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Winter: A Golden Buying Opportunity - June 2022

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

 

Think about the opening scene of a movie set in an ice-laden landscape. A frosty wind whipping across the frozen tundra with a heavy, low bank of bank of cloud threatening to dump more snow … dire, dark and grey.

That’s the way many people seem to view Australia’s property market activity in June each year. They’ve seen the joyful abandon of spring when new listings plaster the pages of online portals. Freshly painted, gardens groomed and all looking their best.

It begs the questions, why would anyone venture out to buy in winter when they can wait for September and celebrate real estate in springtime?

Especially this year when the cold season arrived with some extra chill for property people.

Along with cooler temps came the buffeting headwinds of a federal election, ongoing international tensions, the unrelenting tail of the pandemic, supply line delays and materials shortages, cost of living pressures and interest rate rises.

But if all of this sounds dismal, let me be the bluebird of happiness to brighten your demeanour.

You see, after many years in this industry, I can tell you with confidence that winter delivers an excellent and often ignored opportunity for property buyers, and 2022 is no different.

Here’s four reasons why winter is a great time to purchase a home or investment.

 

Less competition

Winter tends to cause us humans to do one of two things – hunker down at home, or escape to warmer climes. As it happens, both take potential buyers out of the market.

Many Aussies are taking advantage of our borders reopening to travel somewhere warm both domestically and overseas. They’re putting off big property decisions and simply enjoying the chance to be away.

For those who decide not to travel (or can’t due to circumstance) the default setting is often one of simply getting comfy. Nothing looks more inviting on a freezing day than your doona, a soft lounge and a warm beverage. Who wants to wander around open homes when it’s so frigid outdoors!

The upshot is that there’s less buyer activity during winter. For those who do venture out and consider their real estate prospects, you’ll find it’s far easier to get the agent’s attention. Believe me, they’re returning calls quickly and are keen to deal. There are simply far fewer buyers for them to choose from in the colder months.

 

Sellers are more eager

Given winter is a time when homes aren’t looking their best, why would anyone choose to list their property for sale?

Well, there are multiple reasons they may list, and all revolve around personal circumstance. Perhaps they’ve bought elsewhere and need to sell up? Maybe they’re moving to a new suburb, or even state.

Whatever the reason, they have chosen to put their property up for sale during the dankest of seasons – both weather and sales activity wise.

This tells me they’re ready to do a deal. Combine that with low potential buyer numbers and you can see how the pendulum swings back in the purchaser’s favour.

 

Approaching EOFY

We should also note winter heralds that other joyous calendar event – the end of the financial year.

This is a time of year when investor owners are focused on their finances. It can be a moment when they realise contracting a sale prior to the end of June could avoid a potentially expensive bill from the ATO in the next financial year.

If you’re looking at listing before EOFY and there’s a tenant in place, there's a chance the sellers will be wanting to wrap up a contract quickly. Ask the right questions of the agent, and read the signs correctly, and you might be able to take advantage of circumstances during the negotiations.

 

The property is stress tested

Most of us look our best when the conditions are right – the same applies to property in spring.

September sees the weather dry, temperatures warm and gardens bloom – every home is a picture postcard of presentation. In addition, dry, warm conditions mean the home you’re inspecting will be moisture free and a very comfortable temperature inside.

But the same home in winter will have its limits tested. Are the roof and joints holding up to rainy downpours? Where are the cool breezes getting through the gaps? Are the cooling and heating systems functioning adequality to make it all liveable? What’s dying off in the garden and requires a heap of maintenance?

Winter is a home’s rugged testing ground. You want to see how it will cope with trying conditions, so you know exactly what you’re buying.

 

Don’t be fooled into following the crowd. Putting off your next purchase until the weather warms could see a golden opportunity slip through your finger – particularly now as prices ease.

If you have the means and the motivation, start your hunt in winter. Better yet, call in a professional to buy on your behalf. We can tackle the tough work to secure a deal that meets your need. Let the glow of those hot property prosects warm you, while your competing buyers stay home and miss the opportunities.

 

 

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