Make your housing move this summer, then relax
As we come into the end of the year and get wrapped up in Christmas and holiday preparations, it can be tempting to put forward thinking and your potential property moves on the backburner for a couple of months.
However, many are realising that this summer could be a great opportunity to lock in their first or next home before external forces such as OCR rises and interest rates move the goalposts out of reach.
At Total Mortgages, we’re working with plenty of first home buyers who have their deposits together and want to lock in current interest rates before they increase further, with the Reserve Bank’s Official Cash Rate expected to peak at 5.5 percent in 2023.
In fact, we had our biggest month ever in November and we’re tracking to increase on that in December. So, why is it the right time to find your new home and secure a mortgage?
Firstly, residential house sales are picking up as we head into the summer months, with REINZ reporting a month on month increase in residential property sales of 7.7 percent from October to November.
Plus, the increasing amount of housing stock on the market means that buyers now have options. At the end of November there were 28,449 properties available for sale across New Zealand – an annual increase of 47.7 percent. This means you have a better chance at finding your ideal property and less competition, however sales are dependent on vendors being realistic about their pricing expectations.
In Hamilton and most other major centres, the median sale price continues to soften. This decrease in property pricing in conjunction with interest rates largely remaining steady until the next OCR decision on 22 February 2023, means buyers can breathe a bit easier knowing the market will have some temporary stability.
Government initiatives such as the First Home Loan scheme with Kainga Ora are also helping first home buyers re-enter the market. At Total Mortgages we’ve seen a significant increase in buyers utilising the scheme since the criteria widened mid-year. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out our recent blog on the topic as a start.
Looking more long-term, from analysing the property market statistics it’s clear the country is experiencing a less competitive market than a year ago, a trend that will likely extend into 2023. However, while many do try, it is hard to predict the ‘bottom’ of the market. Generally-speaking, you often can’t identify the bottom until it has passed and the market is heading upwards once again.
So if you find the right house you love at the right price, we recommend that you jump in and do not wait. Property is a long-term game, and you will reap the rewards later.
If you find a property that ticks all the boxes and need advice on the financial options that might be available, remember our team of trusted mortgage brokers are here to help you take the next step.