Property Investment

Property Newsletter – August 2018

Case study: The dangers of poor mortgage advice

Seeking the advice of a finance specialist with a strong understanding of investment finance can be critical for property investors looking to progress in their investment journey. For active investors who have capital spread across multiple assets, in particular, ensuring the right loan structures and features are in place is essential to the expansion and success of their investment portfolio. Poorly structured loans can not only be detrimental to an investor’s long-term investment plan, but could also have critical implications on the management of their finances come tax time.

In our latest case study, we look at how the specialist mortgage brokers at Momentum Wealth helped an active investor who had received poor lending advice from a finance broker with a lack of experience in property investment.

The problem

Prior to enlisting the services of Momentum Wealth, the client had approached another finance broker to set up a loan that would be utilised for multiple investments. The client was an active investor in property, syndicates and other asset classes, and was looking for a lending solution that would allow for ease of management as well as flexibility should he wish to invest in further assets.

After briefing the finance broker on his needs, the broker set up a $500,000 loan against the investor’s home, with the loan amount to be used for multiple different investment assets. In doing so, however, the broker created a complex loan structure that would pose a number of difficulties for the investor and his accountant further down the line. Since the loan was not split into separate loans, this made it extremely difficult for the investor’s accountant to determine the proportion of interest and deductible debt associated with each investment, creating an unnecessarily lengthy process come tax time. This structure would also create additional complications should the investor wish to sell or add another investment to his portfolio, as this would require a further re-proportioning of interest and deductible debt.

The solution

Due to the difficulties encountered with the loan provided by his previous broker, the client approached Momentum Wealth’s finance team seeking an alternative lending solution. After speaking to the client about his financial situation and long-term investment plans, our mortgage broker advised that the client opt for an alternative loan structure that would allow him to create separate loan splits for each of his investments under one overarching limit.

As well as enabling the investor’s accountant to easily identify the interest purpose for each split, this structure granted the investor considerably more flexibility when it came to expanding his investment portfolio. Rather than reapplying to add a new investment to the loan each time he purchased an asset, the revised structure enabled the client to create a new split for additional investments, which he could do either online or by contacting our mortgage brokers. If the client now decides to sell an asset further down the line, he will also be able to amalgamate the remaining splits automatically rather than re-calculating the new proportions through a lengthy administrative process.

The importance of specialist mortgage advice

As an investor seeking to build your property portfolio, it’s important to find a mortgage broker that understands the right solutions to support your long-term investment goals. Unfortunately, not all lenders and brokers have the understanding and experience of the property market to do this, which can result in investor’s missing out on lending solutions that are better suited to their needs. In today’s volatile lending market, seeking the advice of a mortgage broker with an expert understanding in investment finance can be critical to maximising your success and wealth creation.

If you are seeking lending advice for a new investment venture or would like to organise a review of your current lending solutions, Momentum Wealth’s finance team would be happy to discuss your needs in an obligation-free consultation.

Investing interstate: 6 essential tips for interstate investors

Whilst diversification has long been considered a strong strategy for property investors looking to mitigate the financial risk of investing in a single market, expanding your property portfolio into different locations can be a great way to take advantage of wider capital growth opportunities, especially when your home market isn’t performing strongly.

With the Melbourne and Sydney markets cooling down, a rising number of east coast investors are beginning to look towards alternative property markets in Australia for investment opportunities. If you are considering investing interstate yourself, here are a few simple ways to limit your risk and maximise the success of your investment.

Do your research

Before you invest interstate, you will need to compare different locations to identify a property market that fits your buying strategy. Property markets in Australia differ vastly in terms of price range, housing stock, and stage in the property cycle, so it’s important to ensure your market of choice matches your expectations in terms of rental yield and capital growth. Researching local property statistics as well as wider economic factors that influence the performance of the property market such as population growth, job opportunities, and public & private investment will be key to informing your understanding of where the market is in the property cycle, which is an important factor in determining the market’s long-term potential for growth.

Identify any warning signs

Whilst understanding the general state of the market is a vital element of investing interstate, it’s equally important not to stop your research at this broader market level. In a single city, the performance of the property market can differ considerably between different suburbs and locations – something we’ve seen recently in Perth with the emergence of the two-speed market. However, this can also be the case with individual streets and properties, which can pose a particular problem for interstate investors who aren’t familiar with the local area.

Whilst a suburb might look great on the surface in terms of location and nearby infrastructure, there are a number of additional factors that can influence a property’s value, many of which are difficult to identify without an in-depth knowledge of the area.  For example, are there high crime levels in the suburb? Is the property situated under a flight path? Is there a busy road nearby? If you don’t have a chance to visit the property yourself to gain this level of insight, you may need to consider engaging someone who is familiar with the local market to ensure you’re making an informed purchase decision.

Get to grips with planning policies

Australian states, and even suburbs within those states, each have their own local planning policies and processes in place when it comes to property. As an interstate investor, and particularly if you are seeking a property for development, it’s really important that you familiarise yourself with the zoning of your prospective property, as well as any additional Council policies that apply to the asset. This can have a huge impact on the long-term potential of your property as well as your immediate development plans, so you may want to speak to a local buyer’s agent or property developer prior to purchasing a site to ensure your plans are feasible.

Understand local legal requirements

As well as individual zoning policies, it’s important to be aware of any local variances in the legal requirements and processes involved in the property investment process. Documents such as sales contracts and strata reports often differ between states, so it’s really important that you understand these differences before you sign the dotted line. In addition, costs such as stamp duty costs, land taxes and transfer fees will vary in different locations, so make sure you research these costs and factor them into your budget when planning your investment.

Enlist a good property manager

A good property manager is a valuable asset for any investor, but even more so for interstate investors who don’t have the time and ability to self-manage their property. As an interstate investor, it’s important to find a property manager you can trust to carry out regular inspections and maintain your investment property whilst you’re away. Ideally, however, you also want a property management team who will be proactive in helping you identify opportunities to add value to your property and further the success of your overall investment strategy.

Consider using a buyer’s agent

Expanding your search to different property markets can significantly broaden your investment opportunities, but one of the biggest downfalls of investing interstate is not having the local knowledge to make informed investment decisions. If you don’t have the time to research the market and compare different properties yourself, consider enlisting a local buyer’s agent to identify and secure a property on your behalf. In addition to ‘insider’ knowledge of the local property market, a good buyer’s agent will have an in-depth understanding of investment policies and an established network of real estate professionals within the local area, which can be invaluable when it comes to negotiating a great deal on a property with high potential for growth.

If you are looking to invest in Perth property and would like to speak to our buyer’s agents about potential investment opportunities, our team would be happy to discuss your investment needs in an obligation-free consultation.

Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about the Perth property market, download our latest research report, Residential Property Spotlight: Perth.

Five key factors to consider before subdividing

Subdividing an existing block to develop or sell can be an incredibly lucrative strategy for investors seeking to extract more value from their investment property, but property subdivision isn’t always as simple as dividing a site in two and selling each lot for a profit. Whilst it can hold significant benefits for investors looking to add value to their property or create an additional income stream, the reality of subdivision is far more complex, and there are a number of requirements and risks that need to be taken into consideration before you commit to a project.

Does the site meet zoning requirements?

The first step towards subdividing a property is to understand the zoning requirements that apply to your site. In addition to the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia, lots of land in Australia are subject to the individual policies of local councils. These set out standards such as minimum lot sizes, and are therefore critical in determining the scope and subdivision potential of your property. As an investor, it’s important to bear in mind that these individual policies can vary considerably between different councils.  In some cases, as little as one clause can dramatically impact your site’s development potential, so familiarising yourself with the specific requirements that apply to your site is crucial.

As well as setting out zoning restrictions, local council policies can also contain clauses that could significantly increase your site’s development potential, many of which can be easily missed by investors who don’t have a full understanding of these documents. Depending on the location and proposed lot configuration, for example, councils are willing to apply a 5% variation to lot sizes subject to the approval of the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). It may not sound significant, but this additional 5% could mean the difference between building two blocks and not being able to subdivide at all.

Is there enough demand for the subdivision?

Many investors assume that subdividing a property will always lead to profit. However, just because you can divide a site into multiple blocks, doesn’t mean you should. Before you get started on your subdivision, it’s important to research the local market to assess whether there is enough demand for the project you have in mind. If, for instance, there is already an oversupply of duplex properties in the area, or there is a premium on larger properties within that particular suburb, you may want to re-consider your subdivision plans. When you’re carrying out your research, consider what’s selling well in the area, and compare similar properties to find out what profit margin you can expect. This will be critical in determining the budget you are working with, and ultimately in assessing whether the project is feasible in the first place. If you are looking for a site with the specific intention of subdividing, you may want to consider enlisting a property buyer’s agent to help you identify a site with strong growth drivers in place.

Are there any additional restrictions that could hinder the subdivision?

