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Why now is the perfect time to buy your first home



Why now is the perfect time to buy your first home
The conditions are ripe for first home buyers.

As you turn that key, or these days press the button, the first emotion is generally outright fear. I know that was my experience.

It is this type of fear that I often hear as a reason why people don’t buy property. But even if prices are falling right now, that’s no reason to be fearful.


The first thing that you need to understand when it comes to buying property is that you are not in the game of picking the top or the bottom of a market.

There are plenty of gurus and experts who have tried and failed with picking markets, so you don’t need to add yourself to the list.

Since property is a long-term investment, picking the right time is not as important as you might think.

Another money myth that I hear regularly is that all the good properties are gone.

This is just not the case. At any time, there are good investment-grade properties to buy.

Which leads us to the strategy: It’s always a good time to buy property.


So, why do I think now is a good time to buy property? Let’s look at some of the things happening here and overseas that support the strategy.

Before I do, it is important to understand the market conditions.

The good news for those worried about buying at the peak, is that the last cycle peak was in 2017. Since then, all the capital cities have seen declines in value.

But wait, what? Didn’t you say now was a good time to buy.

Despite the falling prices, the thing I know is that property is a long-term game, and over time, prices will rise.

And right now, there are a number of factors that when considered together, will lead to higher prices over the longer term.

Here are a few for you to consider.

First, population growth. Data suggests the Australian population is forecast to grow by between 3 million and 4 million people over the next 10 years. That is the equivalent of Canberra every year for 10 years.

The significant portion of this growth is coming from immigration, especially from China.
More people means more demand for housing.

Second is the low-interest-rate environment. With inflation being under control or within government expectations, a low-interest-rate environment is likely to remain for a little longer yet.

Recent lending restrictions imposed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority that have been affecting investors have been relaxed, to an extent, which will bring investors back to the market.

Low interest rates mean more affordability, which leads to more demand.

Third, global markets are experiencing growth. As markets grow there is more wealth created, which means more people are able to invest.

And as you now know, more people investing means more demand, which, yep, means rising prices.

Finally, the changing nature of the family demographic is resulting in more demand.

There are now more single-person homes. People are marrying later and having kids later, which results in more demand for homes, especially units close to capital cities.


So, knowing these factors, it is a highly reasonable expectation that prices are going to rise over the longer term.

With a couple of cautionary considerations.

As with any significant purchase, you need to ensure that you only spend what you can afford.

It is important to consider what your repayments are going to be at current interest rates and allow some buffer for the likely event that rates will rise over the time that you are going to hold your property.

Everyone has heard property investing is all about location, location, location.

This means sticking to major capital cities where the demand factors are going to be strongest, and only buy properties that match these factors.

It’s not as important that you love the property when you are an investor, but that it is attractive to a renter, which means being close to the city and amenities.

With all this information in hand, you are now able to overcome that fear that may have held you back before, and get in the game.

It’s like the feeling you had after your first drive. With just a little bit of experience and information, you now know that driving is something you can do. Buying property is the same. Get in the market and start building your financial future.

Andrew Woodward is a accredited money coach based in Sydney who teaches people to take control of their money and invest for their future, simply and efficiently. Sign up for his free weekly money tips at his


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North West Gold Coast’s established suburbs offer value for money: HTW



North West Gold Coast's established suburbs offer value for money HTW

Mount Warren Park, Beenleigh and Windaroo are top of the list for buyer interest on the north-west of Gold Coast, according to a recent Herron Todd White (HTW) residential report.

The report suggests while market activity and in some cases prices have come off a bit in recent months, it is still possible to find a value for money house or unit.

“There are options for those who want to buy and renovate for a profit or rental returns. Some positively geared options are also around,” the valuation firm said.

“The suburbs we have chosen are established older areas, not flooded with redevelopment, new estates or investors.”

A on-ground semi modern house in Mount Warren Park has been sold for $230,000 (pictured above).

The circa 1990 brick house at 14/9 Quinton Court comes with three-bedroom, one-bathroom, tiled roof and single-car garage.

The property includes renovated kitchen, bathroom and new carpets.

It rents for $310 per week with body corporate fees of $40 per week.

