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Investment tip: Why investing in underdog areas could be worth the risk

By Bianca Dabu
investment tip, underdog areas, investing, property market

When many property investors and professionals were talking about the good markets in Sydney, Central Coast, and Newcastle, Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant decided to buy his asset in a suburb considered to be an “underdog area”: Port Kembla, south of Wollongong.

As he looks into growing his 17-property portfolio, Phil is currently going through the process of refinancing one of his properties to extract some cash and get him ready for his next purchase. For his Port Kembla property, he is also looking to get a line of credit put against it in order to free up some liquidity.

According to the property investor: “So rather than ‘refinancing' … and pulling out a chunk of cash, we're just going to leave it parked in a facility ... If we're not drawing down on it, it's not costing [us any money].”

“It means that we can strike when the opportunity arises, and that property we have down in Port Kembla's done pretty well in terms of capital growth,” he added.

After the property’s settlement in 2014, it’s $320,000 value of the duplex pair has already gone up to around 50 to 60 per cent. Even though it’s not a particularly beautiful property, it remains valuable because of how much it had contributed to Phil’s property portfolio.

His buyer’s agent Steve Waters said: “It's not the prettiest property in the world by any means, but it's done its job … The reason that was bought was for growth and instant equity, and it's done that.”

Investing in the Wollongong area

When the property in Port Kembla was purchased, Wollongong was considered an “underdog area” because everybody was fixated on the state of cities and suburbs like Sydney and Newcastle. Instead of going where most people are, Phil and his financial team decided to take advantage of the fact that there is less competition in the Wollongong area.

“Everybody was talking about Sydney, everybody was talking about the Central Coast and Newcastle, but everyone was forgetting about Wollongong… so we took advantage of that and bought as much as we could,” Steve shared.

Although there have been some issues with tenants in the beginning because of the fact that it’s not the most glamorous property in the area and is, therefore, at the lower-end of the market, it has remained as one of Phil’s best-performing assets. After they have found great tenants, the only problems they faced during the past years were general maintenance and repairs.

According to the buyer’s agent: “There will from time to time be things to do, but we don't want to spend a lot because eventually, we are going to bowl it over and build something else … The least we spend on it now, the better.”

Eventually, this property in Port Kembla will make way for a new purchase and, ultimately, the continuous growth of Phil’s property portfolio. Right now, the property investor and his team are looking for opportunities in the market, aiming to buy properties with the “X factor”.

Steve explained: “The portfolio now is at a size where we don't need the bread and butter and just growth and good locations and fundamentals and what have you. We need to be looking for … chunk opportunities where we can add value.”

“Whether that be by subdivision, building ... a massive renovation ... Something that gives a really good input to the equity position … [and has a] sufficient cash flow to accommodate it,” he added.

Tune in to Phil Tarrant’s portfolio update on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the current state of different Australian property markets and where they are headed, as well as the best suburb for your next investment property. 

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(1540) "

Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
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Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
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  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
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The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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