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Buying over the Christmas holidays - December 2019

By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder, propertybuyer.com.au


The conventional wisdom seems to be you shouldn’t bother to buy real estate over the December and January holiday period, but I beg to differ.

I understand why other think this way. Everyone is hectic in the weeks leading up to Christmas, which gives way to family time and days at the beach, before rolling in New Year’s. Then it’s a lazy couple of weeks, with people off work, up until after Australia Day.

Buyers are few and far between, agents are on holidays, and vendors pause their sales campaigns… right?

But following the herd mentality at Christmas never got anyone ahead, in my experience, because some of the best buying we do is in December and January.


What’s happening now?

The market in Sydney and Melbourne remains extremely hot, even though the silly season is well and truly here. Clearance rates are strong, agents on the ground report prices above guide and demand is significantly outstripping supply.

And stock levels are drying up at a rapid pace.

Even though the market began to turn in June this year after 18-odd months of declines, a number of would-be sellers are still adopting a wait-and-see approach. You can understand why.

Many of those trying to decide when to list their property on the open market are watching things move rapidly and wondering if they should wait a bit longer to take advantage of potentially higher sale prices.

Don’t expect this to change in the short-term. It’s only a few weeks until Santa arrives and so there will be no new listings until early February at least.

As a result, we go into 2020 with historically low levels of stock in our two biggest cities. There just aren’t many properties out there to consider. This is having a big impact on price growth.


You should still look

It’s true that market activity slows over December and January. The weather is great, people are in a festive mood and there’s plenty of ways to occupy the downtime.

But savvy buyers should take advantage of this.

Competition for good quality properties of late has been intense. The holiday period provides an opportunity to explore what’s on offer without the crowds around you providing a sense of urgency and high price potential.

The lack of serious purchasers also motivates sellers who are still in the market to act. If they’re presented with a fair deal and favourable terms, they’ll be open to getting everything signed, sealed and delivered in time to start 2020 with certainty.

The real opportunity at this time of year though is with off-market deals.

Selling agents are also working with vendors who’re keen to sell but not until markets roar back into life after the January lull.

Realtors are sitting on a gold mine of yet-to-be listed properties that you could tap into right now.

An independent, experienced and properly qualified buyer’s agent is your key to off-market and pre-market opportunities via their established networks. Like I said, I find that I do my best buying in December and January.

You’ve got current sellers who are motivated to move their properties, future vendors who are ready to go and very little competition from other buyers.

Buyer’s agents have intimate, on-the-ground knowledge of specific areas and connections with selling agents within them. They’re the conduit between their clients, who they work for and represent in every aspect of a deal, and opportunities that aren’t on the open market.

And there are some prime opportunities at the moment.

The best way to get a jump on other buyers is to take advantage of the expertise of a buyer’s agent to secure your ideal property while the rest of the market has given up or is distracted by the festivities.



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