You may have heard so-called property experts, coaches and gurus of various stripes talking of the ‘property cycle.’

These people – who usually have an expensive course, seminar, book or mentorship to sell – like to say there’s an infallible cycle that dictates when you should jump in or out of the market. They’re wrong.

If anyone asks me whether now is a good time to buy, I have a stock answer. “You buy when you are ready,” I say.

My observation based on 35 years of buying property and advising clients is that people sell houses because they need to, not because there’s a cycle that controls their decisions. Here are the real-world reasons people sell houses:

  1. They’ve outgrown their home and need a bigger one.
  2. They want to downsize and free up capital.
  3. The financial burden has become onerous.
  4. They’ve changed jobs.
  5. They want to get their kids into a certain school.
  6. They want to be closer to family.
  7. Their parents have passed on and they need to sell the old home.

People sell houses for these reasons, not because it’s ’12 o’clock in the property cycle’ or some other arcane reason.

Buyers are driven by similar motives, plus the need for first-timers to set up home. This is the stuff of life and it goes on year after year.

So is now a good time to buy? If you’re ready to buy, then of course it is. You will need a deposit, of course, and you’ll need to do your homework on the areas and types of property you can afford. In my research for Realyeti I’ve come across some stunning properties just outside Auckland, where a young family or first-time buyer could have an excellent lifestyle. One of these might be ideal for you – or perhaps you have different priorities.

Whatever the case, you should put in a bid because the property meets your needs, not because some self-appointed expert says there’s a property cycle that tells you when to buy.

Cast your net wide and see what you come up with. We’ll be here to help when you need to finance it.

Got a question about property or life in general? Send Sue an email.