Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but astute investors know what to look for and are prepared to strike when they see a great deal. These people will be among the few who won’t have to kick themselves because they failed to buy when the market was ripe with opportunity. The fear factor has paralysed many would-be investors, but a wait-and-see attitude could mean many people miss out on buying properties that hold great potential for both capital gain and higher rental yields.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president David Airey says although the market couldn’t be classified as hot, Airey says it is getting back to some form of normality.
"Astute investors may see this as a great opportunity to invest in quality property with great long-term growth prospects," he says. "It's a good market for those getting ready to invest, and we'll look back with hindsight and see there were some great investment opportunities in the latter half of 2009."
There are signs that a growing number of investors are already making their way back into the property market. Over the past 12 months to the end of June 2009, house sales volumes jumped by 32% across Australia, according to RP Data.
RP Data also reported that the number of new property listings entering the market broke the 50,000 mark recently, bringing the total advertised stock level up to 208,260. In Sydney and Melbourne, RP Data figures show that houses are taking about 28 days on the market to sell. Adelaide houses take 69 days, while in Darwin it takes 62 days to sell a house. Auction rates are also improving across the board.
Tim Lawless, rpdata.com national research director, says this is a good indicator of an improving market.
"The number of auctions held during the week ending 25 September 2009 was the highest yet this year at 1,686. Clearance rates are now peaking just below 80%, in stark contrast to last year when only 45% of auctions were successful," says Lawless.
Anyone who has tried to unlock the secrets of the world's greatest share market investor Warren Buffett will know that smart investors buck the trend by buying when the market is down and selling when it is hot.
"In a flat market we don't recognise the good deals as easily, and usually there is a negative air about everything," says Airey. "When the market is hot, everyone wants to buy and there is the fear of missing out."
RP Data senior research analyst Cameron Kusher says there are early indications of investors coming into the market, but that more will do so after December 31 when the first home Owner Boost ends. Investors are waiting until then so they don’t have to compete with the first homebuyers, he adds.
But director of Metropole Property Investment Strategists, Michael Yardney, says there is a window of opportunity for property investors now – but you can't just buy any property.
"You need to have a long-term focus and buy well-located properties with an element of scarcity, in areas that have outperformed the long-term averages. And properties to which you can add value," he says.
Bargain hunting in a rising market
It's now starting to become a seller's market, but there are still vendors who are forced to sell because of a change of circumstances. They are looking for a quick sale, and may be willing to consider a lower price just to get the property off their hands.
Getting retrenched is one reason a vendor may be more motivated to sell, but they may also be keen due to a divorce settlement or due to overextending themselves financially. Siblings selling off a deceased estate may also be eager to offload a property for a cheaper price (a reduction in the sale price doesn’t mean much if it’s divided four ways, for example) or the vendor may already have bought elsewhere. Asking the real estate agent a few questions is usually all it takes to figure out how motivated a vendor is to sell.
Airey says divorce, death and debt are the three biggest causes of property sales.
"We call it the three Ds," he says. "You have a genuine party involved who wants to negotiate a sale promptly.
"A willing seller and a willing buyer is a good mixture. When there is certainty about a sale the property is likely to be priced very realistically, unlike a property which is on the market. These ones aren’t going to sell unless the vendor gets the price they have in mind."
Wealth Partners financial planner Andrew Heaven advises being certain about what you're looking for so you can act quickly to take advantage of a bargain.
"There are opportunities in a distressed market," Heaven says. "There are segments of the markets that are a little more distressed than others, such as properties worth more than half a million dollars – although yields look very ordinary."
In 2009, rising unemployment may cause distressed stock to go onto the market. Savvy investors will pay attention to the potential for both capital and rental yield growth.
Heaven recommends aiming for a rental yield of at least 5%, a target more easily attained in some areas than others. If you buy a unit worth $400,000, for example, and rent it out for $200 a week, your return is $10,400 a year, which equals a 2.6% yield.