As part of the planning process, you or your development team will need to carry out detailed due diligence to check for any issues that could impact your subdivision. In some cases, these feasibility checks can uncover issues that could have serious implications on future development plans, such as nearby sewerage systems that prevent you from building in a specific area.

As part of this feasibility check, you will also need to identify whether any site-specific restrictions apply that could prevent the site from being subdivided or dictate the manner of the subdivision itself. For instance, if the site is located in a bushfire prone area, this may change the specifications required when redeveloping the site (if you choose to do so). Similarly, many councils also have their own requirements relating to aspects such as restricting additional driveways or upgrading an existing dwelling, which could impact the required specifications of the subdivision and increase the construction costs involved in the project.

Are there any easements that affect your subdivision plans?

An easement is a property right that that allows someone to cross or use your land for a specific purpose. For example, if you have a gas or electricity line running under your land, it’s likely that the relevant utility company will have an easement in place to guarantee access to these lines. If you’re planning a subdivision, this is something you need to be aware of, as it will be your responsibility as landowner to ensure this access isn’t hampered by the development works. Whilst an easy way to do this would be to alter the setbacks of the property, this isn’t always possible with properties on smaller lots, which means you could be facing significantly higher expenses to build over the top of the easement in a way that still allows access. This is something you will need to factor into your overall costs when assessing your projected profit margin to determine whether the project is worth your while.

Have you factored in head works and council contributions?

In addition to standard expenses such as construction costs, building permits and planning application fees, there are a number of additional costs many investors fail to factor into their subdivision plans. When you subdivide a lot into multiple dwellings, Western Power and Water Corporation will often need to upgrade their existing infrastructure to support the increased demand for their services, the cost of which lies with you as the developer. Depending on the number of new lots being created, the local council may also ask for a development contribution to support the increased demand for amenity and community infrastructure created by the additional dwellings. These costs can vary from $50,000 to $400,000 per additional lot depending on the individual council, and can therefore have critical implications on your profit margin if you have failed to factor them into your budget beforehand.

Property subdivision can be a considerably profitable investment strategy with the right research and planning in place, but it also carries a significant amount of risk for investors who don’t have the time and expertise to commit to the project. In these circumstances, having the expert advice and support of a professional property development team can be crucial to avoiding key mistakes and ensuring you don’t miss out on opportunities to further the value of your property.

How much cash buffer do you need for your investment property?

A successful property investment strategy requires careful planning and preparation, and this sometimes means planning for the unexpected.  Whilst the long-term benefits of property investment should far outweigh short-term costs, property investors are sometimes faced with unplanned situations that impact their immediate cash flow, which is why smart investors will always set aside a cash buffer to cover unexpected expenses.

If you own multiple investment properties, in particular, saving up an emergency buffer is a vital step in ensuring your investment portfolio remains protected through changes in cash flow or income, and could ultimately mean the difference between leading a comfortable investment journey and being stretched beyond your financial limits.

Why do you need a cash buffer?

Cash buffers are crucial to investors for a number of reasons. Even if your investment property is positively geared, there’s always the possibility your cash flow situation could change should your tenants decide to vacate or unexpected costs arise. In these cases, a property investment buffer will ensure you can continue to make your mortgage repayments and cover additional advertising costs until a replacement tenant is found. This emergency buffer will also serve as a contingency plan should you be faced with repairs that aren’t factored into your ongoing maintenance expenses such as broken hot water systems or water leaks.

In addition to a property investment buffer, you should also aim to set aside a personal income buffer to cover you through changes of income or loss of salary. This will ensure you can continue to make repayments in cases such as loss of employment or loss of income due to extended illness. Failure to plan ahead for these unexpected expenses can put investors under substantial financial pressure, and in some cases lead to serious consequences such as forced sales.

How much cash buffer do you need?

As a guide, you should look to have two to four months of rental income on hand as a property investment buffer, as well as two to four months of personal income set aside as a personal income buffer.

However, this will also depend on individual factors such as your job security, your risk profile, and the age of your investment property. Older properties, for example, will often require more maintenance, and may therefore justify a higher cash buffer. This is ideally something you should be factoring into your initial investment decision, which is why it’s important to speak to an experienced property buyer’s agent to ensure you’re not purchasing a property outside of your means and financial capacity.

If possible, your cash buffer should be held in an offset account against your mortgage, as this will help you reduce the amount of principal on your loan (and hence the interest charged) whilst the buffer isn’t in use. If you have multiple investments but still have debt in your own home, it’s better to set this account up against your owner-occupier property as the interest repayments on this are non-tax-deductible.

Making smart investment decisions

Whilst the risk of unexpected expenses can never be fully mitigated, property investors can deal with this risk by planning ahead and making smarter investment decisions. As well as setting aside an emergency buffer, this means having the right professionals on hand to manage your property and take care of situations that put your rental income at risk. Most importantly, however, it means making the right decision when selecting a suitable property in the first place.

If you are purchasing an investment property or looking to expand your current portfolio and would like to speak to a professional property advisor about your investment needs, book an obligation-free consultation with one of our Perth buyer’s agents today.

Property Newsletter – July 2018

The power of compound growth

Taking the step towards starting a property investment portfolio can be a daunting prospect for aspiring investors. With other financial priorities such as starting a family, organising that much-needed holiday and paying off existing home repayments, many end up delaying the start of their investment venture, with the majority never making it to their second purchase.

With issues of immediate affordability at the forefront of their minds and retirement a far cry away, many people overlook the long-term benefits of investing in property, and their goal of achieving financial freedom suffers as a result. In reality, however, there are huge potential benefits to investing early and giving your investment portfolio time to grow, and the secret lies in a concept called compound growth.

What is compound growth?

Compound growth is when an asset generates earnings which are then reinvested to generate their own earnings. Whilst compounding is commonly associated with interest, it’s also an incredibly powerful concept when applied to the capital growth of a property. For example, if an investor purchases a property valued at $500,000, and this property grows 5% per year, the property will increase in value to $525,000 over the first year. After a second year of growth, it will then increase further to a value of $551,250, and this trend will continue, with the value of the property (and the equity in the asset) increasing exponentially over time.

The snowball effect

Whilst many investors are familiar with the concept, a lot of people don’t understand the actual power of compounding when put into practice. Whilst it may not take a huge effect immediately, compound growth increases by larger and larger amounts each year, and this snowball effect can have huge implications for property investors who hold onto an asset long enough to reap the rewards.

Let’s look at that same property – with an annual growth rate of 5%, the property would be worth over $814,000 after ten years, marking an increase of over $300,000 compared to its value upon purchase. Whilst a non-compounding asset would have only increased in value by $250,000 over the same period of time, in this case the $250,000 in growth has created its own $64,000 in equity due to the compounding nature of property. The equity created from this growth could then be leveraged to purchase a second investment property, which will in turn start to accumulate its own equity through compound growth, and so on.

Time is key

The key to profiting from compound growth, and property investment generally, is time. The earlier an investor starts building their property portfolio, the longer they can hold onto a property, and the faster they can accumulate wealth. Going back to our earlier example – if the investor holds onto that property for a further ten years, it would be worth over $1.3 million after a period of twenty years. Now imagine the potential implications of this if you had multiple properties in your portfolio. Pair this with the fact you would  be paying less and less towards your properties as rental growth and loan repayments take their toll over time, and it’s easy to see how compound growth can become an incredibly lucrative strategy for investors.

Choosing the right property

When it comes to compounding value, choosing a property with high growth potential is integral to success. As an investor, it’s really important you consider the potential growth drivers of a property before completing a purchase. With the right research, strategy and support in place, there are huge potential gains to be made from compounding growth. And the earlier you start to build that portfolio, the greater the potential returns.

Momentum Wealth is a fully-integrated, research driven investment consultancy dedicated to helping investors build wealth through property. Backed by our in-house research team, our buyer’s agents are committed to helping investors identify investment properties with high potential for growth. If you would like to discuss your property needs with one of our Perth buyer’s agents, book a consultation with the Momentum Wealth team today.

Seeking approval: what do lenders look at?

In the past few years, we’ve seen a number of shifts within the lending environment due to changing APRA regulations and the recently appointed banking royal commission, with banks reassessing and adapting their lending criteria to mitigate risk and meet new lending guidelines. As a result of this increased scrutiny, investors (both aspiring and existing) are having to be more diligent when it comes to preparing their finances and approaching banks for loan approval.

Whilst lending criteria and policies vary considerably from bank to bank, here are some of the key factors lenders will look at when assessing your eligibility for a home or investment loan.

Credit Score

One of the key pillars lenders will consider when assessing your eligibility for a loan is your credit score. Are there any red flags that suggest you may not make your repayments on time? From the lender’s perspective, your credit history will provide a key indicator of the level of risk they are taking in borrowing to you. If you’ve failed to make repayments on time in the past or filed for bankruptcy, the lender may consider you a high risk borrower, and this can strongly impact the rates or products they are willing to offer you (or, in the latter case, your immediate eligibility for a loan).

