The property investment landscape is known to be unpredictable and ever-changing. But while no investor can control the movements of the market and the drivers that affect his property portfolio, a good grasp on relevant information can help one make smart decisions and ultimately achieve their success in the business of wealth-creation.
Many property investors are now feeling the effects of the amended regulations set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority regarding lending and interest rates.
Lenders have started to become more stringent on their lending requirements, apart from issuing less interest-only loans and “[looking] at the serviceability of people … [at] 7 per cent principal interest rather than 4 per cent interest-only”.
New as they are, these changes have already shaped the industry considerably—the property markets have slowed down since fewer people can afford properties and holding real estate assets have become more challenging for investors.
According to Right Property Group’s Steve Waters: “I think it is an issue that will unfold [but] who knows when … ? It might be tomorrow, it might be in five years’ time, but it certainly something that, I think, will affect the markets.”
“It’s probably … hampered different parts of the market from getting a bit of momentum going in terms of backward buyers’ growth or consumer confidence.
“But it was something that needed to happen—whether they were a little too early or a little too late is the argument … If they hadn’t have pulled some of these, certainly, I think, it would have been … a pretty dire situation,” the property professional added.
Like the changes made by APRA, there are several things that one cannot control in the property investment game, even when it comes to their own portfolio as the drivers for its growth are mostly affected by unpredictable market movements.
However, while these changes are out of your hands, you can definitely use the information you have to your advantage. Holding the right information and being educated enough to be able to process them well can allow you to make decisions that are most appropriate for your portfolio.
Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, who has successfully created a 17-property portfolio over the years, believes that it’s important to take information about the market and put them in the context of your personal investment journey.
After all, no one property investment journey is the same, which is why it is important to understand your goals, capabilities and limitations before even thinking about dipping your toes in the wealth-creation business.
According to Phil: “What we can control is how we use this information, how we observe the market, how we frame that or put that in the context of our scenario.”
“When you look at the goals of our portfolio, what are we doing? We are creating wealth, so we want to try and identify the assets that are going to go up as fast as possible and try to hold them for as cheaply as possible over time,” he added.
The bits of information that you get from the media, and even from forecasting, are important because these will help you make good financial decisions, provided that you know how to process them well based on your own financial situation and what you want to achieve.
Moreover, being educated on property investment will also help you filter out the unnecessary information that comes out from multimedia outlets.
Accountant Michael Johnson advised property investors to “take everything with a grain of salt”.
He said: “Obviously, there [are] some big headlines there, [but] how much does that really affect the day-to-day of the property market? I’m not too sure. Obviously, at a trend-level, [it may], but always take things with a grain of salt,” he said.
According to Steve: “The important thing is to make a decision [based on your financial situation]—[will it] control your cash flow, improve your cash flow, reduce your debt, [or something else]?”
“Burying your head in the sand or just being entirely oblivious to your own financial situation is dangerous,” the property professional concluded.
Tune in to Phil Tarrant’s first property update this 2018 to know more about how to reduce costs in your portfolio, as well as the metrics he and his financial team utilise to improve cash flow and achieve continuous growth.