"If you buy a unit with a bad yield, no one in their right mind would want to pay more than you did for it because their yield would be less than what you were getting," he says. "That's why the holiday rental market takes so long to sell – yields are low because the properties are not always occupied."
Supply and demand
Properties in limited supply in a desirable location are usually safe bets. A unit in a small block of four units in a popular beachside suburb in Sydney, for example, is a safer bet than buying a unit in a skyscraper on the Gold Coast.
"Buy in an area where there is high demand, low rental supply and where your property is unique," Heaven advises. But investors should also do their research to make sure a property is suitable for renters in that area.
"A one-bedroom apartment in the city might work well for the young urban professional, but the same unit out in the suburbs may not attract the same rental yield or future sale prospects." Identifying areas in transition is also a smart move for the bargain hunter. An area with an ageing population, for example, may drive unit prices up. Retirees who want to downshift from a house to a unit might want to stay in the area because it’s close to transport and has the lifestyle amenities they like.
"Take advantage of the changing demographics," Heaven says.
Airey also recommends keeping an eye out for areas that have been neglected in terms of capital growth. An area may be neglected for a perfectly valid reason, but make sure that the reason is temporary. For example, it might be located near an industrial area which has been keeping prices down – but if you hear that neighbouring area is turning residential, then there are bargains to be had. That said, if the suburb hasn’t shown any capital growth because it has a history of crime, has unattractive features or lacks transport facilities, then the capital growth won't change much.
Buying close to the city is no longer the sure bet it used to be simply because it isn't the attraction it once was. There are plenty of shopping opportunities out of the city, and with the help of government incentives to move to regional or suburban areas, workplaces are increasingly being decentralised.
While the general rule applies of never confusing what you like yourself with what suits the rental market, Airey reminds investors that just because people are renting doesn't mean they don't want to live in a nice property. It can pay to look for lower-priced properties that need renovating. Spending money on renovating offers tax benefits, a higher yield and less likelihood of expensive repairs.
Many investors buy units with the intention of renovating, but Airey says it often never happens – especially for those who plan to renovate a property themselves. Excuses range from "I ran out of time" to "I have a cousin who's a plumber but he wasn't available" – and the lure of renting it out as soon as possible can prove impossible to resist. One way to get around this is asking for early access so you can get the renovations done before settlement – even if you have to pay rent or a bond.
"Settlement is going to take 30–60 days so if the property is vacant, it could well be worthwhile making that part of your agreement."
Although there is no magic formula for how much extra rent or capital growth you will gain from renovating, Airey says renovating wet areas such as toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and laundries is smarter than spending money somewhere else.
"These are features that are noticed and used most in a property. A decent kitchen and bathroom might add $50 a week to rent."
Ready to go
If you've found a property that you think is a good deal – and it's in an area that's in demand and is close to infrastructure, shopping and transport – you're close to being ready to act. But if you don't have your finances organised, you can easily be beaten to the punch by someone who has.
Building and pest inspections are essential but they can cause delays for those who want to bag a bargain before someone else does. Airey says sellers are very sensitive to conditions in the current market, and most states allow you to make the contract conditional on the property passing the inspection reports. That gives you 14–21 days to get those done and effectively takes the property off the market.
"It's a prudent way to act on property," he says.
Sentinel Wealth Financial Strategist Vanessa Hillier says although property is a valid investment, if a property's price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
"If it's a hot deal, you've got to be asking why," Hillier says. "Yes, there may be some bargains out there and I'm not saying you can't get a good deal, but if something seems way too cheap it's probably for a good reason."
Unit buyers should be sure to request a financial report from the strata manager to make sure they understand future financial commitments.
"Add the strata fees to the purchase price to get a realistic view of how much it’s going to cost you."
Hot suburbs to watch in 2010
Cameron Kusher, senior research analyst with RP Data (www.rpdata.com) compiled this report to help you pinpoint your next investment target. They are selected based on affordability, proximity to amenities and transport – as well as their strong potential for growth.