Income and serviceability

Before issuing a loan, banks will also look at your ability to make repayments on time and in full. For lenders, one of the biggest indicators of this will be your monthly income. As well as aggregating your income sources and assessing the stability of this income, lenders will look at your outgoing expenses such as existing debt repayments, your new mortgage repayments, child support and all other outgoings to assess your serviceability. A key thing you also need to be wary of, and something that proves an obstacle to many investors and first-home buyers, is the way that banks assess your credit card debt. Even if you have a proven history of paying off your credit card on time, lenders will still calculate debt based on your credit card limit. If you have a credit card limit of $50,000, they will therefore consider that amount as ‘debt’ and take a 3% monthly liability to mitigate their risk, thereby impacting their assessment of your monthly income. If you have any credit cards that you don’t use, you may want to consider cancelling them to improve your serviceability.

With recent changes in the lending environment, many banks are tightening their serviceability metrics by enforcing stricter housing expenditure models and changing debt-to income ratios. Whilst an investor or home buyer may have once been deemed eligible to service a loan under a given income, this may no longer be the case under the new criteria. In addition, you also need to be aware that lenders will assess different types of income in different ways depending on their individual policies. For example, whilst some lenders may take overtime work into full consideration when assessing your income, others may only consider a percentage of the money earned through overtime when calculating your serviceability. In these fluctuating conditions, this is where a mortgage broker can really help you compare different loan products and lenders in the market to open up your options and find a solution that suits your situation.


Whilst it hasn’t always been the case, banks in the modern lending environment require borrowers to make a down payment before they issue a loan. As a prospective buyer, you will need to start making provisions for this in advance by building the necessary savings required for a deposit, whether it be in the form of cash savings or equity from an existing property. The amount required for a deposit will vary depending on your lender’s individual policies and the nature of your investment, but many banks are willing to lend up to 95% of a property’s value with Lender’s Mortgage Insurance in place. However, lenders may require higher equity if you are deemed a high risk borrower. To find out more about how your investment strategy can impact your required deposit, read our latest blog on the upfront costs of property.

Property analysis

One of the biggest things that lenders will take into account when determining the loan-to-value ratio they are willing to offer a prospective buyer is the physical state and location of the property being mortgaged. In other words, the lender wants to know that the property would be easy to sell should you default on your loan. If the property is in good condition and located in an inner-city suburb with high demand, the banks will likely be willing to offer a higher loan-to-value ratio, especially if you have Lender’s Mortgage Insurance in place.

We have, however, seen examples where lenders demand a higher deposit due the property type and location. This can be the case with apartments in high density CBD locations. With the high stream of apartment stock coming to market in Perth’s CBD, lenders often see these dwelling types as less secure due to the higher level of supply, and will therefore ask for the full 20% deposit to mitigate their risk. This will ensure they are covered against greater losses should you default on the loan and the property sell for less than its purchase price. This can also be the case in locations that are heavily dependent on one particular industry, as these areas can be more susceptible to price drops should that industry undergo a downturn. A key example of this would be Karratha, where the property market is heavily dependent on the mining industry. These wider market trends are something you will need to take into account when identifying potential properties, particularly if you are purchasing an asset for investment purposes.

Navigating a changing market

Applying for a home or investment loan can be a daunting prospect, especially in a fluctuating lending market with more potential changes on the horizon. With loan criteria tightening and banks now adopting stricter lending policies, it’s more important than ever to seek the advice of a specialist mortgage broker who has the investment knowledge and expertise to guide you through changes in the lending landscape.

If you are looking to secure finance for a property or would like to discuss how to navigate recent changes in the lending environment, our investment finance specialists will be happy to discuss your financial needs in an obligation-free consultation.

Bank vs broker: which is best?

When searching for a home or investment property loan, buyers will generally weigh up between two options: applying for the loan directly with the bank, or enlisting the help of a mortgage broker to compare products from different lenders. Whilst the end game is essentially the same, how and who you choose to apply for your loan can have a significant impact on the final rates and benefits you receive. So what are the key differences between brokers and banks? And how could a specialist mortgage broker better serve your long-term investment goals?

Product choice

One of the biggest differences between banks and mortgage brokers lies in the range of products each service provider offers. Since they are aligned to their own lending solutions, banks will only have access to their products and will adhere to their own unique lending policies. Essentially, this means you’re only being shown a fraction of the hundreds of lending products on the market, and you could be missing out on better rates or benefits from alternative lenders. Mortgage brokers, on the other hand, have access to a broad range of products from different lenders. Since they aren’t aligned to one particular bank, brokers will be able to compare the products and policies of each lender to help you find the loan solution that best suits your individual needs and goals. These options can be particularly important in the modern lending environment especially, as APRA changes and the banking royal commission are creating tighter lending conditions that are limiting many customers’ eligibility for certain products. Whilst this could leave you in a tough position if you don’t meet your chosen bank’s lending criteria, mortgage brokers will be able to search the market for alternative loan solutions that better complement your circumstances.

Brokers work on behalf of the client

One of the reasons that many Australians enlist the help of a mortgage broker over a bank is that brokers generally don’t hold preferences towards one particular product or institution. Whilst bank staff work in the primarily interests of their own company and products, brokers effectively serve as an agent for the client, and will assess both the positive and negative features of a loan before recommending a given solution. This enables the broker to find a solution that really fits the client’s investment strategy, as opposed to selecting the best solution out of a limited range of products.

This difference can also have critical implications on the way each institution structures a loan. A good mortgage broker with a thorough understanding of their client’s investment needs will always look to structure a loan in a manner that supports their long-term goals and enables them to move forwards in their investment journey. Banks, on the other hand, will often look to structure a loan in a way that mitigates risk for them. In some cases, this can lead to issues such as cross-collateralisation, whereby more than one property is used as security against a loan. Whilst less risky for the banks, this can lead to big issues down the line should an investor wish to sell one of the properties under the mortgage contract, and it could also hinder their eligibility for future property investment loans from other lenders.

Ongoing support

Whilst both banks and brokers can help you secure a great home loan deal, brokers offer an additional service that simply isn’t available with lenders – guidance throughout the entire lending process. As well as saving you the time and hassle involved in comparing different lending products, brokers will navigate the entire loan process for you and follow up with lending institutions on your behalf. This guidance can be particularly useful for first-home buyers with less experience and understanding of the steps involved in securing finance. If you are purchasing a property for investment purposes or buying a home with the intention of later turning it into an investment property, this is where selecting a mortgage broker who specialises in investment finance can really make or break your success. A good mortgage broker will take your long-term goals into account, and will have a thorough understanding of the structures and loan features that support your wider investment strategy as well as your short-term situation.

Expert finance solutions

At Momentum Wealth, we understand the importance the right loan solution plays in supporting your wider investment strategy. Whether you’re expanding your property portfolio or kick-starting your investment journey with your first home, our mortgage brokers can help you identify tailored loan strategies that complement your long-term goals, as well as your current circumstances. For more information about our mortgage broking services, or to speak to one of our specialist mortgage brokers about your finance needs, book a consultation with a Momentum Wealth finance specialist today.

Case study: Scarborough development sets client up for retirement

The fundamental aim for most property investors, and the reason many enter property investment in the first place, is to build enough wealth to secure financial independence and generate income for retirement. Depending on an investor’s individual aims, there are a number of different strategies they can use to do this. In our recent case study, we explore how a Momentum Wealth client used a develop and hold strategy to create the cash flow required to retire on property.


The client approached Momentum Wealth in 2009 seeking a property with high rental growth prospects and medium-term potential for development. Their long-term aim was to develop and hold the property to create an ongoing source of cash flow which would later provide a passive income to fund their retirement. Not yet ready for development, the client was seeking a property that they could land bank until they had built the equity to develop in the right market conditions.

Strategy & Acquisition

With the client’s brief in mind, Momentum Wealth identified Scarborough as an up-and-coming suburb with extremely promising long-term prospects. Whilst well-located in a beachside area between City Beach and Trigg, we also saw future government spending as a catalyst for impending change within the suburb, marking it as an ideal location for future development and rental growth.

Looking further into the local market, our buyer’s agent was able to identify a key property of interest – a 1158sqm property comprising two dwellings. This was extremely well suited to the investor’s land banking strategy, as the second dwelling would allow for an additional source of income to help minimise holding costs until the investor was ready to develop. Whilst we first identified the property in question during a bidding auction, our acquisitions specialist strategically waited until post-auction before placing an offer, and was thereby able to negotiate a better deal for the client, securing the property for $985,000. With the offer accepted and due diligence completed, the property was passed to the Momentum Wealth property management team, who were able to ensure the asset remained tenanted and well maintained until development works began.

