During the past couple of years, increased savings and greater working flexibility led many Australians to leave the cities in favour of outer suburban and regional areas to build their dream home, Angus Moore, economist at realestate.com.au, explains. Competition for land saw supply fall in locations across the country.
“The big difference with this spring versus what we saw last year, or even probably the year before, is that conditions have become better for buyers,” Moore says.
“There’s a lot more choice — particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In fact, the number of properties listed for sale is back to around the decade average, which really wasn’t the case through the pandemic.”
Thinking about taking the plunge and buying your dream home? Picture: Stockland Newport
Buyers’ mindsets are also starting to adjust to rising interest rates, Moore adds.
“The rate hit 2.60 per cent in October, but we have a much clearer picture of where interest rates are going,” he says. “Buyers are probably a bit more comfortable with the trajectory than they were six months ago.”
Plus, for prospective first home buyers facing the tightest rental market on record, there’s a whole suite of government grants and incentives available to help them on their journey to home ownership.
So, with all these factors in mind, if you’ve been scouring the market and think spring is a good time to act, here are some tips to help you buy a property.
1. Know your financials
First and foremost, when it comes to purchasing property, getting your head around your budget and outgoing costs is essential.
It’s a good idea to visit the bank, a broker or a financial advisor to look at your earnings and figure out precisely what you will be able to repay each week, factoring in rising interest rates.
Remember, it’s not just the deposit you’ll have to factor in. Stamp duty, conveyancing fees and building inspections are all potential costs to factor in.
2. Understand your buying power
While buyer activity is picking up as greater housing supply returns to the market, many are still choosing to hold off. Buyers who move now will benefit from reduced competition, Moore says.
“This is obviously great for buyers as it takes the pressure off,” he says. “They don’t have this fear of missing out, which gives them more chance to think about their decision.”
There’s plenty of great housing options available. Picture: Stockland. Landscaping is indicative only and may show mature plantings which may not be mature at settlement.
Take the extra time to do due diligence, get to know the market and pick the home that’s right for you.
3. Consider buying new
Too many buyers make the mistake of sticking to the established market when significant gains can be made from a house and land package.
When looking for a bigger family house, homebuilder Anh Nguyen decided to build a two-storey home at Stockland’s Grandview Estate in Melbourne.
“We always loved the idea of building, and we thought we could do a bigger house with bigger bedrooms… It was basically a great decision for our family,” she says.
“The whole process has been amazing, especially the upfront nature when it came to financial costs.”
New communities have a wealth of great amenities. Picture: Stockland Grandview
Nguyen adds creating something from scratch was not only more affordable but also rewarding.
“There is nothing that feels like walking into your own brand-new home,” she says. “There’s that sense of pride and achievement.”
4. Choose a good community
Buying a new home isn’t just about the physical property — the connectivity of the location, local amenities and surrounding community are important factors to consider.
Look for a community with schools, transport, community hubs, sporting fields, and beautiful parklands — these often mean it’s a high growth area and may yield a bigger return if you do choose to sell.
Unique touches and forward-thinking designs make a big difference to a community’s liveability, Stephanie Mackenzie, Stockland’s general manager of community sales, explains.
Good community creators are always on the front foot, learning from their prior experiences to ensure they are delivering the best possible experience for residents.
“We’ve been tapping into what truly matters to our residents in terms of the community for over a decade now through our annual liveability survey,” Mackenzie says. “All these insights are used to shape future communities for generations that are happy, healthy and thriving.”
Bike paths and walking tracks are great for community connectivity. Picture: Stockland Aura
Also, keep an eye out for neighbourhoods that offer opportunity for authentic connection to make daily life more enjoyable.
“We stumbled across Grandview in Melbourne,” Nguyen says. “They had put a lot of time and energy into the planning with parks and bike trails. Just looking around the area, we felt like we were at home.”
5. Don’t wait too long
Home prices have declined due to the rising interest rates — welcome news for buyers trying to make their dream home a reality. However, the downward trend won’t last forever, cautions Moore.
“Further out from mid-2023, the fundamentals of housing demand remain very strong and we do expect prices to pick up,” Moore explains.
Remember, the home buying journey — especially when buying new — takes research, effort and time.
With conditions becoming more favourable to buyers, as well as great pockets of opportunity, it’s a great time to start the journey.
Want to make home happen? Find out more about Stockland Grandview.
All details, images and statements are based on the intention of, and information available to, Stockland as at the date of this publication (October 2022) and may change due to future circumstances. Stockland does not give any warranty in relation to any information contained in this article. Stockland does not accept any liability for loss or damage arising as a result of any reliance on this article or its contents. This article contains views and opinions expressed by customers of Stockland and third parties. The views, opinions and commentary of such parties may not represent the views, opinions and commentary of all customers of Stockland and other industry experts outside of Stockland. Stockland does not accept liability for loss or damage arising as a result of any reliance on, the views, opinions and commentary of such individuals