Investing in Property: What You Need To Know

General | Investing | Property

Updated March 2022

Property, as an investment option, has remained popular amongst everyday families for some very good reasons. Whether it’s providing a tangible investment asset, guaranteed returns through rental yields or the opportunity to turn an investment property into a family home if you ever need to, investing in property has a number of benefits.

But just like many aspects of your financial world, the impacts of COVID-19 in Australia have resulted in a number of changes to the investment property landscape in Brisbane. As financial professionals dedicated to ensuring you have all the information you need to achieve a brighter financial future, we thought we’d break down what has changed and what you need to know about investing in property in 2020.

And to help us do that, we talked to Simon Clarke, a Buyers Agent at Universal Buyers Agents, for an inside look at how the property market in Brisbane has changed over the past few months and what that may mean for you.

Here’s 5 things we think you need to know about investing in property in the current market:

1. There is less stock and more buyers

Contrary to what you may expect, the effects of COVID-19 have actually resulted in increased demand in Brisbane and its surrounding suburbs when it comes to property. Due to the impact of the nation-wide lockdowns on the economy, as well as an inability to travel or hesitancy to move one, property owners who may have been thinking about selling in 2020 have decided to delay their plans. Prices are rising due to the increased demand, leading more owners to consider selling as the pandemic comes to a close. However, stock remains very low.

The result of this? Less properties for those looking to break into the investment property market, especially in more desirable areas.

But, don’t worry, there’s still some things you can do to ensure you’re ahead of the curve and increase your chances of securing your dream investment property. According to Simon, there are two main ways to beat the competition:

  1. Keeping looking in months when interest from other buyers typically tapers off, such as December and January. Simon says that many potential buyers expect the market to have less options over the Christmas and New Year periods and so delay their plans when in reality the opposite is true.
  2. Reach out to a buyers agent for help. Buyers agents are specialists in helping investors just like you find and secure the property that is right for your needs and often have access to properties before they are listed on the market.

2. Brisbane is seeing increased demand

Brisbane has seen an increase in demand as the effects of COVID-19 prompted those from other states to re-examine where they’d like to set up their family homes. As a result, Brisbane has seen a recent increase in inter-state migration. The decrease in stock availability in inner suburbs will begin to drive demand to outer suburbs, including Bayside suburbs, where entry to the market is currently more accessible.

For those of you looking to break into the investment property market, this boost in interest has resulted in fiercer competition for the limited amount of properties that are available. As demand grows, it has accelerated the Brisbane property market from the torpor that resulted from the 2011 floods.

However, it also bodes well for those looking to expand their investment portfolio or turn a current principal place of residence into an investment property. Greater interest both from inside Queensland and inter-state means that you’ll be able to worry less about finding tenants. In fact, if you already have an investment property or secure one in a location desirable by those moving from inter-state, you may be able to achieve greater rental yields.

If you currently have an investment property and would like to know more about how you can optimise it to help your investment journey, don’t be afraid to reach out to your financial advisor or a member of the My Wealth Solutions team for advice tailored to your particular financial situation.

Remember: we’re always here to help

3. Keep an eye on interest rates

In response to the impacts of COVID-19 and the extended lockdowns in many of Australia’s states and territories, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) introduced cuts to interest rates that put them at historic lows. The aim of these interest rate cuts was to provide some relief to those with mortgages and stimulate the economy by giving everyday families some extra wiggle room in their budgets in the face of a surge in unemployment.

These cuts to interest rates had the effect of increasing property demand, as families or investors took advantage of the historically low rates. However, as the pandemic comes to an end and internal and external pressures drive inflation and require more balance in the economy, the Reserve Bank of Australia is predicted to increase the cash rate by mid-2022. As of March 2022, the RBA has kept the cash rate unchanged at a record low of 0.1% for the 15th month in a row.

Low interest rates may help you turn any bad debt you may have into good debt, which in turn will support you on your journey to achieving financial success and security. For more information on debt recycling and how it can help you secure a brighter financial future, check out our comprehensive guide.

4. Brisbane’s housing prices are not as likely to experience a downturn as other markets

During the initial uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the implementation of lockdowns nation-wide, there was much speculation about major capital cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney would experience a crash in housing prices.  While a crash hasn’t been seen, there is expected to be a slight downward trend in housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne.

As mentioned earlier, Brisbane has seen an increase in demand in the property market and has not experienced the fall in housing prices seen in other cities like Melbourne and Sydney. However, there are those who still claim that an eventual Brisbane property crash is inevitable as the economy struggles to get back on its feet after COVID-19.

While nobody knows exactly what will happen in the future, if Brisbane’s property market does experience fluctuations in pricing, it’s important to put these into perspective. Simon, a veteran of housing markets across Australia, said:

“Even if housing prices were to go down, Brisbane’s prices aren’t as likely to crash as dramatically as other markets like Sydney or Melbourne. This is because Brisbane’s housing prices haven’t become as inflated as either of those markets.”

In other words, as Brisbane’s housing prices haven’t risen as steeply as Sydney or Melbourne, they aren’t likely to fall as much as housing prices in those areas might if there was to be a downturn. However, given the increased demand for housing in Brisbane that we mentioned above, it’s unlikely that Brisbane will experience a housing downturn at this stage.

5. Location is still everything

While there have been some changes to the investment property landscape in 2020, there are still some adages that hold true. And one of these adages is that location is an essential aspect to consider when purchasing an investment property.

When looking at purchasing a property for investment purposes, we’d recommend considering sticking to houses within a 15 to 20 km radius of city centres. While you may be initially interested in purchasing an apartment as an investment property, houses typically offer greater investment returns and flexibility over time and may be a better option depending on your particular investment strategy.

We understand that finding a property that ticks all of your boxes and is still able to support you on your long-term journey to achieving financial success and security can feel like a tall order.

That’s why we’d recommend engaging a team of property professionals to help ensure you’re able to secure the right investment property for you. This team can include a buyers agent, who can help you to narrow down your options and secure your dream property at an even better price, and a financial advisor. Your financial advisor can help you ensure your investment strategy is right for your particular financial needs and goals and connect you with any other professionals you may need to make the most of your property investment journey.

For many, 2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. But that doesn’t mean that you have to set aside your plans to achieve financial success and security. We’re here to help you get back on track financially and kick-start your investment property journey.

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