Timing the market for development

With the government recognising Scarborough as a suburb primed for redevelopment, they established the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to implement and gazette a rezoning of the area in 2014, significantly boosting the development potential of the client’s site in turn. Following these changes, Momentum Wealth’s development team secured development approval for ten multiple dwellings over two storeys in January 2016. After the client secured finance, our development team carefully managed the builder tendering process and the detailed design of the apartments before securing a building permit in April 2017. After the appointment of Daly and Shaw as the builder, construction of the new development began, with the project coming to completion in May 2018.

Result: success in Scarborough

During the time that the client has held this site, Scarborough has undergone a massive period of redevelopment. The suburb has transformed into one of Perth’s most vibrant hubs, with projects such as the ongoing Scarborough Beach revitalisation establishing the area as a key centre of activity for tourists and locals alike. This ongoing redevelopment has brought new amenity to the suburb and boosted the rental appeal of surrounding areas, placing this development project in great stead for success.

Under the management of the Momentum Wealth property management team, five out of the ten apartments in the client’s redevelopment have already been leased for between $425 and $440 per week. With a total projected rental income of $4,380 per week, the client is set to benefit from approximately 6-7% rental yield from this development. This marks a considerable $227,760 per year in rental returns. In addition, the client has also witnessed a significant increase in capital growth, with the estimated total value of the apartments increasing to $5 million. This leaves $1 million of equity when development and purchase costs are taken into account, putting the client in a great position to benefit from short-term cash flow and, in the long run, a comfortable retirement.


Property Newsletter – July

Keeping up with claims: the tax deductions investors miss

With end of financial year almost upon us, property investors are no doubt turning their attention towards this year’s tax return. It’s a crucial period for investors, and one that plays a key role in maximising their wealth creation.

Every year, Australian investors run the risk of losing thousands of dollars’ worth of easy tax savings by failing to claim lucrative deductions. Whilst many are aware of their basic entitlements, it’s often the finer details that end up costing them in the long run. So, what are the common property tax claims investors overlook?

Investment property tax

Depreciation of the building
One of the biggest, and possibly most lucrative, deductible claims that investors often miss is depreciation on their investment property. As a property’s structure devalues over time, this decline in value can be offset against an investor’s annual income, substantially reducing their tax bill come end of financial year. This is known as a capital works deduction, and it applies to the structural features of a property such as bricks, walls and fixed wiring. It’s also one of the only non-cash deductions investors can make come tax time, meaning they don’t actually have to spend money in a given year to claim this tax benefit.

The confusion for many investors comes when determining when they can (and can’t) make a depreciation claim. This rule varies slightly between commercial and residential property owners. For commercial property investors, capital works deductions can only be claimed for properties constructed after 20 July 1982. With residential rental properties, on the other hand, a capital works deduction can be claimed for properties that commenced construction after 15 September 1987. However, even if an investment property was built prior to these respective dates, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a claim to make at all. In cases where a property has been renovated and structural elements have been added further down the line, these improvements and alternations may also be eligible for depreciation. Investors who have undertaken renovations should have the alterations assessed by a licensed quantity surveyor, who can then draw up a tax depreciation schedule.

Depreciation of plant and equipment
In addition to depreciation on the structural elements of their asset, investors may also be eligible to claim depreciation for the declining value of the plant and equipment installed within their property. This typically refers to fixtures and fittings that can be easily removed from the property, and includes items such as carpets, blinds, ovens, and air conditioning units. As with capital works allowance, the exact laws for claiming depreciable items differ between commercial and residential property. While commercial property owners are able to claim depreciation for all eligible plant and equipment within their property, regardless of whether these items were installed by themselves or the previous owner, this is no longer the case for residential property investors. In light of the 2017 Federal Budget, residential property investors who acquired a property for income-producing purposes after 9th May 2017 aren’t able to claim depreciation for second-hand plant and equipment. Only investors who have bought the property new or installed the plant and equipment themselves are able to make a depreciation claim.

Borrowing expenses
It’s common investor knowledge that interest on investment loans can be claimed as an immediate tax deduction, but this doesn’t stop investors missing out on the long-term claim associated with borrowing money for a loan. Borrowing expenses refer to any costs associated with borrowing the money needed to purchase a property, and includes items such as loan establishment costs, lenders’ mortgage insurance, stamp duty on the mortgage and mortgage broker fees. These costs aren’t immediately tax deductible, but can be claimed as a property tax deduction over a period of five years or over the term of the loan, depending on which is shorter.

Property management fees
Property managers can be an incredibly valuable asset when it comes to helping investors maximise their rental returns and keeping their property aligned with tenants’ needs. What some investors don’t realise, however, is that these property management fees can be claimed as a tax deduction come end of financial year. Providing investors use their property for income-producing purposes, any fees paid for the management of the property will be classified as part of the overall expenses of the property for that year, and can therefore be offset against their annual taxable income. If a property has only been rented out for half of that year, a deduction can still be claimed for the period during which the property was used for rental purposes, but not beyond this.

Travel expenses
Another common deduction that over gets overlooked by investors is the travel expenses relating to the management of their investment property. This applies to commercial investors who need to travel to inspect, maintain or collect rent for their commercial rental property. Whilst these travel costs were once also deductible for owners of residential rental properties, the 2017 Federal Budget saw the overturning of this law. This was largely driven by the concern that investors were claiming travel deductions for private travel purposes and not correctly apportioning costs. Whilst this change impacts investors who opt to self-manage a residential property, it doesn’t impact their ability to claim a tax deduction for third-party property management.

Please note: Momentum Wealth and its affiliated entities are not accountants or financial planners. While all information is provided in good faith, investors should seek their own independent advice in relation to all tax matters.

Case study: the importance of acting fast in a moving market

When property markets start to pick up after a downturn, entry into the recovery phase is often signaled by rises in property prices and increased levels of buying activity.

For investors, these changes in market conditions can have a very real impact on investor competition. As growing confidence in the market begins to drive increased interest from investors, buyers will need to act faster to snap up their investment property of choice and avoid missing out on key investment opportunities. This is something our buyer’s agents are starting to notice more and more as the Perth market shows increasing signs of recovery and stabilisation.

A case study: signs of a moving market
The case in point is a 3×1 property we recently identified in Willagee. This property was of particular interest because it was a corner block property with R40 zoning, meaning it held high potential for value add opportunities through development and subdivision.

Our buyer’s agents and research team first started monitoring this property back in October 2016. At the time, the property was listed for sale at $499,000, but was later taken off the market in February 2017 after a period of four months.

Fast forward a further fifteen months, and the property was relisted for sale in mid-May 2018, this time at $549,000. This marked a significant 10% increase on its original sales price. And this time round, the resulting outcome was extremely different. After just seven days on the market, the property had already sold for a significant $535,000. Same property, stronger market conditions, and a stark contrast in performance.

This isn’t the only case like this we have witnessed in recent months. In fact, our buyer’s agents are starting to see more and more properties attracting higher levels of competition from investors, with some properties receiving multiple offers after as little as just two days on the market. This, along with the clear improvement in sales performance demonstrated above, provides undeniable proof that the Perth market is moving forward, and we can only expect more of these situations to arise as the market heats up further in the coming months.

Staying one step ahead
As competition from both local and interstate begins to pick up, it’s inevitable that investors will need to act faster to secure high-performing properties. In situations like these, having the professional insights and guidance of a buyer’s agent could provide investors with a huge competitive advantage over fellow buyers.

At Momentum Wealth, our buyer’s agents work with real-time insights from our in-house research team to help investors identify high-performing properties as and when they hit the market. Through these insights, we are able to offer investors a unique advantage when it comes to selecting and securing highly desirable properties which are likely to attract high levels of competition from other investors.

If you are thinking about buying in Perth’s moving market and would like to speak to one of our buyer’s agent, get in touch with us to organise an obligation-free consultation with one of our dedicated property specialists.

Rentvesting: an affordable alternative for first-time investors?

It’s hard to consider investing in property as a young buyer without addressing the elephant in the room – housing affordability. For many young investors, the prospect of paying off a mortgage alongside kick-starting a career, travelling the world and paying back student debt just isn’t a possibility through the “traditional” avenue of home ownership. With property prices in high-demand suburbs becoming increasingly unaffordable, what was once deemed the Australian dream is also losing appeal amongst upcoming investors who still want to enjoy the benefits of the inner-city lifestyle while they’re young.

As a result, in recent years we’ve seen more and more first-time buyers forego the traditional home ownership model in favour of rent-vesting – renting somewhere to live whilst buying an investment property in a more affordable suburb. So what are the potential benefits of this investment strategy? And how could rent-vesting help first-time buyers break into the property market without giving up the new Australian dream?

