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Hot Property with Mary Turnbull

The Year Ahead

Cityscape catches up with Harcourt's real estate guru Mary Turnbull on the current market situation and her predictions for the rest of the year.


I’m often asked ‘when is the best time to buy?’, with many clients eager to get the timing right and trying to anticipate the housing market. I always reply: ‘When you find your dream house and you can afford it’. However that being said, 2016 is definitely shaping up to be a strong buyers’ market, with all signs pointing to a stable year with no surprises on the horizon. And with some of the lowest fixed interest rates we’ve seen in years – and the strong possibility of further drops to come – combined with a stabilised property market and a growing number of properties available, it’s an excellent time for first homeowners to enter the market and for investors to add to their property portfolio.

It’s generally indicators like this that convince first homeowners that now is a good time to enter the market; rather than putting their money into renting a property they can instead increase their capital. It’s also worth remembering that property market and interest rates are cyclical – they’ll go up and they’ll come down – so if you are waiting for the perfect time to buy, it’s likely you’ll miss out entirely.

When you do find the perfect house, it’s worth spending a bit of time in the neighbourhood before committing – drop by morning, noon and night and at the weekends to get a feel of the area. Try driving to work from the location to make sure it’s something you could do daily. Is there a good school, supermarket and other services nearby? These are all worthwhile considerations.

While 2016 is shaping up to be a fine year for buyers, we’re also achieving great results for property owners, particularly with auctions. With more properties on the market, sellers will definitely benefit from sprucing up their house so that it’s as desirable as possible!

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