Christmas may be the perfect time to buy property

Due to the unusual circumstances prevailing this year, there may be a window of opportunity to buy a property bargain over the next two months.

Summer lull in activity

Often we see property buying clients losing a bit of interest at this time of year, as thoughts turn to summer holidays or more festive pursuits than kicking off with a property search. But with new listings rising some buyers are sensing a window of opportunity to buy ahead of the international borders reopening in full in 2022, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

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The housing market this year has been characterised by exceptionally low stock levels, but this has been changing lately in the most populous capitals.

There is a brief period of time before record low overseas arrivals numbers are replaced by a new wave of arrivals. International arrivals into Australia have been at record lows. But they won’t be for much longer. The permanent immigration cap may even be lifted to above 200,000 in due course to alleviate Australia’s skills shortage.

Logically buyers should have less competition and potentially more choice before international travel picks up again in earnest.

Figure 1 – Overseas arrivals and net migration
Figure 1 – Overseas arrivals and net migration

Focus on medium-term

Until relatively recently the idea of monthly or daily housing price reporting was relatively obscure for most people. It’s important to remember that due to the transaction costs property tends to work best if you plan to hold for the asset over a reasonable time horizon.

Ideally, property buyers should take a medium or longer-term focus with regards to prices.

As we have seen over the past 18 months, even the experts have been unable to predict market movements with any meaningful level of accuracy. Buyers ideally shouldn’t become too focussed on small price movements, since they tend to be relatively immaterial over a decade. Try instead to think about where prices will be 10 years from now.

December and January can be an exciting time to buy property, with less competition and it may represent an opportunity to snare a bargain purchase.

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