Is now a good time to buy property?

Property investors often want to know the best time to buy their first or next investment.

Generally, when people ask “Is now a good time to buy property?”, they have two concerns:

  • They want to buy when the economy is set to expand rather than contract
  • They want to buy when the market is set to go up rather than down

While these are legitimate concerns, they’re misplaced, for a couple of reasons:

  • Nobody can ever know what the economy or market is going to do in the short term
  • Property investing should be about long-term wealth building not short-term speculating

Focus on your personal finances, not the nation’s finances

So when somebody asks “Is now a good time to buy property?”, my reply is: “The best time to buy property is not when the national economy is in a solid position but when your personal finances are in a solid position.”

If the economy is solid but your financial position is weak, it would be irresponsible to buy an investment property.

But if the economy is weak and your financial position is solid, you should consider buying an investment property.

Australia’s economy has grown consistently over the long term, and is likely to keep growing consistently over the long term, so the occasional downturn is nothing to worry about.

Furthermore, downturns are inevitable. Sooner or later, we’ll experience another recession. Sooner or later, every property market expansion gives way to a contraction.

Aim for time in the market, not timing the market

So while this might sound strange, I think investors should almost ignore what’s happening in the economy and the market.

I think it’s more important to focus on your own finances, so you can be confident of holding onto a property over the long term, even if interest rates go up or you temporarily lose your job.

Property is a great way to build long-term wealth because of the power of leverage, so if you’re in a position to buy, now would be a good time.

That’s why the key to property investment is not ‘timing the market’ but ‘time in the market’.