Situated less than 19km from the Sydney CBD, Granville is the most affordable suburb within 20km of the CBD, with a median house price of $350,000. Significant retail amenity is found close to Granville with a Westfield Shopping Centre in Parramatta – which is home to a Myer, David Jones, Coles, Woolworths, K Mart, Target and JB Hi-Fi. A major homewares centre is situated in nearby Auburn. Granville has some restaurants located within the suburb, while many more are found nearby in Parramatta and Harris Park. Granville is very well serviced by transport amenity thanks to the train station located within the suburb. The train stops on the South, Western and Blue Mountains lines. Access to the suburb by private vehicle is very efficient via the Western Motorway and Parramatta Road.
Located about 12km southwest of the Sydney CBD, Rockdale represents good value relative to surrounding suburbs with a median unit price of $368,500. The suburb has its own shopping centre with supermarkets, department stores and numerous specialty stores. The suburb is also home to commercial offices and an industrial precinct which all provide plenty of local employment drivers, as do the two private hospitals located in the neighbouring suburb, Kogarah. Rockdale has its own train station which provides direct linkages to the CBD, while the Princes Highway runs through the suburb affording quality access to the suburb. As for its location, Rockdale is just minutes from Sydney Airport and is adjacent to Brighton-Le-Sands which sits adjacent to Botany Bay's waterfront.
Macquarie Park is located about 12km north of the Sydney CBD, and has a median unit price of $372,000. The suburb is extremely well located with a major university and shopping centre situated within the area. Macquarie Park is also home to one of Sydney's largest shopping centres in Macquarie Shopping Centre, which is home to substantial retail, dining and social amenity. Macquarie Park also benefits by being home to Macquarie University and a significant office precinct. A train has station recently opened in Macquarie Park, providing quality transport linkages to Greater Sydney. Many who live in the suburb either study or work within the area. But for others, car access to the CBD is also very efficient via the M2 Motorway and Epping Rd.
Toongabbie is about 25km northwest of the Sydney CBD, and sits across both the Parramatta and Holroyd local government areas (LGAs). It is positioned as one of Sydney's more affordable suburbs (within a 25km radius of the CBD area) with a median house price of $395,000. Toongabbie has its own local shopping centre which is home to a Woolworths supermarket, which caters to local grocery needs. A greater range of shopping facilities is found within nearby Winston Hills, Wentworthville and Parramatta. Parramatta has significant retail provision, and is also a significant office workhub – adding to the desirability of suburbs such as Toongabbie for those working within the Parramatta CBD. Toongabbie also has its own train station, which sits on the Cumberland and North Shore lines. The train amenity provides quality access to Greater Sydney including the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs. The suburb is also situated just minutes from the Great Western Highway and the Western and M2 Motorways.
Located within the Marrickville LGA and about 7km west of the Sydney CBD, Lewisham currently has a median house price of $660,000. In comparison to surrounding suburbs Lewisham house prices are much more affordable. Although Lewisham doesn’t have its own retail amenity, the neighbouring suburb of Leichhardt has three shopping centres which contain most essential facilities. Most of the local dining is also found in Leichhardt where there is a major restaurant, cafe and bar strip along Norton Street. Access to the suburb is very good thanks to the suburb’s proximity to the Great Western Motorway, and the train station located in the suburb. Most houses in Lewisham are cottages on small blocks of land, but savvy investors will see the upgrade potential in them.
Preston is one of the few suburbs within a 10km radius of the Melbourne CBD that still has a median house price below $500,000 (it is currently $466,500). The suburb enjoys excellent retail amenity, with The Northland Shopping Centre providing all essential retail needs. Along High Street are numerous restaurants, cafes and bars with cuisine from countless countries catering to all tastes. Public transport within Preston is excellent, with two train stations (Bell and Preston) located within. A number of trams also service the suburb via Gilbert and Plenty Roads. A number of buses also service the suburb. By private vehicle, it is a simple drive along High Street to the Melbourne CBD. The Citylink and the Eastern Freeway are within relatively close proximity.
