What matters when buying your first home 

What matters when buying your first home 

First home buyers have significantly reprioritised what matters most when searching for their ideal home, according to the Westpac’s Home Ownership Report.  The research, commissioned by Westpac surveyed over 1,000 Australian home owners and first home buyers, and features trend data from the past two years.  The latest report demonstrates that first home buyers are less focused on buying a home in an area that is trendy or close to work, with both significantly decreasing in the ranking of “essential features” by 83 percent and 48 percent respectively.  A quiet neighbourhood, access to public transport, and safety are features that have also become less important during the decision-making process, with each decreasing by 37 percent, 21 percent and 9 percent respectively.  Andy Wright, Head of Home Ownership for Westpac Group, said in the face of housing affordability challenges and rising household costs, the research suggests first home buyers are becoming increasingly flexible and willing to shift their priorities in order to achieve their ultimate goal.  “These attitudinal shifts among first-home buyers towards home ownership suggest we may see more looking to buy in areas that they hadn’t considered, with many previously thought ‘essential’ features now just ‘nice-to-have’,” Wright said.  “In fact, the market saw home loans to first home buyers recently rise to a four year high, which suggests we may be already seeing the positive results of these shifts, combined with government incentives in New South Wales and Victoria.”  First home buyers are turning their attention to the inside of a home instead, as modern bathrooms and kitchens become more essential, increasing in priority by 25% and 10% respectively.  Nearly...
Why property investors must pay attention to ‘mini CBDs’ 

Why property investors must pay attention to ‘mini CBDs’ 

Contrary to the belief that the best areas to purchase properties in are capital cities and central business districts, many investors are now looking into smaller CBDs as the next hotspot for property investment.   Sydney and Melbourne are considered gateways of Australia’s expanding population, but migrants are not the biggest factor to consider when scouting for a location.   Here The Demographics Group’s Bernard Salt, offers some opinion on smaller CBD’s. Although migrants are “fuel into the greater furnace”, there is a more important question to be addressed: “How will this area look like with five million people? How about with eight million and so on?”   He explained: “At five million, you’ve got Sydney CBD and the inner suburbs … There’s been growth around Chatswood at a business hub, around Ryde and Epping … [and] Parramatta.”   “By 2050 there will be hubs, I think, particularly around Parramatta … and Blacktown [and] Badgerys Creek … Genuine satellite cities. “ “Sydney at eight million people cannot continue to have people living on the edge, getting on the train in the morning, and commuting into the city centre. What will happen is that the city centre jobs will start to be replicated in stronger, suburban, regional centres,” the social commentator added.  Bernard gets into details about how people create “mini CBDs” within a metropolitan area, and what this could mean for property investors all over the country:    How will you compare Sydney to other capital cities in the world?  Bernard: Los Angeles doesn’t really have a single CBD the way [that] Sydney does. There’s something in the CBD, but there’s also at Anaheim, also in Orange County, also at Irvine, also in the San Fernando Valley.  When you get to cities that...
Interstate investment: Don’t just look at the price.

Interstate investment: Don’t just look at the price.

When making the jump to investing in an interstate property, there’s more than just a price point that needs to be considered. Property investors who only look to their immediate cities could be short-sighted and should consider opportunities further afield. However, in doing so, investors need to focus on more than just compelling price points. There are different property cycles across the Australian economy all the time so investors considering an interstate purchase need to be aware of what is occurring in their target areas and can do so by seeking out the experts in those locations that have proven track records. The second step is assessing the vacancy rates. Low vacancy rates is always a good indication of how an area is performing, and there are quite easy ways for investors to access this information online. Investors should also look to where there’s good infrastructure going in, where the state has made a good investment in a particular area that should help to develop that location on the back of the infrastructure going in. Investors need to watch out for high vacancy rates as another guide. Are there high levels of over supply? This means that investors should be cautious. It’s really about doing your investigations, finding out who the experts are in a particular area and going to consult with them, look at their testimonials around their success and choosing them on that basis. It’s very hard to try to be an expert in a different area yourself and we should be very careful about buying in another state just because the price point is compelling alone....
A checklist for off-the-plan success 

A checklist for off-the-plan success 

Every area and property is different, there are certain things to look out for across the board. Here are some key things to check when purchasing property:  Uniqueness  Look at the nearby area of any proposed investment property and do some research on how unique the property is for the area. This will inform whether there is a desire within the local community for a rental property such as this, and therefore, whether it will be easy to find tenants.   Infrastructure  Always look at infrastructure or impending infrastructure of the development if you’re buying off-the-plan.  Some developments have their own infrastructure, so the proximity of a resident to places like supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas and so on is not an issue – residents can park their car and get groceries on the way to their apartment.  Then there’s external infrastructure to consider, such as proximity to the CBD, hospitals, schools and transport.   Would I live here?  Consider the demographic of the people who would be looking to live in the development. Each development is different. Different apartments suit different lifestyles and budgets.    What will the area be like in five to 10 years?  Property investment normally requires a long-term strategy, so look at the last five to 10 years of population growth and property price fluctuations. No one has a crystal ball for property investment, but you can look at other factors in the area and make an educated guess.  If the local community has shown support for the development because it will bring much needed amenity to the area, and a huge amount of jobs you are on a winner. ...
Set a Framework with your Property Manager 

Set a Framework with your Property Manager 

As much as property managers want to give the best service to their clients, investors must also be responsible enough to reflect on the kind of relationship they have established with their financial team—how do they become a better client to attract the best professionals?  Being good property managers takes time and effort so having a client who is consistently proactive in pursuit of his own success makes work considerably easier and even fun.  First and foremost, investors must keep in mind that property managers are professionals—they know their way around the market because they quite literally spend every working hour studying it. It is, therefore, important for them to keep a clear set of tasks to accomplish every day in order to serve all different clients with different needs without compromising the quality of their work.  They know the market, they usually have a clear schedule. They know exactly what they need to do. They’ve got to set the task list when it comes to leasing a property, to managing a property, and how they address each of the items they’ve got to do.  The best thing for a property investor to do, is to have the same mindset. Being able to understand exactly what the investor wants saves both the property manager and their client from misunderstandings as well as wasted time and effort.  They might have an investment strategy, they might know when they plan on doing these renovations, what their targets are, exactly why they bought the property, what sort of communication they need, and what sort of schedule they want to be on.  While...
Tips for starting your property portfolio 

Tips for starting your property portfolio 

Starting your own property portfolio may seem daunting, although with a few sage tips you can avoid unnecessary pitfalls and ensure success!  Be clear on your goals  Be clear on what you are trying to achieve from property investing. Be specific about the financial outcomes you looking to achieve from property investing, and in what time frame you want to achieve this in. Property is just a vehicle to get you to the financial position to give you the lifestyle you desire – ask yourself, “is it passive income, or a net equity position, or is it a combination, and when do you want to achieve this by?”  Be educated  We’re playing with large sums of money, and most often buying a property will be the biggest financial decision you will make in your lifetime. It still baffles me that some people spend more time researching a weekend getaway than they do buying a property. There are some great online platforms including Smart Property Investment, Australian-specific property investing books, podcasts, online forums, networking events, and free seminars.  It’s in the strategy  It’s important to understand what financial outcomes you are trying to achieve from investing in property because this will dictate the strategy you adopt, and how passive or active you need to be. It’s also important to assess your risk appetite dependent upon your situation. Some well-known strategies are buy and hold, renovation, flipping, development, and joint-venture to name a few. It might be a combination of these, however always be clear on what outcomes you are trying to achieve.  Build your team  Once you’ve created what you believe is...