Can you buy Australian property over the Christmas holidays?
Santa's sleigh is nearly ready, the elves have been working more overtime than we can comprehend, and the reindeer have been given an extra helping of dinner to get their energy levels up in time for Christmas. Meanwhile here in Australia, families are travelling interstate or otherwise settling down for the festive season. It's a time when the Australian property market goes to sleep - or is it?
While it's true that the next few weeks will see very low listings and minimal activity, that doesn't mean the ardent house hunter can't get what they need. Here's how you might be able to buy property over the quieter holiday season.
Deadline day motivations
Sometimes, vendors will be so desperate to sell that their deadline date extends all the way to Christmas eve. In the weeks building up to Christmas, our teams have sold properties with some regularity, even though we're well past the springtime peak.
The amount of buyers in the market means that you're almost always going to secure a sale.
We often advocate the idea of buying first, selling later - the amount of buyers in the market means that you're almost always going to secure a sale. This means that people who have bought a property late in the spring may have only come to market recently, giving you extremely motivated vendors who will aim to sell their home within a time frame. It could be one way to secure a pre-Christmas bargain.
As we mentioned before, most people tend to opt out of the Australian property market over Christmas. As a house hunter, this means less competition to buy, while listings tend to remain strong. For example, in the last major weekend for auctions of 2015, CoreLogic RP Data indicated there were 1,808 auctions. While it's a marked drop from the previous week's 2,989, it goes to show there's still a lot of property available in the final weeks of the year.
This Christmas in particular, there are a lot of regular and prestige properties on the market. SQM Research figures from November showed that Sydney's property listings were 11.8 per cent higher than the year before. This festive season might be particularly fruitful, with more homes around and fewer people trying to buy them.
But you'll need the right help
Unfortunately for people in search of a property, many of the people going away on holiday will be the solicitors they need to complete the property buying process. A buyers' agent can get you access to off-market homes and represent you at the negotiating table, but the paperwork still needs to be done by a legal professional.
There could be very appealing conditions in the back half of summer.
Christmas-time properties come in many shapes and sizes. There could be prestige homes that didn't sell on spring that will re-list in January, that we can get you inside access to. Securing and closing a deal in its entirety is another option for off-market searchers.
And even if you decide that buying over Christmas isn't the right idea, remember the market is only closed for two to three weeks. In January everything will roar to life again, and given housing industry commentary about a cash rate cut, there could be very appealing conditions in the back half of summer.
Whenever you decide it's time to branch into Sydney investment property, or to upgrade the family home, get in touch with a buyers' agent. We aren't just useful for getting your foot in the door on excellent homes during the Christmas period - we're knowledgeable professionals all year round.