Festive fervour – the benefits of acting during the holiday season

Wednesday, 6th Dec 2017

With the silly season just around the corner, it’s a busy period for many as they prepare for upcoming festivities or plan a holiday away. Often, big decisions – such as choosing an investment property – are either put on hold or are simply the last things that come to mind at this time of year. But what are the benefits of purchasing while it’s relatively quiet?

If you’ve already made the decision to invest in property, not waiting until general market activity is back in full swing can reap huge rewards. Purchasing during the Christmas and New Year season presents a unique set of circumstances that, if taken advantage of, can be a great opportunity for the astute investor.

The number of properties listed for sale will typically take a dive over Christmas and New Year, with a noticeable drop in activity in the market. With people generally busy or away during this time, there are less buyers around which prompts many sellers to delay listing their property or even to take their already listed property off the market until it’s a better time to sell.

The reduced number of buyers results in less competition for those buyers remaining, and while less properties to choose from may not seem like an advantage, what it can mean is that sellers who are still advertising their properties while others aren’t may have a very strong motivation to sell. For example, they may have placed an offer on a property themselves and need to sell their current home to facilitate the purchase, or it could be due to financial hardship, a change in family situation, or other matters necessitating a speedy sale.

When it comes to negotiating a property purchase, finding a highly-motivated seller works well in your favour, as the buyer. Knowing how desperately someone needs to sell can give you the upper hand, but also knowing the reasons behind the sale can allow you to make an offer that meets the seller’s needs while securing yourself a great deal, thereby benefiting both parties.

While not all properties being sold at this time of year have strong motivations behind them, the chance of this being the case does increase considerably, allowing those who are willing to keep an eye out the opportunity to swoop in and snap up a great purchase.

In the event that you don’t find that great deal in the last few weeks of the year, the fact that you are already closely watching the market puts you in a good position in January, when a lot of the ‘on hold’ stock comes to market. There will be more choice available, and you’ll already be on the front foot while other buyers are still enjoying the remnants of their glazed hams.

In summary, it simply comes down to: if you don’t look, you won’t see the deals. Continuing to actively look for properties while others are taking a break over the festive season means you won’t miss out on any great deals that emerge.