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Buyers’ paradise? Why now is a good time to buy

There’s been plenty of shouting from the rooftops about the supposed return of confidence to the national property market lately, but is that really the case? Many outlets have reported rising prices and predicted an end to the lull in the property market (Australian Property Monitor, Domain []). But the recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest otherwise []. And they suggest it pretty strongly.

The ABS numbers show a national fall in house prices of 1.1% over the March quarter, bringing us to a 21 month long lull, the longest downturn in nominal prices ever recorded by the ABS. Adjusting for inflation, real house prices have fallen 10% since June 2010.

So why are we getting such mixed messages about the “health” of the property market?

The reality is that not all media outlets are created equal. On the internet, all and sundry can express their opinion and sometimes the opinions being expressed are intended to direct people to a particular action, rather than to inform them. We choose to trust the ABS figures because it is an impartial source. Unlike other providers of statistics, the ABS doesn’t have a vested interest in the direction house prices actually move in.

But what does all this actually mean?

Housing prices are down a significant amount. If you’re forced to sell at this time, then it’s not an ideal environment. However, if you are a buyer then it’s not just good news, it’s great.

In the current, slow moving market, buyers have a distinct advantage in terms of their ability to barter and get a great deal. Prices are at an all-time low and other circumstances within the market are causing some great properties to be put up for sale. If ever there was a time to invest, this is it.

Of course, the advantages change with the region. As a national business, we are aware of the ebbs and flows of regional markets. But the overall prognosis is fairly consistent in its trend towards lower sale prices.

If the housing market was a shop, there’d be a man out the front with a microphone bellowing about the massive discounts instore! If you’ve been thinking about buying, now’s the time.

It’s not quite a buyers paradise out there, but it comes close.

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