North West Gold Coast's established suburbs offer value for money HTW 1

The property at 13 Mewing Court, Windaroo comprises a semi modern, on-ground, circa 1992, brick three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling with single-car garage and tiled roof.

It includes recent floor coverings and paint with original kitchen and bathrooms. Land area is 622 square metres. Property rents for $390 per week.

The compromises are that you are mainly looking at older properties which may require maintenance or updating soon, the report noted.

“When you look at nearby suburbs such as Bahrs Scrub or Holmview where you can buy a new dwelling, these properties are usually priced up to the dollar and can often take some years before you see a capital gain given the premium paid for being new,” it advised.

“We consider there to be a likelihood of prices falling somewhat for most of this year in these locations, then hopefully a resurgence in the market thereafter.

“However at present, the rental market in these locations is pretty strong providing a good holding income in the meantime.

“The property to buy as a home or an investment are regarded as the same property in these locations.”




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How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches?



How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches

Winter is coming, the property market is cooling and hot summer days spent at the beach are becoming a distant memory.

But dreams of a sea change could still keep you warm for months to come and looking to one of Australia’s coastal markets now could have you sitting beachside by summer.

The location of that home and beach will depend on your budget. Here’s what it now costs to buy in some of Australia’s top beach locations.

$2 million+

If you’ve got serious cash to splash, then real estate by Sydney’s Bondi Beach — arguably Australia’s most famous strip of coast — could be within your reach.

With a median house price of $2.675 million and a median unit price of $1.2 million, buying into the beachside suburb does not come cheaply, but it’s more affordable than Sydney’s other top beach contender – Manly.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 1

While house prices in the northern beaches gem dropped 11.5 per cent in the year to March, according to Domain data, the median house price still sits at $2.955 million. Meanwhile, the median unit price dropped 3.7 per cent to $1.315 million.

If Sydney’s not your cup of tea, you can cast your gaze west, far west to the other side of the country, where you’ll find the turquoise water and white sand of Perth’s Cottesloe Beach.

Despite  Perth’s market downturn – house prices are down 14 per cent and units down 16.6 per cent from the 2014 peak – Cotto will still set you back a pretty penny, with a $2,147,500 median house price. Units are more affordable with a median of $780,000.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 2

$1 million+

Northern NSW and south-east Queensland offer up the top rated beaches in Australia for those looking to spend about $1.5 million or less.

Byron Bay, Noosa and Surfers Paradise have long been favoured spots for holidaymakers and are increasingly attracting people looking to make their favourite vacation spot their hometown.

While about half the out-of-towners snapping up real estate in popular Byron Bay were once only looking for a holiday home, that’s no longer the case,  said Ian Daniels of McGrath Byron Bay

“Half the houses were holiday houses before, now you can see how many more people are living here,” Mr Daniels said.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 3

Byron Bay has the highest median house price of the three at $1,562,500. It’s followed by Surfers Paradise and Noosa Heads, with respective medians of $1.55 million and $1.145 million. Meanwhile, the median unit price is $850,000 in Byron Bay, $890,000 in Noosa Heads and $380,000 in Surfers Paradise.

Mr Daniels said there had been “no let up” during cooler winter months in recent years, but noted buyer demand could be a little weaker this year due to the broader property market downturn.

While there tended to be less stock in winter, Mr Daniels said, it could be a great time for both vendors and buyers to be on the market because there was less competition.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 4


The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are again the best beachside bet for buyers in this price range, with Burleigh Heads and Mooloolaba offering house prices of $865,000 and $837,500. Unit medians sit at $535,000 and $424,750.

While investor activity has dropped off, Josh Willatt of Ray White Robina said, there is still good demand from locals and buyers looking to make a sea change.

“We’re still seeing buyers come up here in droves from Sydney and Melbourne … and we also see good inquiry from Brisbane, ” Mr Willatt said, adding they were drawn to the area for its great beaches, strong village atmosphere, restaurants and cafes.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 5

Mr Willatt said the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland was still extremely affordable for what it offered. He noted buyers had more choice in late winter and spring as more stock hit the market, but that there was still a steady stream of buyers over the cooler months as the market was less seasonal than others.

