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How do I know the best time to buy a house?

When is the best time to buy a house?

We live in uncertain times, but life goes on and this may be as good a time as any to buy a house at a good price.

Applying for a mortgage and investing in a property if you have savings and job stability should be the most important factors in making this important and wise decision.

It's true, the pandemic has affected everyone and everything, and that includes the real estate market. Besides, the rental sector has also seen the introduction of new regulations, basically affecting owners. Hopefully, though, things will gradually return to normal: prices will go down as the economy improves, jobs will be created again and confidence will grow.

Broadly speaking, it is not easy to determine whether this is a good time to be thinking about investing. For one thing, because buying a home clearly represents an enormous responsibility; and for another, it all depends on our individual circumstances. For example, moving out of the family home, looking for a bigger house and buying an investment property are three very different situations.

Here are some clues that may help you decide when is the best time to buy a house.

  • First of all, consider whether your current economic and social situation is favourable for seizing an opportunity. Unfortunately, many people are having a hard time financially, which may prompt the need to sell their house, and possibly at an interesting price to speed up the process. If you follow the market closely, you may pick up a good opportunity.
  • Besides, interest rates are really low (an average of 1.8% at the end of 2020 and a Euribor of -0.5%, according to official figures) and they are expected to remain that way for some time.
  • The second-hand market is even more optimistic: since the supply of new housing has decreased in the areas with the most economic activity (where there is the greatest demand), prices are likely to rise, whereas they will probably remain stable in the second-hand market.
  • Another thing to consider is that in the wake of the lockdowns and working from home, families are now looking for different types of housing: rooms opening onto the outside, balconies and even a small garden. If you keep your eyes on the market and are looking for the opposite type of housing, you may well find a very good price.
  • Looking ahead to the medium term, everything points to a drop in house prices right across the board. But that's not everything. You may want to think about your preferred type of property in relation to supply (for example, urban markets are more dynamic than rural ones).
  • Besides, bearing in the mind the weakness of the economy, the bottom may fall out of the market, which suggests it might be wise to wait a little. But not too much.
  • Another perennially important factor when it comes to buying a house is the time of year. Different studies advise against the spring: many people buy a second home to get it ready for the summer, so demand rises and pushes prices up.
  • In summer prices tend to skyrocket because all buyers jump into the fray, creating lots of competition. And since summer is when we spend money on holidays, it's not the best time to make large outlays... All things considered, the best season to buy is the autumn, when no one is thinking about spending summer in a new house and the people who are genuinely interested appear.
  • This is when demand decreases and prices fall and banks improve their conditions. And if you wait until winter, all the properties that haven't been sold during the year are still on the market so it's a good time to negotiate the price. However, if they haven't been sold it may be because they are less attractive.


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