Young investors 

Invest where you can afford, rent where you want to live
For many aspiring investors looking to enter the property market, buying a home in their dream location isn’t always a possibility. With affordability posing a greater issue in inner-city suburbs, becoming a home owner often means looking further afield and sacrificing perks such as proximity to work, nightlife and activity precincts. By becoming a rent-vestor, however, modern buyers don’t need to give up their dream location to get a foothold into the property market. Instead, they can enjoy the best of both worlds – investment in a more affordable area with high capital growth potential and renting a property in their ideal location. This can be a particularly beneficial strategy for those looking to rent with others and share the living costs. Most importantly, however, it gives first-time buyers the opportunity to get a head start on their investment journey whilst still enabling them to enjoy the perks of the lifestyle they love.

Flexibility to move around
Rent-vesting can be a great option for investors who want to take advantage of the flexible nature of renting. For younger buyers who aren’t ready to settle down in one location, this investment strategy provides a way to enter the property market whilst still allowing them the freedom to move around as they wish. Whilst perhaps not the strategy for families or investors who want to call their house their own, this can be an ideal scenario for young investors who still plan to travel or want the option to relocate for work. And this benefit isn’t just for young investors – rent-vesting is also gaining increasing appeal amongst busy professionals who move interstate or overseas to take advantage of career opportunities.

Tax incentives
By making their first purchase an investment property as opposed to a home, first-time buyers are able to take advantage of numerous investment tax benefits that aren’t applicable to owner-occupier properties. Whilst owner-occupier mortgage repayments can’t be deducted come tax time, the costs associated with owning an investment property can be. This includes expenses such as interest payments on investment loans, the costs of advertising for tenants, repairs and maintenance and more. These tax benefits can make the prospect of owning a property considerably more affordable for first-time investors.

Start your investment journey earlier
For investors looking to purchase a home in a location that suits their lifestyle, it can take years to save up a deposit, which often means putting long-term investment plans on hold. Rent-vesting provides a way for aspiring investors to enter the market earlier through a more affordable avenue so they can begin growing their wealth and building the equity they need to either buy that dream home or start expanding their property portfolio.

If you are a first-time investor looking to make your first purchase an investment property, it’s incredibly important to find a property that aligns with your long-term investment goals. As experts in property investment, our professional buyer’s agents can assist you in finding high-performing properties that fit your investment criteria and, most importantly, provide you with the best possible start in your property investment journey.

Contact us today to organise an obligation-free consultation with one of our property investment specialists.

Essential winter maintenance tips for your investment property

As an investor, it’s important not to underestimate the pivotal role that property maintenance plays in keeping your investment costs down and protecting your long-term wealth. As well as ensuring your tenants remain happy, looking after your property and preventing any issues before they arise could be key to avoiding costly damage that could take a serious bite out of your bottom line.

Whilst property maintenance is important all year round, properties always require that extra bit of attention during the winter months. During winter, the harsher weather will often highlight issues that weren’t previously visible in the warmer seasons, with minor damage at risk of becoming a serious problem with the rain and storms that winter brings. To prevent these small issues turning into costly repairs, here are some of the winter maintenance checks you should be organising to protect your investment property.

Winter maintenance

Inspect for wear and tear
During winter, problems that may have gone unnoticed during the warmer seasons such as minor leaks in gutters and rooves are easier to identify, meaning it’s a great time for investors to check their property for any issues that may need addressing. Problems such as water leaks can cause a substantial amount of damage in a short time-frame if left unrepaired, leading to costly issues such as mould, water stains and damaged walls. To prevent these problems arising, you should organise a professional maintenance check to identify any small leaks in gutters or lose roof tiles that could result in water damage. Whilst these checks may set you back around $180, this is relatively minor compared to the hundreds of dollars you may otherwise need to splash out to repair deteriorating eaves and water-damaged ceilings.

Clean your gutters
Gutters will often accumulate a lot of leaf and debris over the warmer months. Whilst not always a major issue in summer, this build-up of debris can become a bigger problem as the weather gets damper. To prevent blocked gutters causing water damage to your investment property, we recommend investors get gutters professionally cleaned to ensure rainwater is properly diverted during the wet weather.

Pool maintenance
Whilst they can be a drawcard for tenants in summer, properties with pools are often less appealing to tenants in winter. To get around this, our property managers usually recommend that investors include pool maintenance in their lease to reduce any potential hassle-factor to tenants. Although pools won’t be getting much use during winter, it’s important to keep them in good condition to ensure they stay clean and damage-free throughout the colder months. This is especially the case if you’re looking to re-lease their property in winter, as issues such as debris and algae can be off-putting for prospective tenants. Whilst it may cost to have the pool professionally cleaned, this is a relatively low cost investment compared to the huge outlays you could be spending further down the line should the pool incur damage from lack of maintenance, and that extra bit of care could see you making more from rental yields.

Check heating systems
During winter, tenants will often make use of heating systems and appliances that have gone unused over the summer months. This change in temperature and increased usage will often require additional maintenance from investors. As the cold weather sets in, you will need to check key appliances such as heating and hot water systems to ensure they are working efficiently and adjusted to the correct setting. It’s also a great time to organise an annual service for your air conditioning system, as issues with split air conditioning often only become apparent when tenants start using them for heating. With the wetter weather also presenting ideal conditions for the build-up of unsightly issues such as mould, it’s also a good time to check that exhaust fans are in working order to ensure the property remains well ventilated, paying particular attention to damper areas such as the laundry and bathroom.

Professional asset management
As an investor, it’s important to remember that your investment strategy doesn’t just stop at the acquisition of a property. In order to make the most out of your investment property in the long-term, you also need to commit to ongoing maintenance to ensure your property remains appealing to tenants and avoid unexpected costs. As experienced property managers, our asset management team at Momentum Wealth aren’t just committed to taking care of the day-to-day maintenance of your investment property, we are committed to maximising your long-term results. Whether it’s helping you avoid costly repairs or identifying opportunities to add value to your rental property, our property management team are dedicated to protecting your long-term wealth and keeping your investment costs at a minimum through smart asset management.

If you would like to find out more about our asset management services, get in touch with Momentum Wealth’s property management team via our online contact form.

Premium suburbs leading the charge for Perth market

Suburbs in exclusive locations are helping support the recovery of Perth WAs property market, touting some big growth percentages.

The top suburbs, with nine out of ten having a median price of at least $1 million, are all located close to either a river or the ocean, according to Shane Kempton, chief operations officer for Professionals real estate group in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“These premium suburbs were either located close to the river or ocean. Applecross was the top performer with a median house price increase of 32.4 per cent over the past year rising to $1.6 million, while Dalkeith was ranked number tenth with a median house price of growth of 8.3 per cent, pushing its median house price in this suburb to $2.6 million,” Mr Kempton said.

“These price growth rates are significant when you consider the overall median house price in Perth fell by 1 per cent over the same period to $510,000.

“Traditionally, it is the top end of the real estate market that leads the recovery in the Perth property market and these figures confirm that Perth is now entering this recovery stage.”

The growth of these suburbs, he explained, can be attributed to two reasons; the recovery in the resources is sector is giving property buyers confidence to purchase premium property and as a result of this, stock has declined, which is driving prices up further.

Mr Kempton said when looking at historical data, when prices rise in Perth’s premium suburbs, a ripple effect is felt throughout the rest of the market over a one to two-year period.

“These second-tier suburbs include areas such as Booragoon, Melville, Manning, Como, NSWComo, WA, Floreat, Shenton Park, Subiaco, Wembley Downs and Woodlands,” he said.

“We should therefore see rising prices in other areas of Perth during the coming two years with the outer suburbs which have been worst affected by oversupply issues, being the last areas to benefit from this upward correction in property prices.

“In vast majority of areas in Perth, property prices are still at rock bottom and buyers should now move quickly to secure a property before the recovery in the market gains further momentum to avoid buyers’ regret.”

The top 10 premium suburbs in Perth, according to Professionals analysis and sourced from the Real Estate Institute of WA, are:

Rank Suburb Median sale price Growth over the last year (as a percentage)
1 Applecross $1,675,000 32.4%
2 Bicton $1,080,000 22.7%
3 North Freemantle $1,140,000 18.8%
4 Cottesloe $2,177,500 13.3%
5 Kallaroo $790,000 13.3%
6 Nedlands $1,655,000 13.2%
7 Mosman Park $1,400,000 9.8%
8 Ardross $1,050,000 9.4%
9 City Beach $1,800,000 8.6%
10 Dalkeith $2,600,000 8.3%



Coodanup, Greenfields among the Perth suburbs with the best rental return

SOME of Perth’s least desirable addresses are proving the most lucrative for savvy landlords.

Investors unperturbed by slim capital gain prospects in battler suburbs are cashing in on cheap underlying land values to pocket rental yields approaching six per cent.

