At the local pub last night a young couple came up to me (having seen me there before ranting away about property) and asked me to express my views on the Croydon Property market in the December months. They were looking to invest in a small property, either a flat or a house, in Croydon.
My first point was that in Croydon, specifically the CR0 postcode (currently the best place to invest in my opinion, should your budget allow) you will find it hard to source a HOUSE. Croydon is now riddled with flats, and they should be the ones you look for in you are a FIRST TIME INVESTOR. In my opinion, you should look for a 1 bed or a 2 bed flat near East Croydon, South Croydon, West Croydon or Sanderstead stations. If you wish to go slightly further out, then you can look towards the Purley Station.
[A quick note on Purley, it is an extremely hilly area. If you buy a flat on say, Grovelands Road, which is going towards the Old Coulsdon side of Purley, those tenants of yours will not want to walk up and down hills (well, they may wish too), even if the station is just 15 minutes away. The closer to the station, the better, almost in all accounts. Saying that, there is always a tenant who does not want to be near the station, but the odds will be against you].
My second point was to tell them that, as buyers, while the property count may be lower than the yearly average, there are some bargains to be found. More importantly, the fact that the question was lingering in their heads was telling me that they had thought about this before, and in fact, it is a great question to ask.
December is the slowest month for Estate Agents, nationwide. Probably worldwide. Although business still resumes, it is just at a slower rate, where tenants are thinking of saving their money for the mess of Christmas and New Year’s, buyers are just waiting a few more weeks until everything calms down and their bonuses are in, sellers are normally a bit confused at this time of year, so end up just holding on a few weeks too.
Interestingly, a recent discussion with the heads of Rightmove (one of our advertising portals where we list properties for rent and sale), showed statistics that the December period is in fact the busiest time of year! And this makes complete sense… Now that everyone has time off, they will be searching for their properties, saving them for January when they will bombard the agents with enquiries.
And this makes sense… January is a very busy month for Agents.
Now, there is something I would like to express at this point, and I want you to remember, this is just my opinion. I think that December is actually a good time to buy property in Croydon. I know from first-hand experience, many sellers have their properties advertised on the market with the view to sell before the new year. What that means is, if the property is still on the books in December (having been advertised for a few weeks / months already), they will do two things.
1) they will decide to hold on to the property until January and try to re-advertise or
2) (and the one that I see most) they will sell the property at a cheaper price just to have the words ‘we have exchanged contracts’ said to them by their Agent before the New Year.
So, you could get a bargain if you play your game right. The good old saying ‘right place, right time’ definitely applies here.
I would love to hear your thoughts on property in the winter months, and your experiences. Or, if you are thinking of buying a property and just want a bit of qualified advice, please do not hesitate to give me a call on 0203 761 4332 and I will be happy to express my opinion on the property at hand!