The Benefits of Buying a Home in the Winter Season

Most sellers will opt to put their properties on the market during the warmer months, so there may be a little less stock to choose from in winter.

Sellers who do choose to list in winter may be trying to make the most of less competition from other properties, but they might also be much more motivated to sell quickly.

The number of homes on the market in winter traditionally drops away. 

“One of the benefits of buying a home in the winter months is you are generally seeing it at its coldest and most unflattering time of the year” 

This means homes that provide good natural light and are well-ventilated will be more obvious upfront, he said. Properties tend to present best during spring and autumn but these periods can hide a property’s flaws.

While some sellers like to opt for spring, winter is being viewed as less of a headache for vendors.While some sellers like to opt for spring, winter is being viewed as less of a headache for vendors. 

THE SEASONALITY OF HOUSING MARKETS

While traditional wisdom is that listings tend to increase over spring, the last few years in the booming Sydney and Melbourne markets have seen a slowing of this seasonal effect. This has certainly been the case in Perth where Winter has seen more property sales take place than during Spring for the past two years.

“Generally, the seasons do impact on buying and selling, however in recent times this has changed due to the supply versus demand positions in many areas of Australia”

However, on the whole, real estate does tend to “slow down” during winter, which could give buyers a better opportunity to purchase – particularly if stock levels keep rising.

“Most agents will advise a vendor against selling during the winter season, and if this is the case again this coming winter, stock levels may not be high enough for a buyer to have a large advantage”

But given low interest rates, he expects vendors to remain strong through winter, providing ample opportunity for purchasers.

The cooler months can reveal some subtle features in the homes you are viewing.The cooler months can reveal some subtle features in the homes you are viewing.

PULLING THE CURTAINS BACK

Winter can reveal many details about a property that buyers typically wouldn’t be able to see in the forgiving months of spring and summer.

The cold months offer a good chance to keep a close eye on the home’s heating, and visiting a home during a rainy period can identify any problems a home may have regarding drainage or leakage.

Traditionally a reason to wait until spring or summer was for better photography, but in the digital age images are enhanced to boost lighting, making it less crucial to sell during those months.

“If you’re selling in summer and you don’t have aircon in a south-facing room, it’s going to be extraordinarily hot. Likewise, in winter the sun might not be high enough in the sky and the backyard or courtyard doesn’t get much sun”

Some buyers may be hibernating through the winter season, which offers a big opportunity for those keen to get ahead of the pack.Some buyers may be hibernating through the winter season, which offers a big opportunity for those keen to get ahead of the pack.

HOME BUYERS IN “HIBERNATION”

There are great opportunities for buyers over winter, as many reduce the number of inspections they go to and interest in buying wanes in the cooler months.

Effectively, some buyers go into “hibernation” and reduce competition.

However, this lack of demand comes hand-in-hand with lower supply, given property numbers generally don’t pick up until late August/September. With fewer properties on the market, buyers should be wary of buying a mediocre property just because it was the best available at the time.

It is recommended against timing a purchase based on whether a season is busy or quiet, but properties are usually best presented in spring and autumn as these periods can hide a property’s flaws in relation to orientation and light.

“The importance of a property’s orientation becomes evident during winter, with north-facing properties generally being less gloomy and cold than other properties”

Photo Credits: Stocksy, iStock