Houses in Mandurah’s Coodanup (5.8 per cent) and Greenfields (5.7 per cent) returned rental yields better than anywhere in Perth in the past 12 months, despite both locations ranking among the most disadvantaged.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, median weekly household incomes in Coodanup ($830) and Greenfields ($948) are about half the WA average of $1595, and almost 11 per cent of adults in both suburbs have not completed Year 10, double the WA average.

It is a similar story in all of the REA Group’s top 10 suburbs for rental yield over the past year, all of which, other than Hilbert, fall into the ABS’ bottom 20 per cent of locations.

The average Coodanup home cost $245,000 and returned $14,300 a year in rent, for a rental yield of 5.8 per cent. That means owners would recoup the value of the home in about 18 years, just over half the length of a typical 30-year home loan. By contrast, the median home price in Applecross — one of the worst locations for rental yield at 1.6 per cent — was $1.65 million and returned $25,740 a year in rent. At that rate, it would take 64 years to recover the original cost of the property.

But Momentum Wealth research adviser Shaun Strickland warned against rushing out to snap up cheap homes based on rental yield alone.

“The potential for strong rental yields may be high, but long-term capital growth is limited by the low land values,” Mr Strickland said.

REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said different strategies would appeal to different types of investors.

“Right now, the Perth market is in the early stages of recovery and blue-chip suburbs are starting to see price growth,” she said. “So for investors after capital growth, it would pay to look there. If you want yield, look to lower socio-economic locations.”

Seven common mistakes investors make

When it comes to winning big in real estate, many turn to property investment. But achieving success takes time and patience, with only a handful making it past their first investment.

To ensure you don’t fall into the property trap, we spoke to the experts from Momentum Wealth to discuss seven of the most common mistakes property investors make.

  1. Don’t buy in an overheated market

Momentum Wealth Research Advisor Shaun Strickland said many investors see reports of unprecedented growth in one area and assume this must be the next ‘boom’ suburb.

“If you are reading about a boom in the media, chances are it is already too late to be buying in the suburb. Instead, investors need to be identifying areas that are likely to outperform in the long-term, which is where the advice of a professional buyer’s agent could prove invaluable,” Mr Strickland said.

  1. Not doing enough homework

The property market is always changing, and you will never know EVERYTHING there is to know about real estate. But, doing your homework nonetheless is essential and studying the suburb you wish to buy in will make it worth your while.

Mr Strickland believes research is the cornerstone to a successful property investment.

“Identifying high-performing properties requires analysis of demand and supply, knowledge of the local demographic, consistent market monitoring and awareness of other key growth factors,” he said.

“Once investors have narrowed their search to a specific suburb, they will then need to assess the potential of individual streets and properties.”

Another common mistake investors make is that they tend to only research properties within five kilometres of their current location.

Mr Strickland also said “whilst it’s a natural reaction for investors to look in areas they are most familiar with, this could result in them missing out on key investment opportunities elsewhere.”

  1. No backup cash

According to Momentum Wealth Finance Team Leader Caylum Merrick, many investors fall into the trap of not saving up a sufficient cash buffer once they’ve actually acquired a property, which could leave them in a disadvantaged position should unexpected scenarios arise such as property repairs, rises in interest rates or tenants leaving a property.

Mr Merrick advises investors to set aside a cash buffer to cover unexpected costs for each property in their portfolio.

“We also advise investors to work with an experienced property manager to understand any of the potential costs that could occur for their particular property,” he said.

Find a property manager

  1. Cross-collateralisation

This is when more than one property is used as security for a loan or multiple loans.

“Cross-collateralisation can significantly reduce an investor’s ability to borrow in the future, so it is especially important to seek the help of a mortgage specialist who fully understands their financial needs and long-term investment goals.

“Choosing the right loan strategy from the start can significantly maximise an investor’s borrowing capacity and give them more flexibility moving forward,” Mr Merrick said.

  1. No plan, no gain

All property investors have one goal – to build a lucrative property portfolio. However getting there without a plan or goal will backfire. As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

You need to have an end vision of where you want to end up and then follow a strategic plan to get there.

  1. Thinking with your heart not your head

With the Perth property market starting to show signs of recovery and stabilisation, interest will grow from property investors, meaning buyers need to act fast to secure their ideal property.

An investment should be look at as a business decision. Making an ’emotional purchase’ is to be avoided at all costs. A decision driven by your heart can lead you to over-capitalise rather than prioritise the best outcome for your investment goals.

Base your decision on facts, statistics and research.

  1. Choosing to self-manage

Seeking the advice of a professional can help you avoid making simple mistakes, and they can also play a vital role in helping investors identify opportunities to maximise rental returns.

“Property investment experts can assist investors in identifying properties with the highest growth prospects that a single investor may not be able to discover or analyse on his or her own,” Mr Strickland said.

It can be very daunting trying to handle all aspects of property investment on your own, especially if you have a portfolio of more than one or two properties.

Momentum Wealth Asset Management Advisor Clare Christiansen said property managers play an important role not only in the day-to-day running of properties, but also in supporting an investor’s overall investment strategy and protecting their long-term wealth.

“Property investment doesn’t stop at the acquisition of a property,” she said.

“Savvy investors will also realise that smart asset management is key to their long-term wealth strategy.”

Read more about why property managers are vital to a successful investment.

Or, to begin your investment journey, browse properties for sale in Perth, WA.

The most popular suburbs for rentals in Perth: REIWA

White Gum Valley, Scarborough and Shenton Park are among the 10 Perth suburbs where landlords are finding tenants for their rental properties the fastest, according to data released from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

REIWA President Hayden Groves said that while on average it takes Perth landlords 45 days to secure a tenant for their rental, many suburbs across the metro area were experiencing faster leasing times.

“In White Gum Valley for example, landlords are finding tenants for their rental properties in approximately 27 days – 18 days faster than the Perth Metro average, while in Scarborough and Shenton Park it takes 28 days and in Pearsall and Leederville 29 days,” Mr Groves said.

The data from REIWA shows all but one of the suburbs on the list have a median house rent price above the Perth Metro median of $350 per week.

This charming two-bedroom house is available for $430/week as featured on Image: Realmark Coastal

“Number six on the list, Floreat, has a median house rent of $543 per week, close to $200 more than the Perth Metro average,” Mr Groves said.

“Many of these suburbs are well-established areas, typically popular with the trade-up and luxury segment of the residential market. This suggests that tenants are finding good value in suburbs that might otherwise be considered out of their price range, and are acting fast when rentals become available for lease,” he said.

Source: REIWA

The data shows that all of the suburbs on the list, with the exception of Shenton Park, saw a notable improvement in average leasing days over the last year.

“The Vines and White Gum Valley had the biggest reduction in average leasing days, experiencing declines of 34 days and 26 days respectively between May 2017 and 2018,” Mr Groves said.

This sleek two-bedroom apartment is available for rent $400/week in Leederville, as featured on Image by Here Property.

“A combination of strong leasing activity levels and declining listings has caused the pendulum to start to swing in favour of landlords. This is particularly the case in those suburbs where we are observing quick leasing times.

Source: REIWA

“Prospective investors who are considering purchasing an investment property in one of these suburbs are in a very good position to secure a tenant quickly,” he said.

Find out more information on the rental market in Perth from the Perth Market Snapshot on the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia website.

Property Newsletter – May 2018

Applecross – The southern peninsula with a beautiful Perth City aspect

Famous for its Jacaranda lined streets and sweeping river and city views, the suburb of Applecross is one of Perth’s premium inner city suburbs lying on the river banks of the Swan River.

Applecross is located in the City of Melville, approximately 6 kilometres south of the Perth CBD and is the gateway to the Fremantle district.

It features a population of 6,887, making it a medium-sized Perth metropolitan suburb. The current median age is 43 years old, which is older than the Perth median of 36. The difference in median age is due to the higher amount of empty nesters in the area. Applecross is a destination suburb where the extravagant land values outprice a younger demographic.

With close proximity to the Perth CBD, recent ABS census data has stipulated that 35.6% of the population identify themselves as professionals and 20.0% as managers, which is well above the WA average at 20.5% and 12.0%, respectively.

Its neighbouring suburbs include Ardross and Mount Pleasant to the South, which are also largely family-based affluent areas. East of Applecross, across Canning Bridge, lies Como, another expensive family orientated property market. It is bordered by the Swan River to the North.

With high frequency bus transport down Canning Highway, and Canning Bridge Train Station servicing the eastern section of the suburb, public transport to and from Applecross is one of the main drawcards of the area. The Kwinana Freeway runs down the eastern periphery of the suburb allowing for easy access private transport to the Perth CBD as well as to the southern suburbs.

The median house price is $1,600,000 with the dwelling stock comprising of 63% housing, 25% semi-detached dwellings and 12% units, making the area a fairly mixed housing use area.

