Buying Property At Christmas
Updated: Jun 6
With only a few weeks left before Christmas, many buyers have given up on securing a property this year. But there is still time to lock in a property purchase and by buying now, you could even save thousands of dollars in the process.
Fewer buyers in the market
With social calendars filling up with Christmas parties and holidays, there are fewer active buyers in the market and therefore less competition. This already places a determined buyer at an advantage and without other interested parties pushing prices up at auction or when placing offers, you may score a bargain.
More motivated sellers
The sellers of properties become more and more motivated to offload their properties the closer to Christmas and the end of the year it gets.
A lot of vendors may have either been trying to sell their property for some time or would have mentally set Christmas as the date that they want to have the property sold by so that they can start the new year fresh.
The closer we inch towards Christmas, the more motivated and potentially even stressed the owners who really want to sell their homes become. Imagine it being December and having to prepare your family home for the open homes as well as preparing for your Christmas celebrations and school holidays. It is a lot to manage.
Negotiations fall in the buyer’s favour
If a property hasn't sold at auction, the owner is probably very likely to be under some sort of pressure to negotiate a deal, either that day or in the following days.
So, even if you're not at the auction or registered as a bidder, be proactive and ready to pounce if properties you are interested in are passed in. Quite often, even if you were not a bidder on the day of the auction, you can still jump in there in the days following the auction and get a deal wrapped up on the following Monday, if not sooner.
Land tax is another big motivator. In New South Wales and Victoria, land tax is levied to the owners of the land after midnight on the 31st of December every year, if that property is not the primary residence. This means that any investors who are trying to sell the property and are above the land tax threshold in their state can be very, very motivated to sell before the 31st of December.
Public holidays and office closures
Many people believe that once a certain time of the year hits, it is actually impossible to make a property purchase. This is not the case – there is nothing stopping a deal from taking place on Christmas Eve or a public holiday if the parties involved want it to happen.
It isn’t just buyers and sellers who are motivated to make an exchange, either. Real estate agents also have the added incentive of trying to finalise their end of year sales. Just as most people are trying to wrap up their work before the end of the year, real estate agents are trying to do the exact same thing. There’s a good chance that if an agent doesn't sell the property before Christmas, it may remain unsold until February of the following year.
In the same vein, it may also be worth reaching out to real estate agents whose listings for the following year may already be in the pipeline but are yet to be marketed. If you can find out where these properties are, it will give you a head start on the rest of the competition when the new year kicks off, especially if you have been able to do some due diligence before a property has even been listed. This approach also gives you an opportunity to potentially secure a property off-market.
What to look out for
There would be nothing worse than finding the property you want to buy only to realise that your mortgage broker and your solicitor are both now on leave until mid-January.
Be mindful that to make a property purchase, you will need access to your solicitor, your building and pest inspector and your mortgage broker. If you plan on purchasing property at the pointy end of the year, make sure that they are still going to be around and willing to take your calls. Approach that conversation early on to find out their availability and if they are not going to be obtainable by phone or email, look into other options. Good luck!