Property markets are picking up the pace after a quiet January and open houses are filling up again with potential buyers.
The auction market is slowly kicking back into gear in some cities and, just like cars on the road after the school holidays finish, the foot traffic on a suburban Saturday is about to increase in a big way.
Some of the cities with the hotter real estate markets once again saw hundreds, if not thousands of unhappy buyers go into the Christmas break, still empty handed after spending six months, a year or even more looking for that new home.
These people will return in the new year, if they haven’t already, more determined than ever to win their next bid. Most have probably been soul searching and revising their former tactics to see if they can come up with something more successful.
Whatever happens, the competition will be fresh and the buyers will be up for a fight. This extra competition means more people to trump your bid and more dream homes that you might miss out on.
This can be extremely frustrating, especially when the properties you believed to be in your price range end up selling for far more than what they were advertised, especially when your whole budget gets blown out of the water in the opening exchanges between bidders.
This can make you feel like the whole thing is hopeless, but it’s important to stand firm, stick to your budget and ride it out until your perfect day finally comes.
Getting flustered and paying more than you can afford, means your dream home will soon turn into a nightmare. We are already seeing mortgage delinquency levels on the rise in some regions where overzealous buyers bit off more than they could chew and will now have to either sell their homes, or, even worse have the bank sell it for them.
You might have your heart set on a suburb or neighbourhood that is currently just out of your range. Being flexible when choosing a location can save you thousands and protect you from the horrors of mortgage stress.
A cheaper suburb a few kilometres down the road might have similar houses for much less. When that suburb grows in value, the money will be yours in equity and in the meantime, you can afford to take a holiday or two, rather than pouring every resource you have into keeping your head above water.
The cheaper option is a far more healthy approach, not only for finance but from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. Hang in there and happy house hunting.
Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au. Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing. His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au.