The high density housing is mainly focused around Canning Bridge, with future development to be prominent with the introduction of the Canning Bridge Precinct Structure Plan which aims at creating a satellite city at Canning Bridge as a gateway to the South. Low density housing of R12.5 – R20 is the predominant coding in the residential area with the lower coding predominantly in place along the river foreshore, where you can find large mansion-style dwellings.

The housing stock has no clear era as redevelopment of the existing housing stock has occurred continuously with 1940s homes being replaced by larger two storey dwellings. Some older 1960s apartments still exist scattered throughout the suburb while brand new apartments are being constructed nearby Canning Bridge.

The leafy family suburb has an abundance of amenity within the suburb and on the peripheries. Ardross Street Café Strip is always bustling with vibrancy, and the Canning Bridge Precinct is bringing more office, restaurants and bars to the area, including the historically significant Raffles Hotel. On the outskirts of the suburb is Garden City for retail needs, and further down Canning Highway is the large Fremantle Activity Centre.

Applecross’ proximity to the CBD and positioning on the Swan River are the two largest drawcards for the area, coupled with tree lined streets, good schooling and lively cafes and restaurants.  The suburb is one of the most expensive suburbs of Perth, with large plans to increase densification and vibrancy in the near future through the highly publicised Canning Bridge Precinct which has already seen the start of high rise development.

Diverse Commercial Investment Key to Property Success

Many investors are familiar with the strategy of diversifying their assets and spreading their wealth (and consequently risk) across multiple investment vehicles.  When it comes to property investment, many savvy investors recognise the need and the role commercial property play alongside an established residential portfolio; however given the usually high cost of acquiring commercial property, few investors have the financial capability or appetite to add multiple commercial investments to their portfolio. This prevents investors from realising benefits of growth and risk mitigation from investing across multiple industries.

Commercial property investment continues to play a crucial role in building a successful property portfolio for savvy investors as net yields for commercial property are typically between 7-9%, compared to residential of between 3-4%. However commercial property generally experiences lower capital growth compared to residential and can be heavily impacted by economic factors influencing industry segments. Longer vacancy periods, higher interest costs and higher deposits are all factors that can present significant risk factors to investors who may only be exposed to one type of commercial property.

For example, the end of 2017 saw significant differences in performance across the industrial, retail, office and medical sectors, with each segment subject to unique market factors at both state and national levels.  An overall flight to quality trend in the commercial space has seen many commercial investors creating more attractive spaces to incentivise long-term leases from tenants and secure cash flow.

While a diverse commercial property investment strategy is attractive to many investors, with quality commercial assets generally costing at least $2 million, with many great assets costing significantly more, this may not be a viable financial option for everyone.

Commercial property syndicates and funds can be considered by investors as an available and logical means to access investment across various commercial segments as they can have the added advantage of an experienced, and hopefully proven, acquisitions team and professional asset management which can better ensure optimum return rates.

When done correctly, investing in commercial property is a valuable asset in a successful investment portfolio and can provide cash flow security. Like any investment, there are several factors that must be considered before deciding if it is the right strategy for you and your goals, and professional advice for your situation should be obtained before making any decisions.

How to select property that outperforms the market

In good times, it’s easy to become complacent when choosing an investment property. The media’s full of hype, prices are skyrocketing, and people are in a scramble to buy. It’s not unusual in times such as these to think that anything you touch will turn to gold. But it’s not until things get a bit rocky that the market really starts to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Properties that never had the right fundamentals get hit hard, while the rest calmly weather the storm.

With the market turning upwards once again, I’m sure many of you are contemplating acquiring an investment property. If you are, learn from the mistakes many others made in the last boom and purchase wisely. You must always remember that not every property is the same. In fact, the potential for growth in each property can vary quite dramatically.

Let me explain. What would you say if I offered to write you a cheque in 10 years time for $75,000, no strings attached? I’m sure you’d jump at it. Well, buying a $500,000 property that experiences a 7% average annual growth compared to one with a 6% average annual growth will result in around $75,000 of extra equity. Even after only 5 years, the 1% difference will put about $25,000 extra into your pocket. It’s a simple example but just goes to show property selection is critical to maximising your wealth.

Selecting the best possible property often comes down to a number of factors. In this article, I’m going to focus on just one – supply.

Supply is just one half of the equation, demand being the other. If demand for houses increases faster than supply, then prices will go up. If demand decreases and plenty of supply still remains, prices go down. And naturally, if they are about equal to one another then prices will remain relatively stable. Not a bad thing, but not a good thing either if you’re looking to build your wealth as fast as possible. So if you’re looking to buy a well-performing investment, it makes sense to look for something in an area with relatively limited supply.

Areas with limited supply tend to be those that are well-established. If you buy a 3×1 in an area that is 30-40 years old not too far from the CBD, you know that supply of that type of property is unlikely to increase substantially as there is no more land available to build on. Assuming people hold a desire to live in that area and, better yet, you predict that desire to increase over years to come, then you can be reasonably confident your property’s value will continue to rise. But just buying in established areas close to the CBD is not necessarily secure for every type of property. Consider a 2×1 apartment just a short stroll from the CBD. If there is surrounding land ripe for development, or plenty of old buildings ready to be demolished for brand new apartment complexes, supply of apartments in that area could be plentiful. When researching an area, I find it valuable to contact the council to find out what plans there are for the area. Potential changes to zoning to allow more subdivision or demolishing of large schools or hospitals to accommodate new estates in the area, may all impact on your decision to buy whether for worse or for better.

Venturing out further from the CBD often leads to areas that are relatively new and perhaps starting or in the midst of development. Many are usually abundant in available land, both in their own suburb and in future areas surrounding it. Whilst I certainly believe there are some good buys in such areas (due to them possessing other key fundamentals), they can be risky due to excess supply issues.

Often supply needs to be considered in light of time. There may be enough land in the area to develop for another 10 or even 15 years, and if there’s a real chance you may sell in that timeframe, you may be caught fighting against a hundred other similar homes on the market at the same time. With plenty of competition, it’s unlikely houses in the area will be achieving significant price growth. In this scenario, you might find your money may have been better invested in another area.

On the topic of supply in outer fringe areas, there’s a phrase that I feel investors should be a little cautious of and this is “growth corridor”.This seems to be the latest catch-cry of a host of suburban fringe developments like the Beenleigh area in Queensland, the Truganina area of Victoria, or the far north-east area of Perth. I hear many investors pronounce what a great capital growth investment they’ve made because they’ve bought in a growth corridor such as these. I need to emphasise that “growth corridor” is not referring to capital growth, it is referring to population growth. And whilst the influence of population growth is another factor that can positively impact property prices, it needs to be considered in light of the overwhelming amount of supply that is almost a guaranteed feature of these corridors.

But sometimes supply is not always about what land or opportunities are around ready for development. A character home from the early 1900’s in an area with plenty of redevelopment going on, will still fare well. That is because character homes themselves are always in limited supply – what stands today is all that will ever be. No matter how much land is created in that area, you just cannot duplicate the age and real features of a character home that are much desired.

The concept of supply and its impact on price growth is actually quite logical but it’s something that many investors somehow seem to forget. Perhaps they get carried away with the excitement of buying, are won over by the beautiful décor of a place, or can’t resist a so-called “bargain”. This is why it’s so important when buying an investment property, to think with your head and not with your heart.

Capital City Dwelling Values Record Their First Annual Decline Since November 2012 While Regional Dwelling Values Continue To Edge Higher
National dwelling values nudged 0.1% lower in April, the seventh consecutive month-on-month fall since values started retreating in October last year according to the CoreLogic April home value index results out today.

Similar to previous months, CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless found that the declines were concentrated within the largest capitals, while regional dwelling values edged 0.4% higher.

Capital city dwelling values were 0.3% lower over the month, driven by larger falls of -0.4% in Sydney and Melbourne and a smaller decline in Brisbane values (-0.1%).  The falls were offset by flat conditions in Perth and subtle rises in Adelaide (+0.1%), Darwin and Canberra (both +0.6%).  Hobart was the only city where dwelling values rose by more than 1% in April.

Index results as at April 30, 2018

On an annual basis, the combined capitals recorded the first decline in dwelling values since late 2012, with values slipping 0.3% lower, driven by falls in Sydney (-3.4%), Perth (-2.3%) and Darwin (-7.7%).  The only capital city to see an improvement in annual growth conditions  relative to a year ago is Perth, where the rate of decline has slowed from -3.0% last year to -2.3% over the past twelve months.

A reversal of longer term trends  Mr Lawless said, “At a macro level, the latest trends are virtually the opposite of what we have become used to over the past five or so years.  Regional areas are now outperforming the capitals and units are outperforming houses.  Also the most expensive properties are now showing weaker conditions than the more affordable ones.”

Regional areas now outpacing the capital cities  The past five years has seen combined capital city dwelling values appreciate at the annual rate of 6.8% which is almost double the annual rate across the combined regional markets at 3.5%.  The past twelve months has seen capital city dwelling values fall by 0.3% while regional values are 2.4% higher.

