By now we've all heard of FOMO, or the fear of missing out. But this week we asked if FOMO alone is enough to justify a dive into the property market right now, particularly when markets in regional Australia have been running so hot.
A survey by comparison website Finder revealed just 35 per cent of Australians believed now was a good time to purchase, compared to 67 per cent in December 2020.
Like most things, it turns out the answer to 'Should I buy now?' is more nuanced than it might appear at first glance.
It could still be a good time to buy, even when prices are high, if you are sure you can keep up with mortgage payments. This is particularly the case if you plan on using the home as your main residence, economist Saul Eslake explained.
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But prospective home owners shouldn't settle for living in a property or area they don't like simply because they feel like buying a home is the expected thing to do, Mr Eslake said.
Alternatives could include 'rentvesting' - investing in a property in an area with good growth fundamentals and renting where you want to live. Or you could try your hand investing in stocks, with the usual prerequisite that the share market is typically far more volatile than the property market.
One person who seems to have no hesitation about purchasing right now is St George Illawarra Dragons star Zac Lomax.
The 22-year-old is understood to have splashed $2.2 million on a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home at Shell Cove last week, briefly setting a new suburb record before it was smashed again by the sale of 29 Campier Crescent for $2.8 million.
Lomax's new pad features double glazed windows and doors; polished concrete floors to living areas; in-ground pool with frameless pool fencing; and a home theatre.
It was on the market for 26 days, according to CoreLogic.
Lomax is understood to have been considering in Shell Cove for some time.
Keeping it local
It wasn't just about the money for the vendors of a four-bedroom home in the Port Stephens town of Nelson Bay.
Despite receiving offers in excess of $3.5 million they decided to accept a lower offer of $3.45 million, according to selling agent Dane Queenan of PRD Port Stephens.
The reason? They wanted to make sure the house, at 94 Government Road, stayed in local hands.
"There was a client who offered over $3.5 million, but the clients chose to go with the current buyers because they were locals," Mr Queenan told The Newcastle Herald.
"Most people would have taken more money."
Regional NSW top pick for buyers in 2022
A new report from Comparison site Canstar and property service Hotspotting has nominated regional NSW as the number one destination for buyers seeking capital growth in 2022.
"Regional NSW is one of the locations to experience the dominant trend impacting real estate markets across Australia - the 'Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle', which sees residents of the biggest cities relocating to smaller cities and regional areas," Hotspotting's Terry Ryder, who co-produced the report, wrote.
The report also nominated the 110 'rising star' suburbs and towns buyers should look at in 2022, with Dubbo, Goulburn and Warrnambool making list, as well as two Launceston suburbs.