season as the real estate market’s hibernation period, buying in the winter can be ideal for some home buyers. According to a study by Peter Rossini, a property expert from the University of South Australia, properties sell for around 1% less in winter than during other seasons, making it a great time for bargain hunters. to buy a property.
Besides this economic advantage that winter brings, here are other reasons why the underestimated season can be a good time to buy a property.
Reasons why winter is a good time to buy a property
- You will face less competition
In winter, few owners sell a house or a unit. This market trend coincides with a low number of people looking to buy property. After all, not everyone is willing to look at homes in single-digit temperatures.
For sellers, this sounds like bad news. But for buyers, it’s the perfect opportunity to go property hunting, as it means you’ll face less competition and are less likely to be outbid.
With much of the competition from buyers out of the race (or never in the race in the first place) for a property, buyers can also be a bit more selective in their purchases.
Of course, the most popular selling seasons (spring and summer) offer a greater number of choices compared to winter. However, the chances of successfully buying a house are higher when the weather is colder. Fewer buyers means fewer all-cash and excessive bids, making your traditionally funded bid more attractive to sellers.
- You will know how the property behaves in bad weather
When you buy in summer or spring, you see properties at their best, in ideal weather conditions.
But a big downside of buying a house in the summer is that you don’t really get to see how the property performs in snow, ice, and low temperatures.
By viewing homes in the winter, you have the perfect opportunity to assess the property in one of the worst possible weather conditions.
Plus, you’ll have a good idea of who you or your potential tenants are when the going gets tough. Are the windows drafty? How strong is its insulation? What does the property look like with bare trees and shrubs?
Just as you would judge a first date who shows up in sweatpants or sweatpants, this is your chance to be very critical of a property you’re considering committing to.
- You could close the sale transaction faster
Because real estate market activity reaches a new level of frenzy in the spring and summer, mortgage brokers tend to be supported in their work, which means you’ll wait longer to close if you buy during the cooler months. hotter.
And if you’re working on a tight deadline, it can be frustrating to have to wait for closing just because your mortgage broker can’t focus on your transaction.
But during the quieter winter months, transaction volumes slow significantly, giving mortgage brokers plenty of leeway to process your loan. This means that buyers can close their loans much faster due to shorter waiting times.
- Sellers are determined to sell – and you can grab a lot
Typically, sellers who put their property on the market in the dead of winter are serious about closing the deal quickly. This gives buyers the edge when negotiating because it means sellers will be more willing to work with you.
Buyers are also encouraged to track cumulative days on the market for each home they visit. If the property has been on the market for a generally long period, it gives you more leverage to secure a good property for a fraction of the higher prices you may have to pay in the spring or summer.
But a word of advice: just because a seller is eager to sell quickly doesn’t mean you should underestimate them or make unreasonable demands. This can sabotage your own chances of securing the property. Instead, work with your real estate agent to determine an appropriate negotiation strategy.
At the end of the line
Buying a property in the winter can seem like a wild ride because everyone knows that spring and summer are home buying seasons and winter is when buyers and sellers cool down a bit. bit and take a break.
But the reasons we’ve outlined can make the argument that winter can be good – even the best time – to buy a property to stand on, especially if you go there strategically.
Disclaimer: This is a general guide only and is not intended to replace financial or investment advice.
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A real estate agent is a licensed professional authorized to act as a representative of buyers or sellers in a real estate transaction.