Easter is a time to kick back and relax. But what if you can do this while simultaneously using savvy tips to jump-start your property research without leaving the comfort of your chair?
Jumping online is often the first step for many investors. However, the sheer volume of resources available can make wading through the web overwhelming.
So where should you start?
While nothing beats physically visiting the area, Right Property Group’s buyer’s agent Victor Kumar says the first factor investors should consider is new infrastructure that will be built in the area.
This information can be found on council websites, or by doing a simple news search on Google, Mr Kumar says.
To trim down the time of attending every open inspection and to effectively create a shortlist, investors could also use Google Street View to see what the local area looks like.
Typing in the address of the property to Google to see if it has been previously advertised could also be useful, Mr Kumar adds.
Looking for a trend
While historical property data can tend to look backwards rather than forwards, it may still be valuable for investors who are trying to get a feel for how the market is travelling and to identify a trend.
RP Data, Australian Property Monitors, SQM Research, domain.com.au and realestate.com.au are just a few websites to consider for comprehensive suburb reports, vacancy rates and stock on market data.
According to Australian Property Monitors’ senior economist Andrew Wilson, house price movement is a key indicator investors should look at when assessing a suburb’s investment potential.
“House price data is a key signal that prices are rising,” Mr Wilson says, adding that it is also important to note the trend of the price rise.
“These things don’t just happen overnight. They always tend to work in a trend over a period of time, [and] that is where investors tend to become more interested in that particular area.”
Mr Wilson adds it is also important to note the changes in supply and demand in an area, which investors can assess by looking at the amount of listings versus the number of sales.
“More sales in line with price growth means increased popularity and increased demand,” Mr Wilson explains.
“If sales are rising at a higher rate than listings, that is if you’re getting less listing to sales, there’s more competition for properties because there are less properties on offer for the number of buyers that there are.”
Commenting on the leading indicators experts use to assess a suburb’s investment potential, SQM Research’s managing director, Louis Christopher, says he is keen to understand the rental market by looking at the vacancy rates and whether the suburb is a landlord's or tenant’s market.
“I would like to look at housing supply, so I’ll follow stock on market. I’ll also look at how many established properties there are in an area, and whether that’s been rapidly increasing or not,” Mr Christopher says.
While property data is important, he says investors who are looking to invest in property over the long term or to build a portfolio should spend time researching the pros and cons of the data sets, and work with that.
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