PURCHASING a new home can often be an overwhelming experience, especially when coinciding with one of the busiest times of the year - Christmas. What better way to start the new year, however, than with a new place to call your own.
With the national property market showing an increase in listing across the board, those looking for a new home may find themselves flush for choice in certain markets.
Demand for new homes is also seeing regional and rural centres experience greater competition for residential properties as buyers look to move away from the major cities in hopes of a tree-change.
Key findings recently released by SQM Research has found national residential property listings increased in October by 6.5 per cent - giving the thumbs up for a busy Christmas and New Year period for agents and buyers alike.
The research also found that all capital cities recorded increases in property listings over the month with Melbourne posting the highest increase of 26.7pc - 9,286 more properties listed than September.
Both Sydney and Canberra also posted large increases of 8.4pc each while Hobart posted 8.2pc increase, Brisbane recorded a 4.6pc increase, Adelaide 4.5pc and Perth 4.2pc.
If you're in the market for a new home in one of our major capital cities, you can expect to see average prices remain at around $550,000 for a unit and as much as $900,000 for a home.
In more good news for hopeful home owners, the RBA recently cut the official interest rate to a historical low of 0.10pc which is set to improve housing affordability.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Adrian Kelly said if the full 0.15pc point decrease was passed on to mortgage rates - in the context of other factors remaining the same - would improve by 1.7pc.
"The RBA is obviously throwing the kitchen sink at this pandemic and today's decision will definitely benefit home buyers," he said.
"For the June quarter of 2020, REIA's Housing Affordability Report showed that housing affordability had already improved with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments decreasing to 34.5pc, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points over the quarter.
"[The] interest rate cut, if passed on, would see the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments decreasing to 33.9pc," he said, adding the personal income tax cuts announced in October will further improve affordability for many home buyers.
"[Recent] housing finance data showed that September recorded the fourth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level since October 2009 on the back of improving consumer sentiment about purchasing a home, particularly amongst first home buyers."
For those looking to enter the market for the first time or, if you're simply wanting to change things up for the new year, make sure you know your budget and speak to your bank about your borrowing limit and whether a fixed or variable loan would suit you best.
There's nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to discover it's outside your price range. Once you've found your new home, ensure it's worth the asking price by organising a building inspection.
You don't want to have the keys handed to you without knowing exactly what you're in for down the track when it comes to any potential hidden nasties like structural issues or pest infestations.
Remember, once you've made an offer and all the legal work has been done, it can take up to six weeks (or longer) to finalise everything and reach your settlement day.
With all this in mind, and with listings aplenty, now is the perfect time to get started on the search for your new home so you can be all settled in by the time 2021 comes around.