When is the best time to invest in the property market?

With the RBA leaving the interest rate stable, now is a great time to invest in Australian property

If you’ve been watching interest rates while you contemplate your property investment plans, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision on Tuesday 3 August 2021 (and again the following month on 7 September) to hold the cash rate at 0.10 per cent would have been no surprise.

In August it was the ninth consecutive month the central bank has chosen to keep interest rates at historic lows while the country continues to battle the economic impact of COVID-19. The decision was anticipated by experts (and armchair experts) across the financial sector.

Cheap credit, low stock, and high household cash levels have prompted many Australians to jump into the property market. And new lending continues to rise according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), with high uptake from investors and home buyers with more than one property.

In fact, the nation's property market has made an astonishing recovery while continuing to ride out the tidal wave that is the pandemic.

As a result, house prices have increased across the country, according to the most recent data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV). In the first three months of the year Melbourne’s median house price passed $1m for the first time, after a staggering 8.8 per cent quarterly price increase. This, despite the fact that at the same time more than 32,000 Melburnians quit the city in the 12 months to March, the most of any Australian capital.

So, how does this all of this data impact your own property investment plans?

The question on everybody’s lips is whether now is a good time to invest. And the answer is simple. Yes.

Here’s why.

How important is timing the market?

Waiting for the perfect time to invest is not only difficult, it will delay your entry into the property market so you miss out on great opportunities. Or worse – it will stall your property investment strategy altogether.

While timing a purchase well can be beneficial in the short term, it becomes less important for investors over time. A successful property investment strategy is one that looks to the future, and successful property investors will tell you time in the market is more important than timing the market.

Property values are always subject to market cycles. But if you’re willing to wait these out, you will outperform in the long term.

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How important is getting the best interest rate?

Sure, it’s great to get a good deal on your interest rate. But if you’re basing your move into the property investment market on this factor alone, you’re missing the big picture.

Market conditions do fluctuate and the rate you sign on for when applying for a mortgage isn’t the rate you’ll have for the length of your loan. Again, property investment is a long-term proposition. Short-term market fluctuations have less impact on your financial returns if you’ve bought the right property for your overall, long-term strategy.

Focus on the important things you can control – great location and growth potential – and you will reap the benefits in the long term.

Top tips for property investment:

  • Time in the market can have a greater impact on property returns than timing the market
  • Short-term market fluctuations have less impact on returns when you’ve bought the right property for your overall, long-term strategy
  • Timing is irrelevant if you’re not buying the right assets, so focus on location and long-term growth potential
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