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How to pick a property hot spot

Dec 15th, 2011
How to pick a property hot spot
Dec 15th, 2011

By Gillian Bullock

If you are looking to invest well in the property market and buy in a potential hotspot then there are a number of essential qualities to consider so that you make the most of your investment.

According to demographer Bernard Salt of accountancy firm KPMG, for properties to sell at a good price you have to pitch to that particular market. And each market has its own unique characteristics.

Australia is made up of a host of different types of locations and environments which appeal to different people at different life stages. If you pitch to the right market and demographic then most locations can prove to be sound investments. What this means is you need to understand the needs of your potential buyers.

Inner city

If you are investing in an inner-city apartment then you have to align with the values of young singles and couples in order to have appeal.

"It's been said that you should look no more than 500m from a fixed rail station because young women do not want to walk home with high heels," Salt says. "And these young women also want to be able to walk past a good Thai or Chinese restaurant to get takeaway on their way home, so you need to put that in the mix."

Salt says proximity to railway stations is an important consideration as it provides a faster connection into the city. Other considerations for CBD properties include being close to views and parklands.

Sea change

Playing to the sea-change phenomenon, Salt says it is worth looking at properties within a two-and-a-half-hour commute of a city.

"While many holiday properties are being sold in the current economic downturn, it's an inescapable fact that baby boomers will retire in droves from 2011 onwards," he says. "As a result you could consider leveraging off the misfortune of others by buying in these areas now and then selling on in two years' time."

Tree change

If you opt for the tree-change investment, the town needs to be pretty, Salt says, with an undulating environment.

"Flat ugly towns do not make tree-change destinations," Salt says. "And you will get extra points if the town has an historic main street."

Again it needs to be within a two- to three-hour radius of a city.

Celebrity neighbours

Celebrity neighbours also can add to the appeal of a property.

"If a celebrity lives nearby then it is as if the location has been anointed 'approved'," Salt says.

Transport changes

Significant infrastructure and transport changes can have an impact on the value of properties. The easier it is to commute to a major centre, the more attractive a location becomes.

For example, the Pacific Motorway from Byron Bay to Ballina on the NSW north coast has brought the area closer to the Gold Coast and so made it more attractive. Similarly a new motorway has bolstered the Mandurah coast in Western Australia and the ring road around Geelong has made Anglesea and Lorne more attractive.

Cheap airfares can also change the dynamics of regional areas. With both Virgin and Jetstar flying from Sydney to Hervey Bay, for instance, this has brought people into the area where holiday homes can be bought for $300,000.

Making sure your property has "that special something" buyers are looking for is the key to successful investment. As a result, it's important to know your market and buy accordingly. After all profitable property investment comes down to buying well in the first place. The sale will then look after itself.



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