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Buying property at election time: make it work for you

By Monica Boyd

It’s often the case that everything grinds to halt around election time, but could it actually be the best time to buy a property?

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president Rich Harvey reckons it could be.

Mr Harvey said there would be a lot less competition at auctions and open inspections in the coming months as many people tend to sit on their hands in the lead-up to an election.

His advice was to get in “while the going was slow” and take advantage of consumer uncertainty.

Mr Harvey said Reserve Bank of Australia figures showed that housing credit had remained stable during the first few months of the year, which suggested to him that market activity had already slowed down.

“Pre-budget or pre-election nerves might see this escalate,’’ he said.

“With promises coming from all corners of the political arena and less stability until the votes are counted, a quieting could be on the cards.’’

Richard Harvey said election time could lead to less competition at auctions.

Richard Harvey said election time could lead to less competition at auctions.Source:Supplied

Mr Harvey said it would make sense that if there were fewer people in the market buyers had a “better than average chance’’ of picking up a good deal.

“The herd mentality is to sit back and wait and see what happens, while the savvy buyer continues to monitor market conditions and buy prudently when the right property comes up,’’ he said.

Property analyst Michael Matusik of Matusik Property Insights agreed there were usually fewer buyers around in the lead up to an election.

“They delay (buying) due to increased uncertainty,’’ he said.

He said sellers who need to sell in the next two months may have to drop their price to meet the market.

“This election lead-up will have a big impact on investors,’’ he said.

“There will be very few new investment sales over next two to three months, especially to negatively geared property.

“Also very few new projects will be launched over the next three months, except maybe on the Gold Coast — which is going through its usual Teflon-coated recovery and upswing.’’

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said it worked both ways.

He said it may be the case that there were fewer buyers in the market with an election looming, but also sellers might decide to wait out a campaign or withdraw their property until a result is known.

His advice was to focus on buying the right property for you

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