Seddon is the closest suburb to the Melbourne CBD, with a median house price below $500,000 (it is currently $484,500). Located in the Maribyrnong LGA, Seddon is less than 6km from the Melbourne CBD. Seddon sits adjacent to Footscray, which is the major commercial and retail precinct of Melbourne’s inner west. There are numerous retailers within Footscray, but Seddon’s location means that the closest source of major retail is the Melbourne CBD.
Neighbouring Footscray has a substantial supply of restaurants which cater to many tastes, and reflect the cultural diversity of the local area. Public transport within Seddon is of a high quality, with the Seddon Train Station receiving services from Werribee and Williamstown. By private vehicle, access to Seddon is excellent with the Princes Freeway, Docklands Highway and West Gate Freeway all within very close proximity to the suburb.
Located about 5km northwest of the Melbourne CBD, Kensington has a median house price of $518,000. Along Macauley Road there is a local independent supermarket which caters for locals, and a larger range of shopping facilities are found within major retail centres in the nearby CBD, Footscray and Moonee Ponds. Along Macauley Road and Belair Street there are a number of restaurants and bars which afford the suburb additional amenity. Within Kensington there are three train stations (Kensington, South Kensington and Macauley) servicing five different train lines, while trams also service the northern part of the suburb along Racecourse Road.
Located about 6km north of the Melbourne CBD, and with a median house price of $535,000, Brunswick sits along side a number of suburbs an equal distance from the CBD. The median prices of these suburbs range between $550,000 and $603,00, while the two suburbs directly south of Brunswick (closer to the CBD) have median prices of $785,000 and $795,000. The suburb is close to the CBD and has a prominent retail and dining strip along Sydney Road. Transport links in Brunswick are very good with trams servicing Sydney Road and three train stations within the suburb.
Situated 7km south of the Melbourne CBD, Balaclava has a median house price of $755,000. Median prices in the surrounding suburbs, some of which sit adjacent to Port Phillip Bay, range from $782,500 to $1,040,000. The houses in the suburb tend be lowset brick homes, but many have good renovation potential. Balaclava enjoys the benefit of its own train station, and trams service the suburb along Carlisle Street and Brighton Road. Balaclava also benefits from its close proximity to Port Phillip Bay at Elwood.
A suburb of inner Adelaide situated just 2.5km from the CBD, Thebarton is located within the West Torrens LGA. Thebarton is also the most affordable suburb within a 3km radius of the CBD, with a median house price of $391,250. The suburb sits directly west of Adelaide and North Adelaide – each of which have significant retain amenity – and is within walking distance of both. The majority of facilities are within the CBD, where there are an abundance of retailers. The CBD is also the state’s largest employment node, and is also home to many restaurants and bars. There are also some social precincts in Thebarton and its surrounding suburbs. Thebarton’s road access is excellent, via South and Port Roads.
Situated about 4.5km south of the Adelaide CBD and within the Unley LGA, Clarence Park is positioned as one of the most affordable suburbs to buy a house in the inner south region of Adelaide. The median price is recorded at $507,250. Public transport amenity within the suburb is of a high quality. The suburb has its own train station, and Millswood Station in neighbouring Millswood is accessible from Clarence Park. Buses service East Avenue, Cross Road and Goodwood Road; these roads are also the main access points to the suburb via private vehicle. The closest supermarkets are located in the nearby suburbs of Daw Park and Kurralta Park. The closest major shopping centre is the nearby Castle Plaza in Edwardstown, which has a wide range of facilities including a Target, Coles and Foodland as well as many specialty retailers. Dining amenity is mainly located within the nearby suburbs Daw Park and Goodwood.
