HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A FALLING PROPERTY MARKET
Challenging economic circumstances, including rising inflation, steep interest rate hikes and a looming recession ahead, have caused the property market to decline. The buying ‘frenzy’ of the pandemic property boom is over, and home buyers and investors alike are feeling wary about making the life-changing decision to purchase property in this economic climate.
Lloyd Edge, Founder and Managing Director of Aus Property Professionals, says “Already property prices have fallen in major capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and we should expect to see the market slow by a further 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the next few months. For savvy property investors and home buyers, the declining market presents an opportunity to get better value for their money.”
Lloyd has recently launched his second best-selling property book Buy Now: The Ultimate Guide to Owning and Investing in Property, which includes practical tips for people looking to buy a house, whether in a boom or bust market, and strategies for how to make the best of the economic circumstances that you’re in and use it your advantage.
Lloyd says “I began my own property journey at the age of 28, buying a one-bedroom flat on a teacher’s salary of no more than $70,000 per year. At the time I had no idea I was going to become a serious property investor. Fast-forward almost two decades later and I’ve grown my portfolio to 18 properties worth $15 million. I had to persevere and learn a lot of hard lessons along the way, and now I want to share my knowledge and help people find the same success in property as I have.”
For prospective buyers, particularly first home buyers or aspiring property investors, Lloyd shares his top advice from Buy Now that will help you to break into the market and get better value for your deposit:
Look for below market value properties:
A buyer who pays under the perceived market value of a property will have made instant equity on the property, meaning that they’ve made a profit from day one and can use this equity to keep building their property portfolio. To find a below market value property, one way is to use a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can help you buy under market value because of their negotiation skills, contacts with local real estate agents in their areas of expertise, and their ability to uncover off market gems. However, you can also do it yourself by researching the recent sales of similar properties in the same area and seeing if you can negotiate a better deal with the real estate agent.
So how do you find a below market value property and snap it up quickly for a bargain price? One way is to buy a property from someone in need of a quick sale. It could be because they’ve bought another house and need to close the sale on their current property quickly, or they could be a developer looking for a quick sale to pay off outstanding debts. However, this advice comes with a word of warning, as some sellers may want to sell fast because there is something wrong with the property, so it’s always advisable to do an in-person inspection and commission a full property report and pest inspection.
Be willing to negotiate terms:
In cases of motivated sellers, if you can be flexible on the settlement terms of your contract, this can put you a head above other potential buyers, as flexibility is a strong negotiations tool to bring to the table. If you are able to settle in as little as 21 days instead of the standard 35 or 42 days or offer an unconditional offer with no cooling off period at all, you could find yourself getting a much better deal on a property, and it will make your offer look far more attractive, even if you’re not necessarily the highest bidder.
Be proactive with finances:
Before you begin your property hunt, the first person you should speak to is a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker will be able to tell you what your borrowing capacity is, as well as help you secure pre-approval on your loan- this will ensure you don’t miss out on properties while submitting your paperwork and waiting for the banks or brokers to get back to you. If your finance is ready to go, you’ll have the option of making an unconditional offer. You’ll also be aware of any other conditions the seller has included in the contract, so where possible you can accommodate these for a greater chance of success.
Be known to local agents:
If you’re ready to go, reach out and get in touch with local real estate agents. Let them know your buying criteria and budget, ask to be contacted with off-market opportunities and when new properties are listed. Ask to be added to their mailing list, so you’re one of the first to know about new listings and to inspect a suitable property when it becomes available.
Lloyd says, “One of my favourite mantras is ‘No-one ever got ahead by waiting.’ Too often I’ll meet people who say they’re not quite ready to buy just yet, they’re waiting for property prices to drop or interest rates to go down. Meanwhile, while they’re waiting property prices start to rise again, and they’ve missed out on the opportunity to get better value for their money. My advice to people in this situation would be buy when you can afford to, when your finances are in order, and ultimately, you’ll be better off in the long run.”
About Lloyd Edge
Lloyd Edge is Director and Founder of Aus Property Professionals, is a buyer’s agent, property strategist, and author of best-selling book Positively Geared. His new book, Buy Now, is the ultimate guide to owning and investing in property. Lloyd was a finalist in the 2021 Real Estate Business Awards for Buyer’s Agent of the Year and Aus Property Professionals was awarded Property Strategist of the Year for 2022 by APAC, Australian Enterprise Awards.