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While looking at property data is a good place to start, investors should take a step back and look at what is really happening in an area.
Savvy investors should always go the extra mile to find the ground truth because property data doesn’t always match up to reality, and why wouldn’t you when it’s free?
Right Property Group’s buyer’s agent Victor Kumar advises investors to combine property data and “ground truth” when looking to invest in an area.
Steps you can take
• Walking or driving around the streets at different times of the day and week
• Talk to the local real estate agents and ask about the sentiment of the area
• Ask agents about the discount they’re prepared to take on behalf of the vendor
• Going to the police station
• Looking at crime reports
Taking that extra step
As statistics vary from one source of property data to another, Mr Kumar advises investors to compare multiple sources and take it a step further by talking to local agents.
This is especially important in suburbs undergoing gentrification, such as Sydney’s south western suburb of Macquarie Fields, an area that is shedding its negative stigma of past riots and being a predominately housing commission area.
When looking at sales results and properties sold in the area over past six months, investors should question the differences in prices and look at the changes in the area, he says.
“Macquarie Fields definitely has two different markets. One is brand new houses that are going for $450,000 plus. It’s a desirable area well away from housing commission,” Mr Kumar says. Then there is public housing being offloaded to owner-occupiers for under $300,000.
To better understand the reason for the differences, Mr Kumar says he drives past every property sold in the last six months in the area, see where it is located, and have a chat to the local agent.