Brompton is an Adelaide inner city suburb within the Charles Sturt LGA, and is located about 3.5km northwest of the Adelaide CBD. The suburb represents strong relative affordability compared with suburbs located an equal distance to the south or east of the CBD. The suburb’s median house price is recorded at $450,000. The main location of retail amenity for Brompton is within the Adelaide CBD, home to the state’s largest office market and a vast array of retail amenity. There is a smaller retail offering located in nearby Welland. The local area has some dining amenity, but there are a number of restaurants, cafes and bars close by within Adelaide and North Adelaide. Train amenity is within close proximity at Bowden and Ovingham. Access to Brompton is of a high quality via Torrens Road and Hawker Street, with nine bus routes servicing the suburb – predominately along these major roads.
Located about 4.5km southwest of the Adelaide CBD, Black Forest’s median house price is currently recorded at $462,000. Black Forest enjoys quality transport amenity, thanks to Emerson Tram Station which is located within the suburb and Clarence Park station which is close to many Black Forest properties. The suburb is also close to major retail facilities at Edwardstown, while restaurants and cafes are found close by within Goodwood and Hyde Park.
Situated about 13km from the Adelaide CBD, Ethelton has a relatively affordable median house price of $350,000. The suburb is located extremely close to Port Adelaide where there is significant urban renewal being undertaken. Ethelton is serviced by buses and a train. At the moment, the train line that runs through Ethelton is used by freight and passenger trains. Local shopping amenity is situated in nearby Semaphore, while additional retail facilities will be delivered over time within Port Adelaide.
Sitting 8.5km south of the Brisbane CBD, Salisbury has a median house price of $413,250. The area has a fairly even split of residential and light industry, but the two different land usages are clearly separated from one another. Salisbury is home to a number of convenience retailers, and the suburb has its own Aldi supermarket. A greater retail offering is found within surrounding suburbs with a Woolworths supermarket situated in Moorooka and one of Brisbane’s largest shopping centres, Westfield Garden City, in nearby Upper Mount Gravatt. Salisbury has a train station and buses. By car, several main roads afford easy access to the suburb.
Located within the Redcliffe Peninsula 26km north of the Brisbane CBD, Margate has a median house price of $345,000. Even though Margate has strong growth credentials, there are some areas that should be avoided. This includes properties which adjoin the industrial and commercial precincts along Oxley Avenue, since their capital growth prospects are likely to be affected. Those properties situated to the east of Oxley Avenue generally have stronger demand and have better capital growth prospects. Margate enjoys the benefit of the waterfront in Moreton Bay, along with all the amenities that offers – such as fishing and water sports. Shops and restaurants are located nearby at both Redcliffe and Kippa-Ring and around the waterfront.
Situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, about 27km south of the Brisbane CBD, the median house price in Bethania is currently a very affordable $310,000. The suburb’s train station and proximity to the M1 Motorway links it to Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It is close to large retail precincts at Loganholme and Beenleigh and working nodes throughout Logan City, particularly industrial working nodes at Eagleby and Yatala. Relative to other suburbs on the outskirts of Brisbane, Bethania is very affordable.
Located 10km west of the Brisbane CBD, Keperra has a current median house price of $400,500. In comparison, surrounding suburb median house prices range from $423,750 to $525,000. Keperra is home to its own shopping centre and two train stations, while many of the adjoining suburbs have little retail or rail amenities. The housing offering may not be as high quality in Keperra as those neighbouring suburbs, but many houses within Keperra have substantial scope for extension and renovation.
Sitting 4km south of the Brisbane CBD and adjacent to the Brisbane River, Fairfield has a current median house price of $582,500. Nearby suburbs adjacent to the Brisbane River range in price from $651,500 to $$775,000. The suburb has its own shopping centre and train station, and rental demand is very strong thanks to the bridge linking the suburb to the University of Queensland.
