Why you Should Buy your Upgrader Now! - March 2021
March 23, 2021 / Written by Rich Harvey
Aussies are famed for being ambitious, with one eye permanently fixed on the future, always striving for more and working hard to better themselves and their lives.
It’s no different when it comes to property, with most people having a mental picture of their ‘dream home’ that they commit to eventually making a reality.
In fact, most people I encounter in my line of work are thinking about their next place – their upgrader – while buying the one before it.
This begins with first homebuyers, who get a foot on the ladder and spend some time nesting and adding value before selling and moving up. It continues right through until eventually, at long last, they end up where they want to be.
Right now, we’re faced with a unique and time-sensitive opportunity. It’s one that means you should consider buying that upgrader now, rather than waiting any longer.
A couple of factors have fallen into place recently to make this stage of the property cycle a pretty unusual one.
On their own, these factors might not raise an eyebrow too much. But combined, they create a perfect storm and an ideal chance to buy well.
Firstly, the cost of borrowing is extremely low. Historically low interest rates make paying off a mortgage easier, so you’re able to service a larger home loan right now than you would’ve managed a few short years ago.
On top of that, competition among lenders is fierce. Think about it. Banks have come through a living hell thanks to a damning royal commission, a previous slump in real estate activity and a turbulent global economy putting pressure on money markets.
There are some exceptional deals out there. Savvy borrowers can truly have their cake and eat it too at the moment.
Secondly, property prices are coming off a lower base. This is thanks in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, obviously, which in its early phase saw median values across the country slip.
But right before COVID-19 was a thing, major markets – especially housing prices in Sydney – were only just coming out of an extended lull. For about 18 months, median values had been soft, before a recovery looked to be beginning.
And then, bam – global pandemic. What should’ve probably been a new boom period never really began, and so prices right now and below where they would’ve been.
Thirdly, there’s a lot of pent-up demand out there. This is largely what kept property prices from collapsing, as most predicted, during COVID-19.
People want to buy. They’re confident about making big financial decisions relating to real estate. You can see this in terms of how quick property is moving, the extremely strong auction clearance rates each weekend, and the start of sustained median price growth.
A new period of growth is beginning, and I suspect it’s going to be a prolonged and significant one.
Fourth, after sitting on their hands for a very, very long time, it’s now clear that would-be sellers are emerging from the wilderness. They can see the market rising and the demand simmering along nicely, and they want a piece of the action.
What this means is that a whole stack of new stock is about to hit the market, giving buyers more choice and taking a little bit of pressure off at those Saturday auctions. But more than that, it’ll provide some fantastic buying opportunities.
Everyone is playing catch-up after an unprecedented and unpredictable period. Agents don’t really know where to price stock at the moment, given it’s hard to compare and contrast. As more and more listings come online, I think there’ll be an opportunity for savvy buyers who are ready to move to swoop in and land a bargain.
In short, property markets are entering a period of renewed growth. Prices are coming off a lower base. Borrowing money is extremely cheap. Sellers are hitting the market and there are some reasonable deals to be had as stock levels increase.
With all of that in mind, why would you delay securing your upgrader? Will conditions be any better a few years down the track when you were planning on making a move?
I dare say they’ll be less in your favour the longer you wait.
If you’re in a well-paying job and can secure and service a loan for your next home, it could be worth buying now and holding it as an investment for the short the medium-term.
That way you can continue living in your current home while prices rise and hold an income-producing asset for a period of time.
It’s a strategy worth considering if you can afford it. It means you can beat any future price rises now, as a period of strong growth begins. You can borrow at a lower cost than you might be able to soon. You can make longer-term plans by knowing your movements.
And best of all, you have your next place – your upgrader – locked away for when you’re ready to move in.
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