‘What time of the year is best to buy a house?’ is an age-old question when it comes to determining when first home buyers should purchase their dream home. In reality, is there any one time that first home buyers should consider buying?
The short answer is ‘no’ – you should consider buying when your circumstances allow. There is a misconception in the property market that warmer months provide more opportunities for house hunters and sellers, however, this may not be true as there are many factors that impact the property market – not just the weather, the seasons & the holiday period. As this year is almost over (already!), we take a look at the pros and cons of buying your first home in January and getting your first home loan pre-approval in time.
Disclaimer: The information throughout our website and this page is general in nature and should not be relied upon. Before making any financial or property decisions you should seek professional advice from a licensed professional. Please contact us for further information.
The case for buying your first home in January
Less competition – The month of January tends to see a significant proportion of the Australian population either on holidays overseas, on domestic holidays with family members or just relaxing locally with their loved ones. In Australia, real estate listings tend to be at their lowest point in January, as not many sellers want to sell when there is reduced demand for property due to the holiday period. This means there are fewer buyers looking, so you don’t have to worry about as many competing bids, and the lack of demand may even drive prices down.
Sellers may be feeling the pinch – In Australia, real estate listings tend to be at their lowest point in January, this is because not many sellers want to sell when there is reduced demand for property due to the holiday period. However, for the people that are selling in January, there is usually a reason they’re trying to get their home sold quickly – whether it’s a job relocation, tax purposes, financial difficulties etc… This can usually work in the favour of first home buyers as you may be able to negotiate more fiercely and reduce your purchase price.
Less choice – Whilst less choice can also be seen as a negative, the fact that there is less choice on the market means you will have a very narrow selection base of properties. In a market where there is a lot of listings, some first home buyers may be overwhelmed and not be in a position to pick a particular property due to the abundance of choice. Therefore, having only a few to choose from may help those first home buyers who find it hard to make a decision when there are a lot of options.
Most Australians want to sit back and relax during the Australian summer holiday period.
The case against buying your first home in January
Choice – As January is a quieter period, there tends to be reduced supply of properties on the market, which may mean that the fewer buyers are competing for the same property. Furthermore, first home buyers don’t have the choice of available properties to compare and determine which one is best for them.
Closing a deal – If you happen to find a property in January and your offer is accepted you still may have some challenges in finalising your purchase as some mortgage brokers, banks, conveyancers and building/pest inspectors may not be available because they are on holidays too – i.e. this may unnecessarily delay the process.
Note: At FHBA, our Coaches will be available during every Weekday & Saturday in January (apart from the Public Holidays).
Holiday stress – After a busy Christmas & New Years period with your family & friends and the year of work prior to that, some aspiring first home buyers may not be willing to take on the stress of searching for properties. If you’re buying a home during this time of year it can be a great holiday gift, but it’s also a stressful time of year, so be sure you’re ready for additional stress if you want to buy in January.
Can I get a home loan or be pre-approved in time for January?
The simple answer to this question is – ‘absolutely you can’. If you are eager to go property hunting in January, all FHBA Coaches suggest that you do get a home loan pre-approval at a minimum, whether that be prior to the Christmas break or in early January. Whilst staff levels may be low at some lenders workplaces, most lenders do get all their property settlements done prior to the Christmas break so they can start the new year with a clean slate. With this in mind, the first few weeks of January could be a good time to lodge a home loan pre-approval application if you are looking for a speedy response.
Our FHBA Brokers/Coaches have a lot of experience, and therefore, are in a good position to recommend lenders who can provide you with a speedy no-charge pre-approval, allowing you to hunt for your first home with a greater level of confidence.
If you are looking to achieve your Great Australian Dream in January, simply click here to book your complimentary chat with your first home buyer expert.
To search for a range of brand new FHOG eligible properties, please click here.
FHBA Co-Founder & Lending Adviser
Disclaimer: The credit license responsible for the mortgage service offered to clients is Mortgage Australia Group Pty Ltd, Australian Credit License (ACL) number 377294, Australian Business Number (ABN) 99 091 941 749. Mortgage Australia Group Pty Ltd is a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA). FHBA Pty Ltd is an authorised credit representative of Mortgage Australia Group Pty Ltd.