Is now the best time to find a home loan? Andrea Sophocleous investigates.
November 30, 2009
Summer is a time for family gatherings, beach holidays and long, lazy afternoons. For savvy home buyers, it may also be a good time to snap up your dream home and score the best home loan deals on the market.
As the weather warms up, the property market cools down – which is good news if you are looking to buy. With fewer people on the hunt for a new home, there is less pressure on lenders as the number of home loan applications slows down. Your chances of finding the home loan that best suits your needs are better than ever.
Spring is traditionally a bumper period for real estate agents and home loan lenders – the number of properties going on the market goes through the roof as sellers attempt to grab the attention of buyers keen to buy and settle into a new home before Christmas.
Heidi Armstrong, director of State Custodians Mortgage Company, confirms that demand for home loans drops off in January following a hectic lead-up to Christmas as buyers push to settle and move in for the holidays. “If people wait until the new year, it’s more likely to be February,” Armstrong says.
In a quiet month like January, lenders will be able to process your home loan application faster, she adds. “So going in and buying during those months will be a great idea.”
Chris Wilkins, director of Ray White Drummoyne in Sydney’s inner west, agrees. “The property market tends to ease a bit going into the summer months…” he says. “This is good news for buyers as there are fewer people looking, but also for sellers, because there are fewer houses on the market and less competition for buyers.”
The number of Australians searching for home loans dropped 30 percent last summer (December 2008 to February 2009) compared to the spring months, according to RateCity research. And with the First Home Owners Boost ending on December 31, expect a bigger drop in demand from first-time buyers this year.
If you can cope with the rising interest rates – and remember, they are merely coming back to normal levels after a 50-year low – it may be worth waiting until everyone is on holidays in January to go house hunting.
Demand and supply for properties will vary, depending on where you live, so research is essential. Some suburbs are expecting up to a 75 percent drop off in sales demand such as in the Sydney beach suburb of Bondi, according to real estate agent Mary Anne Cronin, principal of Raine & Horne Bondi Beach.
Any way you look at it, January is a good month to buy a home. On RateCity, you can research and compare over 2,000 home loans to help you on your journey of owning your very own home.