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A buyer’s agent’s guide to where to buy

By Hannah Blackiston
A buyer’s agent’s guide to where to buy

Here are the places to watch for 2017 according to Australia’s largest body of professional buyer’s agents.

According to Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president Rich Harvey, investors need to be on the lookout for suburbs primed for strong future growth – these are more likely to avoid the ups and downs of the property cycle.

“It could have planned government infrastructure developments, gentrification potential, or if it is already established, have limited scope for mass redevelopment — this means it avoids any potential over-supply,” said Mr Harvey.

Investors should keep an eye on the demographics of the suburb to pick where demand will be strongest, up and coming suburbs with new eateries or entertainment options are a good pick.

Another winner according to Mr Harvey is those areas aimed at families or professionals; areas which have recently undergone infrastructure development or already have strong infrastructure in place.

“Find out how many properties sell each year in the suburb, why people move in or move out, the demographics and trends including unemployment, the percentage of owner-occupiers v investors, median price changes and auction clearance rates and most importantly any likely increase in property supply forthcoming,” said Mr Harvey.

Location, location, location

Depending on the area, the same house could be worth a million dollars more. Keep an eye out for infrastructure and amenities, buying a huge house on the cheap won’t actually benefit you if nobody is going to be interested in the location.

Don’t move too slowly

For most people, purchasing property is one of the biggest financial decisions they will make in their lives. Because of this pressure, it’s easy to get caught up in the research and due diligence that comes before the purchase and be too slow to pull the trigger.

While it’s important that you spend time ensuring you are buying the right investment for you, it’s also important that you act swiftly once you’ve confirmed this. Failure to do so can be costly for your bank account, but also for your portfolio.


Where to buy?

Brisbane
“The best potential for long-term capital growth and stability will be established property within a 15-kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD, specifically those with value adding potential or in blue chip locations. If you’re looking for a ‘bargain’ some investors will choose to off-load units and apartments possibly at a slight loss in some situations so that could be also considered a ‘best buy’ but this strategy comes with caution as the unit and apartment market will stay soft of a little while yet,” said Mr Harvey.

Sydney
New transport links are going to be the biggest capital growth builders, as well as suburbs currently undergoing gentrification.

“The best places for investors to seek capital growth are those suburbs adjacent to new transport infrastructure that will benefit from reduced travel time and suburbs undergoing gentrification. Investors should also look to seek apartments and houses that can be renovated to boost equity,” said Mr Harvey.

Perth
“The best places to invest in the Western Australia market are within the Perth metropolitan area, ideally within a 25-kilometre radius of the CBD. If it is possible to buy larger land holdings with development or re-zoning possibilities in these areas they are almost always a sure investment at the right price,” said Mr Harvey.

Canberra
Mr Harvey recommends the Inner North corridor to tap into the light rail project along Northbourne Ave.

“I would recommend freestanding homes on 600-800-square-metre blocks in Downer, Dickson, Lyneham and surrounds, with a budget of around $750-850k,” he said.

Melbourne
“For units, Reservoir has excellent opportunities, but only in certain pockets. Being one of the largest suburbs geographically in the city, buyers need to be discerning as some areas are better than others. Heidelberg is a gentrifying suburb attracting buyers priced out of Ivanhoe. With good infrastructure including shops, schools, parks, hospitals and a train station, expect Heidelberg to perform well in 2017,” said Mr Harvey.

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