That is the million dollar question (often literally). A better one might well be is there a best time to buy a condo? The answer to that is yes, but it almost certainly is different depending on your circumstances, why you are looking to buy, where and what you are looking to buy. That is why you can ask a dozen people, and look at another dozen articles asking when is the best time to buy and you will end up with 24 conflicting answers.
Last year (2017), most people were expressing an opinion that 2018 would be a “good time to buy”. Among the number of reasons that were wheeled out to back up this theory two kept being mentioned. The first was that the market had been declining every quarter for over a year and a half, so surely it was time to start going back up. There is logic in that, but almost the same argument could have been put forward four months earlier. The market will go up, the point is,when? Of course, armed with the knowledge that in all likelihood the market will start improving sometime in the future, as long as your outlook and strategy is long term enough then it is a good time to buy. It is just that there may be a better time in a couple of months (six months…) time!
The second reason that was often mentioned was the positive impact that en bloc sales were having on the market. As we have seen, there is evidence that that impact is slowing with the En bloc fever showing signs of a slowdown Since those proclamations were made last year of course, the government has stepped in with cooling measures, increasing ABSD rates and tightening LTV limits.
This just shows that it is not a static market. There are so many external influences affecting it that are impossible to predict. The one thing that you do know is your own circumstances, and they are almost as important as the external ones. For example, the increasing of the ABSD rates does not affect first time buyers. They only represent a part of the market, but developers will be aware that demand could well drop as a result of the measures and will be willing to drop prices, or make deals to shift units. So, for first timers, those measures could have a positive impact on their particular situation.
Another major factor that effects your circumstances is the reason you want to buy. If you are doing it purely as an investment, then the timing is more crucial. If you are looking for a place for you and your family to make a home, then the most important issue is if there is something available in the location you want to live that falls within your budget. The fact that the times are deemed unfavourable by investors is neither here nor there, and once again decrease demand may actually give you the upper hand when negotiating for your future home.
So, returning to the question, it is nearly always a best time to buy for someone, but very rarely a best time to buy for everyone. The key thing is to focus in on what your needs are, what are the issues that affect you, and then see if it is a good, or best, time for you.
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