What's the best time of year to buy a house?
While spring is renowned as the time that sellers dust off their properties and place them on the market, this doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best time for buyers to go shopping.
One of the biggest issues with househunting in spring is the flood of other buyers looking to snag their dream homes, which increases competition and housing prices.
“There is typically a seasonal uplift in buyer numbers over the last quarter of the year, which means the benefits of a higher number of options to choose from are offset by a higher number of prospective buyers,” explains CoreLogic RP Data’s John Wright.
“Buyers may be better off when there are fewer buyers around in the winter months, at least from the perspective of being able to negotiate hard on price.”
Although there is a lot more to look at during spring, there isn’t necessarily more to choose from, depending on your individual circumstances and finances.
It may be just as beneficial for buyers to look around during slower months, as this will give them more time to consider properties, more time to negotiate and more time to organise their loans.
“Seasonal factors will always play a part in the dynamic of the housing market, but so too do other factors that are harder to anticipate such as changes in the regulatory framework that might make obtaining finance easier or harder, changes to economic circumstances or other things that can be absolutely unexpected,” Wright says.
Taking all of this into consideration, the best times to buy are as varied as the people looking. It is a good idea to assess what’s most important to you before following the crowd.
“Buyers are probably best positioned to use the timing that works best for them and their budgets rather than waiting for a particular time of the season where conditions might be more or less favourable,” Wright says.