Bassendean is one of the more affordable suburbs in the Perth inner ring, and is located within the Bassendean LGA. Situated less than 9.5km northeast of the CBD, its median house price is currently recorded at $445,000. The suburb has its own shopping centre, Bassendean Village, which has a Coles, a Woolworths and other specialty stores. A wider retail offering can be found in the Centro Galleria Shopping Centre in Morley. There are a few restaurants within Bassendean, but nearby Midland and Guildford have a significant number of them. Access to Bassendean is very good by public transport thanks to the Bassendean train station. By private vehicle, the suburb enjoys quality access. Guildford Road links directly to the CBD, and the Great Eastern and Tonkin Highways are located nearby.
Located directly adjacent to the Perth CBD and sitting within the Perth LGA, West Perth has a median unit price of $271,750. The suburb is currently one of the most affordable within a 5km radius of the Perth CBD. Public transport amenity in West Perth is very good with, the City West Station located in the suburb. The Perth Underground and Perth Station are also within walking distance. Private car access is also very efficient, with the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways both running to the suburb. Numerous other freeways are easily accessible from the nearby CBD. Within the suburb and the Perth CBD there is a substantial working node in close proximity. With the inner city location also comes significant supply of restaurants, cafes, take-aways shops and bars which for many people adds to the appeal of living in such an area. The suburb is also just minutes from popular Subiaco and Kings Park.
Situated about 16km from the Perth CBD, the median price in the suburb is a very affordable $366,000. The suburb has its own shopping facilities, while many more are available within neighbouring Canning Vale which has an industrial precinct. Transport to Thornlie is very good thanks to the train station, and the suburb's proximity to the Roe Highway provides good quality linkages to the CBD and many other parts of Perth.
Cannington is situated just 10km southeast of the Perth CBD and has a current median house price of $390,000. The suburb is home to one of Perth’s largest shopping centres, Westfield Carousel, and restaurants are also in abundance within the local area. The suburb is home to a number of bulky goods retailers along the Albany Highway, which provide employment and additional retail. Access to Cannington by private vehicle is of a very high quality, with the Albany Highway located within the suburb. The highway provides high quality access to the Perth CBD, while the suburb has its own train station which provides access south to Armadale and to the Perth CBD.
Situated on the northern bank of the Swan River, Maylands is just 4.5km from the Perth CBD. Located within the LGA of Bayswater, it has many units and over the last 12 months has recorded a relatively affordable $300,000 median price. The suburb has a small local shopping centre, with an independent supermarket and some basic amenity. Outside of the CBD the closest major retail facility is located in within the Centro Galleria Shopping Centre at Morley, which has a Myer, K Mart, Target, Coles, Woolworths and Greater Union Cinemas. Within Maylands Asian cuisine dominates, but nearby Highgate, Mount Lawley and Inglewood have a variety of restaurants. Public transport amenity within Maylands is of a high quality thanks to the Maylands Train Station and bus services that run along Guildford Road, Garratt Road and Stone Street. By private vehicle, access is also very good via Guildford Road and Railway Parade.
Located directly adjacent (north) of the Hobart CBD and situated in the Hobart LGA, North Hobart has a median house price of $350,000. It doesn’t have a waterfront location, but it is home to many historic houses. Many buses service North Hobart, and they stop at most of the suburbs that provide amenity in the area. North Hobart is just minutes from the CBD and the nearby Hobart Royal Botanic Gardens and Queens Domain. The majority of the retail facilities are located within Hobart, and include department stores and supermarkets. North Hobart is home to numerous restaurants and cafes, which adds to the appeal of the suburb. Many more restaurants can be found within the nearby Hobart CBD.
Situated on the eastern bank of the Derwent River opposite the Hobart CBD, houses in Bellerive have a median price of $350,000. The suburb enjoys a waterfront location and is also home to a marina and a popular yacht club. Access to the suburb is good quality via Rosny Hill and Cambridge Roads which link to the Tasman Highway, while seven bus routes also provide transport amenity to the suburb. Retail amenity within the local area is almost exclusively located within the Eastlands Shopping Centre. There are a number of restaurants within Bellerive, but even more restaurants can be found just across the river within Hobart and North Hobart.
