When is the bottom, the bottom?

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There has been plenty of talk of late about the bottom of the Queensland property market and whether it is here or indeed has already passed. It is almost like a mythical beastie that everyone tries to identify but in reality few actually do. This is because – just like coming face to face with an ogre masquerading as a human – it can be quite a scary proposition. Well, it was the time I thought I caught a glimpse of one.

I have always said everyone has different bottoms (chortles inserted here please). That is what makes the world such an interesting place. When it comes to the property market, some people might wait for a time when they believe prices have bottomed out and when activity is usually also low. Others might wait for prices to start to increase marginally or wait for activity to increase ever-so-slightly.

Whichever timing is the best for you, buying property is usually the biggest financial decision you will make in your lifetime and there is likely to be a certain amount of stress involved, regardless of when or how often you buy.

In January this year, I took the plunge and bought an off-the-plan investment property. It was in an enviable location close to the city, had strong capital growth and rent potential and, well, the design was funky – I am a woman after all. At that point in time, I thought the bottom of the market had arrived. From talking to agents it seemed there was a little more confidence in the market, more people were venturing out to open homes, and the remnants of last year’s natural disasters where now nearly a calendar year behind us.

I signed on the dotted line within a few days of first seeing the plans and after doing so much extra research I thought that my eyeballs or my brain might fall out on my desk. Thankfully neither of those things happened otherwise it would be very difficult for me to write this column. I acted quickly because – just like my first property purchase – I had a good feeling about the development and it ticked all the boxes when I considered the various investment property criteria.  Was I nervous? Yes. Did I know with 100 per cent certainty that I was buying at the bottom of the market? No but I was prepared to give it a shot. So were plenty of other buyers I found out with the development almost selling out within the March quarter.

Five months on from that decision, the diggers have moved in and soon the development will start to take shape. I am a little jealous that I will never live in it, because it does have primo views across the river but apart from that I am happy with the decision I made. When it comes down to it, it is only you who knows when it is the right time to buy and in the end which bottom you would prefer.

By Nicola McDougall, Media and Communications Manager, REIQ