On the one hand, last week’s auction clearance rate jumped back up to (79%, which even after adjusting for the rubbery figures is above 70%) and on the other, there is a growing consensus that the property cycle is turning. So what to make of it all? Is now a good time to buy or a good time to sell?
The answer is, “it depends”.
Whilst this might seem to be a cop-out, unless there is legitimate expectation that prices will change significantly in the short term (and we don’t believe that to be the case), the decision should be based on your current personal circumstances. As detailed in a recent article, two members of our sales team, including the writer, have bought property. We have confidence that prices won’t correct to any major degree. But neither do we expect prices to rise much, if at all, in the next 12 to 18 months.
Therefore it comes down to whether it would best suit your lifestyle to actually own a property. Just like it is more luck than cleverness to pick the right time to buy shares, property prices have made fools of many “informed” commentators and “experts”. But the clear evidence is that time in the market is more important than the right time to buy or sell.
If your plan is to sell in the next 12 months, it would probably be sensible to do it sooner rather than later. If you are going to buy your first property, it would be best to buy as soon as you are in a financial position to do so. Both decisions, for different reasons will take some of the risk out of the decision-making process.
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