New Year Cheer | Prepare Now, Smile Later

New Year Cheer | Prepare Now, Smile Later

Planning to buy in the New Year? Don’t be shocked when we say BEGIN NOW!

Procrastination was always my enemy at school and university. It may be a shock but I never did complete university, thanks to my habitual skill to prolong study, research and assignments.

Thankfully, I’ve bucked that trend, and learnt the hard way. Research, (groan), is still vital when you are searching, and buying property. Not just for a New Year Purchase, but for any purchase you do.

I’m highlighting the New Year because we’ve entered a very interest point in the market. In Sydney, it is no secret that the market has taken a slight dip and slowed down. Properties are staying on the market for much longer. In areas where we’d see a sold sticker up within the space of a week or two, we are now seeing stock wait for two months to be sold.

Some people have been taking advantage of other’s necessity to sell, by purchasing at what they perceive to be under-market rate. These same individuals make comments around Sydney’s over-valued market, and have made that comment for several years. What they forget to realise is the value (2-5% under current ‘market value’) is still 20% higher than where they used to perceive the market.

Don’t fall into the trap, and don’t expect a 50% price cut or similar on properties of interest. It simply won’t happen.

Research Correctly and Be Ready

At the start of next year, contrary to seemingly popular belief, the investors will most definitely be back. The dip of the market coincided with what I call the Spring Overload – where Sydney’s market leaves Winter, and people city-wide begin their marketing campaigns. There has historically always been a surge of stock at this point in time. Combine the slow market, with extra stock, and then the typical Christmas period slowdown, you’ve got the logical reason for Sydney’s slowdown. It is not necessarily a burst bubble.

Investors typically are not focusing on property purchases in and around Christmas. To them, that is family time. Investors time their investments around the financial year, whether they need to purchase before the end, or in the next financial year. Christmas is when they simply slow down and stop looking actively. Mid to late January, is where they will begin once again.

Know your suburb now

Research several suburbs around your suburb of interest intently. Use your holiday period, sit on Real Estate and Domain, and study it. Know the ins and outs, where the most sold properties have been, and where the majority of high sales have been taking place. Work out the key points of the infrastructure around your suburb of interest, transport links, and schools. Know the most popular streets and sections for renters, and be aware of why they move there. Know the demographic.

If your looking at a particular suburb, and you know the majority of renters are looking for a three or four bedroom home, because of the nearby school, capitalise on that. Don’t buy a 2 bedroom cottage around the acerage, as the statistics clearly show young families wanting close to the school is your key demographic.

Target it correctly. Know this now, and you can hit the ground running.

Get your ducks in a row

You don’t want to set out, see the perfect property, and not be ready. Get your contacts lists ready, agents to contact, emails to send, solicitors and brokers to contact. Have that ready, or know who they are, so if you see the perfect one when you start, you can pounce. Be ready before the others. The Early Bird Gets the Worm.

Don’t expect a bargain

Bargain hunters will be disappointed. There may well be bargains out there that you can get your hands on, but the bargain hunters aren’t the ones. Bargains are out there for those who intricately know the suburb, and the true bargains are ones that most won’t have even considered or realise.

Bargain Hunters that you should avoid becoming are the ones that are simply seeking a very under market rate. Don’t fall into this trap, you’ll waste your time, and be out of touch. Looking for hidden gems, reasons as to why the value may increase for whatever reason (re-zoning, new parks, schools etc). Find those, not the undercut prices.


The more prepared you are, the easier the January Rush can be for you. Each market is different, so don’t go off media reports on Mainstream Media. Realise the information yourself. Don’t generalise, and be specific. Again, always be realistic. If you know the numbers backward, and it works for you, then go for it. Research, plan, prepare and move.

And as always, good luck!

Image Credit: Hai Linh Truong (Flickr)


Michael Turner is a Property Development and Analytics Specialist operating in Sydney's Growth Centres and corridors. He is a Director of YPI, along with several roles at property development firms and agencies. He can often be heard on various radio mediums talking about Football and Property. You can find him on Twitter @mturnerypi or email him directly at

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