Insight: How Smart Property Investment's editor picks winners

By Sasha Karen 07 January 2019 | 1 minute read

To find success in any property market, Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant shares the one question property investors need to find the answer to.

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Investors with a mid- to long-term goal in mind need to be thinking like a property economist or demographer, according to Mr Tarrant.

Speaking on the Property Investing Matters show, Mr Tarrant together with host Margaret Lomas answered a question from viewer Jaccob, who asked: ‘What are a couple of key metrics you follow in an area to signal capital growth is likely over the medium to long term? And where do you find your trusted data for this?’

“If you’re looking for medium- to long-term growth, you need to think like a property economist, you need to think like a property demographer,” Mr Tarrant said.

“What are the reasons why you’re going to get upwards pressure on properties in a particular area? That’s the key question you need to answer.”

The answers to this key question, he said, include infrastructure, government spending, job growth and wage growth, but not every answer will work in every situation.

“You need to remember that every single market is different. There’s markets within markets, different houses on different streets can perform differently,” Mr Tarrant said.

“Every single house is going to have wider macro metrics, which are going to influence the performance of that particular suburb or the region or town, but it’s going to get down to the actual house level where and how and why your property might perform in a particular area.

“There’s many, many factors.”

Finding the data 

Ms Lomas added that when researching, she first finds Census data through the Bureau of Statistics, which has the potential to contain outdated information.

This can be clarified however, by visiting local council websites and checking any updates for any particular sets of data.

She also said the Infrastructure Australia website and its state- and territory-based alternatives contain useful information about upcoming projects, whether they are funded or unfunded as well as when the project is expected to be completed.

“It’s good to look at that kind of infrastructure, bearing in mind that a new bridge connecting one side of town to the other isn’t always going to result in big property price growth, and you need many things to make an area grow, not just a single factor,” Ms Lomas concluded.

Traps to watch for

Investing with emotion is often the undoing of a property purchase. 

“A lot of the conversations I have with people are very sentiment driven, and it shows a lot of people invest through emotion, and it’s not always the best way,” Mr Tarrant said.

“Now, you can have an emotive to appeal to property investment in that I’m trying to achieve wealth creation through property because it gives me some particular outcome at a point in time," he said. 

“That’s okay, but investing in areas for mid- to long-term growth, it needs to be based on the mechanics of investing rather than what the sentiments are.”




Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

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Insight: How Smart Property Investment's editor picks winners
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