Is there time to grab a property bargain before Xmas?

There are only a couple of weekends left before Christmas, so is it time to give up the property hunt? After all, it’s been a pretty exhausting year in some markets (particularly Sydney and Melbourne) with crazy price growth and soaring auction clearance rates, so should we just know when to give up looking for a property bargain and hope we fare better next year?

I must admit that I have been tempted to just give in to the silly season and start holidays early. BUT over the last couple of weeks I have noticed some interesting emails popping into my inbox.

The first lot of emails have been about “forthcoming auctions” with February dates already set. And the fact that they are opening their property for the first inspection so far in advance means they would prefer to sell now rather than wait. Could be a good opportunity to pounce while most other buyers are off shopping and partying.

The second run of emails were notifications of “off market” listings – these aren’t even scheduled to hit the internet until next year. These vendors are being careful not to over-expose their properties so they may not be the most motivated sellers but if it’s a good piece of real estate you may get a clear run before the new year brings out a fresh lot of buyers to compete with

The third set of emails were about price drops for existing listings. These are the properties whose vendors have suddenly realised that if they want to sell before Xmas they need to do something fast. And there is nothing like a dramatic price drop to show buyers that you mean business. So a motivated vendor with an over-exposed property and a deadline = good bargain potential.

Nearly every real estate agent closes between Xmas and New Year so we won’t see much in the way of new stock hitting the market until mid January, with new auction campaigns to commence in earnest the weekend following Australia Day. That means that there is really a two month period where listing numbers are way down. So, if you don’t buy this side of Christmas, it could be autumn before you get another decent opportunity!

The upshot? Well, I have not yet given up the hunt for the year – but I will remain as careful as ever and, bargain or not, I won’t be nabbing any lemons just because they’re cheap.

Further reading:

Is The Sydney Property Market Slowing? 5 Signs To Look For…

Published: December 2014

Please note: Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.

Free e-book for Owner Occupiers

7 Steps To Buy Your Dream Home

Free e-book for Investors

How to Choose a Low Risk Investment Property