Is now the right time to buy a holiday home?

Ultimately, buying a holiday home is a personal choice. But, for those getting into the market right now, there’s a window of time where prices will remain affordable

Is now the right time to buy a holiday home?
Is now the right time to buy a holiday home?

If you’re considering buying a holiday home right now, you’re not alone. With Australians currently forced to put their plans for international travel on hold and the cost of Australian holiday home rentals on the rise, it's no wonder more people are keen to invest in a holiday home to call their own. 

Like anything in life, buying a holiday home has its pros and cons. Here’s what you should consider. 

Pros of buying a holiday home right now

The pandemic has put the importance of lifestyle into the spotlight. Having a holiday home to escape to regularly can be an excellent way to improve your quality of life. If you would usually travel overseas regularly, this can also be a good alternative. 

With the costs of renting a holiday home soaring thanks to huge local demand, combined with record low interest rates, we’re experiencing a unique situation where it may actually be more cost effective to buy rather than regularly rent a holiday home. For those who have managed to save more during the pandemic - such as through forgoing the costs of international travel - the costs of a deposit may also already be covered.

If you already spend money on going on holiday in Australia each year, especially if it's to the same place, then spending that money on a mortgage on a holiday home may make sense. Not only are you spending what you would have spent anyway, if not less, but once you’ve paid off the mortgage you then own an asset which will grow over time. If you can’t afford 100% of the mortgage on your own, then you can always rent it out part of the year until you have paid down the mortgage.

For those getting into the market right now, there’s a window of time where prices will remain affordable. We’re already seeing prices in some areas such as Byron Bay rise significantly. Across the board regional home values rose by 0.4 per cent in September or 4.3 per cent year-on-year.

For those looking to rent out their holiday home for part of the year, there has been a sharp increase in rents, resulting in a better return than usual, at least in the short-term.

READ: 5 apartments for the professional couple in Queensland’s Broadbeach

What are the Cons?

If you’re looking to purchase a holiday home as an investment, it may not always be the best choice. The short-term surge in rental values might not last once the borders reopen and some people opt to head overseas for their holidays.

If you’re planning on renting out your holiday home when you’re not staying there, you need to be prepared to dedicate time and money to managing bookings, taking inquiries, cleaning and maintaining the property. This can prove burdensome for many people. If your holiday home is not your principal place of residence, then you may need to factor in taxes such as land tax which can impact the property’s affordability. 

If you opt to purchase a holiday home, you’re locked in to one holiday destination. For some people this may feel too limiting, especially once the borders open. 

Securing finance for a holiday home purchase can be more challenging. Lenders will look at the unpredictable rental income and may require a larger deposit, a shorter loan period or a higher interest rate. 

Ultimately, buying a holiday home is a personal choice. Talk to your financial adviser about whether it may be possible with your financial situation and consider your life and wealth goals. If you’ve always wanted to have your own holiday home and it’s an attainable and practical goal, then why not make it happen? 

David Hancock

David Hancock

David Hancock is a director and senior financial planner at Montara Wealth. In addition to his financial planning role, David is also a director of the property research company Binnari Property.

Holiday Home Investing Australian property market Short-term Rentals

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