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Is this the right time to buy property?

Is now a good time to buy or sell a property? Source:

Property prices have fallen for the 12th straight month with Sydney and Melbourne - the two engines of country’s real estate price boom - leading the decline.

Sumer Bhullar has been finding it very hard for the last two years to cope-up with the fear of missing out.

“Most of my friends who arrived in Australia with me as students nearly 10 years ago have already bought their houses. But here I am still stacking up money for the deposit on my first home, wishing for the prices to drop,” Mr Bhullar told SBS Punjabi.

It seems Mr Bhuallar’s wishes may have finally been answered with property prices across Australia falling for the 12th straight month. 

Leading the decline in Australia's property market are the country's two biggest cities - Sydney and Melbourne - that were driving the property boom not so long ago. 

While in Sydney, prices are down 5.6% over the year, property value has gone down 2% in Melbourne in the past three months – registering the worst dip since 2011, according to CoreLogic data.

property prices
CoreLogic September home value index results

Experts warn the prices will continue to remain under pressure for at least the next 12 to 24 months.

“It is going to be status quo for the next 6 to 12 months and then come next spring the cycle might change a little bit, but in the short term what’s been happening in the past 6 months is here to stay,” Financial Advisor Nirlep Kalra told SBS Punjabi.

“The property market is really subsisted by the lending the banks provide and if you see the lenders tightening up the amount of money they are willing to lend to a person who wants to buy the property, I think that is going to play a big part.”

A file image of real estate signage
Sellers are finding it hard to off-load properties in the current market

While the falling prices are good news for first home buyers like Mr Bhullar, it has left Sydney resident Sukhmeet Saluja in a state of limbo.

“In this given moment, I am utterly confused,” Mr Saluja told SBS Punjabi.

“Now that the prices are falling, should I jump into the market and buy or still wait for the prices to slump further?”

Answering his question, Aman Deep Singh, the director of Credit Hub, a financial consultancy service based in Melbourne said: “buyers must remain vigilant.”

“If you find an opportunity, go ahead and strike. But there is no need to panic as buyers now have ample of time to make decisions,” added Mr Singh who acknowledged that there is a record number of properties on the market currently waiting to be sold.

Living this reality is Gurinder Singh Sachdeva who is trying to sell his investment property worth a million dollars in a southeastern suburb of Sydney.

“I thought there will be so many takers that I’d be spoilt for choice. But it’s already been over a week since the house has been up for sale and so far we have only received one inquiry and that too isn’t looking promising,” said Mr Sachdeva.

Property consultant Simarpreet Singh said the power has returned to the buyers.

“There are so many properties on the market right now that real estate agents are not holding as many auctions because there is no longer a competition between the buyers.”

“But if you’re a buyer in the current market, my suggestion is- find the right property and once you have done that, negotiate because the power is in your hands,” added Mr Singh.

Generic real estate images from the Queensland suburb of Stafford
Buy or Sell? Experts weigh in on cooling property market (AAP)

Mr Kalra, however, believes a wise investing philosophy is based on a long-term approach, rather than a speculatory one where people think that the next two or three years will bring them a huge windfall.

“Property is a long time investment. Nobody should look at property particularly as a means to get rich overnight.”

“If they want to buy a house and they think the value will substantially go up in the next one or two years and that they would make a decent profit out of it, I don’t think that should be the approach they should be taking. They should rather be taking a long-term view, and long-term is seven years plus,” added Mr Kalra.

Disclaimer: The views presented by the experts in the article are general and must not be taken as financial advice.

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