$500,000 or less

Buyers who want to purchase near a well-known beach for less than $500,000 should cast the net wide, looking to Broome,  Darwin and Victoria’s Phillip Island. However, swimming year round won’t be an option, due to cold temperatures in some cases and box jellyfish in others.

For $494,500 you can buy a house by Cable Beach in Broome, or an apartment for a little under $300,000.

Apartments near the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets in Darwin have a median of about $380,000 as do units in the suburb of Cowes, near Kitty Miller Bay on Phillip Island.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 6

Michael McLeod of First National Phillip Island said those looking to buy on the island might be best doing so in winter.

“[Island living] is not all glamour, there is rain,” Mr McLeod said. “We’re still quite consistent in winter, [but] there’s fewer people around and [buyers] have the time to make decisions.”

“The time a property is on the market [varies greatly] … when it’s extremely busy places can be snapped up … or we have things that can take two years or a year to sell,” Mr McLeod said.

While retirees cashing out of Melbourne still make up a bulk of the population, Mr McLeod said, a growing number of younger families were moving to the area and commuting to Melbourne or working remotely.




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How good an investment is south-east Queensland



How good an investment is south-east Queensland

Why do we believe we’ll see increasing investor interest in this market? Strong population growth, a diversified and growing economy, and substantial investment in infrastructure should combine to boost demand.

We expect that these factors will swell the number of white-collar jobs – increasing demand for office space, which in turn will push down vacancy rates and raise rental incomes. This should be good news for office property investors – especially those like Centuria Metropolitan REIT (CMA) that are already well-positioned in the market.

A significant and growing population

South East Queensland (SEQ) stretches from the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and across to Toowoomba in the west. As Australia’s third-largest population zone, the region has been growing significantly, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Interstate migration figures show a pattern of steady net migration, with Queensland the only Australian state with consistent net inflows of people from other states. In the five years prior to the 2016 Census, over 220,000 people moved to the Sunshine State – mainly to SEQ where nearly 90% of population growth occurred. This is important for property investors because of its implications for demand, but the trend is interconnected with other favourable factors.

A diversified economy poised for growth

Queensland’s economy is diversified across a range of industries including agriculture, resources, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and services. Over the past two decades, its economic growth has consistently exceeded the national average – and in our view this is likely to continue.

The resources sector is gaining momentum, and a significant pipeline of major infrastructure and development projects is helping propel economic and jobs growth, in turn increasing interstate migration and driving demand for both residential and commercial property.

Investment in infrastructure

A strong infrastructure program delivers more than business and consumer amenity – it generates jobs, drives investment, and facilitates population growth. The pipeline of infrastructure and development projects announced in the past few years is likely to have a material impact on the region – substantially improving its accessibility and amenity – most notably, Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross River Rail.

Queen’s Wharf, touted as a “world-class entertainment precinct”, is an integrated resort development costing $3.6 billion and covering over 26 hectares with retail, dining, hotel and entertainment spaces. As Queensland’s biggest ever tourism project it will be a game-changer for Brisbane, attracting overseas as well as local visitors.  Estimated to contribute $1.69 billion annually to the economy, it will employ more than 2,000 people during construction and an estimated 10,000 once operational.

The Queensland Government’s number one infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, comprises a new 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which includes a 5.9km tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. It’s the first major rail infrastructure investment in the inner city since 1986 and is set to generate urban renewal, economic development and the revitalisation of inner-city precincts.

Outlook for commercial office property investment

These factors indicate a region poised for growth – and for growing commercial property demand. CMA’s portfolio has a significant exposure to the area in general (six SEQ assets with a combined book value of over $480 million), with many of the individual assets located in those parts of Brisbane set to benefit most from these developments.

Our view is that Brisbane office markets, where five of CMA’s assets sit, are continuing to improve, with vacancies hitting a five-year low – indicating increasing tenant demand – and continued yield compression, demonstrating strong investment demand. Office sales hit the highest level in a decade during 2018 (at $2.35 billion), increasing 60% from 2017.

With the strong outlook for SEQ, we expect the region will continue to attract tenants and investors alike.




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