Located directly south of Hobart about 3.5km from the CBD, Sandy Bay enjoys a riverfront location and units within the suburbs have a median price of $335,000. The suburb sits within the Hobart LGA. From the CBD, access to the suburb is simple thanks to Sandy Bay Road. Most bus services running to the south of the CBD provide a bus route which runs and stops within Sandy Bay. Sandy Bay was home to Australia’s first legal casino, Wrest Point Hotel Casino, which remains today and adds to the suburbs appeal for some. There is a scarce supply of retail amenity within Sandy Bay, with the greatest nearby range of retail found within the CBD. The suburb is home to many restaurants which cater to most taste and requirements which adds significant appeal to the suburb.
Lutana has a very affordable median house price, currently recorded at $265,000, and sits on the shores of the Derwent River less than 5km north of Hobart. The suburb sits adjacent to the Brooker Highway which affords the suburb good access to the Hobart CBD. The suburb has its own golf course and a number of houses enjoy a riverfront location. The closest supermarket facilities are located within the nearby suburb, New Town. The closest major retail amenity is also within New Town.
Located between Montagu and Kangaroo Bays, Rosny is a desirable residential location on the east bank of the Derwent River and located less than 3km from the Hobart CBD. The suburb enjoys excellent views of the Derwent River and Mount Wellington and has a current median house price of $397,000. Access to the suburb is very good thanks to Rosny Esplanade which links to the Tasman Highway. Twelve bus services also run to and from the suburb between the Hobart CBD. Local retail amenities are found in the adjacent suburb Rosny Park, where the Eastlands Shopping Centre is located. Within the centre there is a Coles, Woolworths, Big W and K Mart as well as specialty stores and movie cinemas. Dining amenity within Rosny is in fairly short supply, but a number of restaurants can be found within nearby Bellerive and there are more across the river in Hobart and North Hobart.
Nambour is one of the Sunshine Coast’s most affordable housing markets, with a median house price of $339,500. Its location means that it enjoys a hinterland environment, yet it is within close commute of the Sunshine Coast’s beaches. Nambour is also just minutes from the Bruce Highway and is one of only a few suburbs on the Sunshine Coast with its own train station. The suburb also has good employment drivers in its two hospitals. It also has all the convenience shopping facilities one could need.
Vincent is one of the most affordable suburbs within Townsville City, with a median house price of $299,000. The suburb is situated about 6km southwest of Townsville City. Although regional markets have slowed in the last 12 months, Townsville’s fundamental longterm prospects are strong thanks to significant public and private investment – as well as an economy which is supported by tourism and a significant army presence. The housing offering is dominated by timber and fibro houses on large blocks which is quite standard throughout the city. The adjacent suburb, Aitkenvale, also has major shopping facilities which adds to Vincent’s appeal.
Fairy Meadow, which adjoins the oceanfront, has a relatively affordable median house price of $375,000. The suburb is just minutes from Wollongong, but it contains many of its own shopping facilities, including supermarkets. The suburb also benefits from quality linkages to Sydney thanks to its own train station, and the Princes Highway which runs to and from the suburb.
The suburb is centrally located adjacent to Ballarat and represents one of the city’s most affordable median house prices of $195,000. The suburb is also situated just minutes from the major retail and dining precincts. Over the first quarter of 2009, Ballarat LGA saw a large number of housing transactions, with people lured to the area thanks to its manufacturing jobs, affordable house prices and relative proximity to Greater Melbourne.
Nairne is located in the Adelaide Hills, about a 40 minutes' drive from the city. Houses in the suburbs have a current median price of $325,000. The population and the development of nearby Mount Barker has boomed, but Nairne still lags behind and has a lower median house price. In saying this, it has a great location and is just 8km from Mount Barker with its abundance of amenity. Properties in Nairne are generally quite large and offer a 'tree change' feel. In addition to this, Adelaide is only a short commute away.
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