Unit values outperform house values  Similarly, capital city detached house values have recorded an average annual growth rate of 7.3% over the past five years, while unit values were up 5.5% per annum over the same period.  Mr Lawless said, “Despite the surge in unit construction over recent years, the past twelve months has seen unit values continue to trend higher, up 1.9%, compared with a 1.0% fall in house values.”

More affordable housing stock has been resilient to value falls  Across the most expensive quarter of the market, dwelling values have increased at almost twice the pace of the most affordable quarter over the past five years, up 8.2% per annum compared with 4.4% per annum.  As conditions have slowed down, it’s been the most affordable end of the housing market where values have remained resilient to falls, trending 1.9% higher over the past twelve months while the most expensive quarter of properties has seen values fall by -1.6%.

Property Newsletter – April 2018


Is development the right strategy for you?

Many property enthusiasts consider development the “sexy” side of property investment. The glamour of high returns combined with the creation of a physical building may sound appealing, but it’s important you are fully aware of the inherent risks this strategy brings.

The returns developers chase in today’s market is an internal rate of return of approximately 15% + per annum. These returns can yield profit margins in the millions for certain development sites. While these strong returns may sound incredibly appealing, there is a significant added risk. Such risks include:

  • Property market fluctuations: the market may not hold true in terms of value for the end product, which may be different to the pre-feasibility price expectations.
  • Your builder may encounter unexpected problems during the build which escalate costs creating financial burdens, or the builder themselves may reach financial hardship threatening their capacity to finish the project.
  • Setbacks in terms of planning and design can add to costs and stretch timelines.
  • Increased supply through completion of similar developments may create a more competitive market, putting downwards pressure on prices.
  • Overpaying for the site and under planning for costs creates an unfeasible project.

It is a common misconception that most property developers walk away with a lucrative profit margin. This can certainly be the case with well planned and executed developments, however, without proper research and development analysis things can also go spectacularly wrong. Plenty of unsuspecting investors end up in financial distress in the form of capital losses and cash flow issues.

Ultimately, development is a more volatile strategy which means it is of greater importance that you are in a secure financial position. You need to be able to afford any issues that may arise through cost escalation or timeframe extensions, which increase holding costs. It wouldn’t be the first time an inexperienced developer gets into the unfortunate position of having to sell a very attractive development site, due to their financial inability to hold/develop the asset.

If you are considering whether property development is a suitable option for you, start by carefully considering whether you are in a positon to take on the elevated risks. You must have the capabilities to afford the initial large capital outlay as well as be able to service the loan during the times of peak debt.

Finally, development has very lumpy capital transactions which can cause strain on cash flow. The strategic developer will not place the majority of their money within a single development, as it heightens the risk drastically.

Are you suited to development?

If you are at the start of your wealth building journey, you are probably better suited to purchase growth assets, or development sites with the aim to develop in the future. The capital growth achieved in these assets will help finance the developments down the track.

Generally, development won’t be part of your investment strategy until you are further along in your journey. In today’s market with its stringent finance requirements, it is typically reserved for more experienced property investors with an appetite for risk, the serviceability to pay for the development and the cash to obtain the site.

If you would like to find out whether development is right for you, request a no-obligation consultation with our team. We will obtain an understanding of your situation and will be able to advise you on whether development is the right strategy for you.

Perth is a two-speed property market

The Perth market has entered into a recovery phase but not as one homogeneous property market. With prices in outer suburbs still stalling, Perth has become a two-speed property market.

There is currently a very diverse property climate in Australia’s most Western capital, with property prices in some areas going up when other suburbs struggle along, trying to shake off excess supply and falling house prices.

The first home buyer’s grant policy is also not making it easier for the Perth market. The grant of $10,000 is currently only available for new builds, resulting in a market where first home buyers prefer to buy land and build a new home further away from the city over buying an established property.

As a result, outer suburbs which feature a lot of development are contributing to oversupply, putting downwards pressure on prices in those areas. This in turn brings Perth overall median prices down.

But a different scenario unfolds when we look at suburbs closer to the CBD, and particularly in the second or third home buyer tiers. Houses in the $700,000 plus price bracket in more established suburbs closer to the city are selling fast. Prices in these suburbs are rising.

Damian Collins, managing director of Momentum Wealth, comments: “There is no doubt that in the established market at a higher price point we are seeing the start of a recovery in the market.”

This can be explained to some extent by the renewed confidence in the economy and increased job security. Buyers who had been sitting on the fence are taking advantage of the lower prices to upgrade and get into what are traditionally more expensive neighbourhoods.

While we do not expect the market to run away any time soon, we do know that often this kind of recovery causes a ripple effect, with areas neighbouring popular suburbs seeing increased demand and price upticks as people are being priced out of their first suburb of choice.

There are however still bargains to be had in Perth. You just need to know where to look and have the negotiation skills to get them. Our buyer’s agents have picked up on the increasing competition for investment grade stock. While prices in certain areas may not have started to move yet, savvy investors are snapping up opportunities before word gets out, cashing in on the capital growth that will occur once others do catch up.

It will not come as a surprise that by buying at a time when the market is bottoming or even in the early stages of recovery you have the best chance of getting accelerated capital growth. If you have been thinking about investing in Perth, now’s the time to get yourself organised. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Momentum Wealth snaps up Best Customer Service Award

At Momentum Wealth, we understand the significance of good customer service and endeavour to always maintain a strong level of respect for the principle of ‘good customer service is good business’.

Hence, we are honoured and grateful for the recognition and acknowledgement we have received for our dedication to excellence in customer service.

Recently Momentum Wealth was awarded the Best Customer Service award in the Better Business Awards 2018, an award we have had the privilege of winning two years in a row, and one of 10 awards the Momentum Wealth Broking team has received in the past two years. We are also very proud and grateful to be nominated as a finalist in the upcoming MFAA awards in May and would like to thank all of our partners, investors and staff for their continued support.

As always, our broking team is committed to offering you the best service, so please contact your consultant or us at should you wish to discuss how we can assist you in your investment journey.

The $3.3b retail revolution helping to transform Perth

Picture this. It’s the not-too-distant future. Think Perth, 2020. After spending the day lazing about on Scarborough Beach, strolling around the area’s now two-year-old beachfront redevelopment, the time comes to head home.

Driving back towards the city along Scarborough Beach Road, the familiar site of Innaloo Shopping Centre slowly comes into view. It has been there a while, that big ol’ concrete block. In fact, last year the shopping centre — WA’s first — turned 50 years old. But in this near-future, the concrete is gone.

As you get closer, the centre, with its palm trees and open-plan design, looks more like a resort than a concrete jungle. Inside, big-name luxury brands are mixed in with David Jones, while roof-top restaurants offer a range of dining options. There’s even a health club, cinema complex and apartments.

This may seem like some sort of fantasy world, but it’s a reality the Scentre Group, the owner-operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand, is set on in a bid to transform the place into a “premium lifestyle destination”.

“It is a big, big investment in WA,” Scentre’s manager for development Roy Gruenpeter tells STM. “And it is all part of the evolution about what a shopping centre offers. We are creating places that people want to go to … a place that is a lifestyle and community hub — that’s the really critical part.”

In amended plans that were given the green light this year, the shopping-centre giant will spend $600 million to transform the old concrete block that will be renamed Westfield Stirling. The redevelopment will double the size of the centre, with more than 300 shops over 110,000sqm, making it one of WA’s biggest shopping centres. Construction is expected to start later this year.

Scentre’s plans to transform the area include the neighbouring Spud Shed site on Ellen Stirling Boulevard, and the Innaloo Cinema Complex on Liege Street (on the opposite side of Scarborough Beach Road), which the Group paid $48 million for in 2016.

Plans could include redeveloping both additional sites, adding apartments and linking them to the shopping centre.

Innaloo’s reinvention is just one element of a retail revolution that has already started in Perth. There is a flurry of activity in the shopping-centre world worth about $4 billion to the WA economy — a flurry so competitive one expert has labelled it an “arms race”.

Perth will see six of its major shopping centres transformed over the next few years.

Whitfords Shopping Centre, which reopened its doors after a transformation late last year, comes as Carousel, Garden City, Karrinyup and Morley Galleria are all set for massive makeovers, creating hundreds of new shops.

There’s also the new direct factory outlet near the Perth Airport, which is set to open later this year. Though its owner says no retailers are yet confirmed for the airport site, Sydney’s Homebush DFO houses high-end brands such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo and Armani, suggesting what could be on the way for Perth.

This retail revolution has also spread to the outskirts of the metropolitan area. This week the doors to Mandurah Forum, upgraded at a cost of $350 million, officially opened. Looking out over the glistening new building in front of her in Mandurah this week, the centre’s manager, Jacqueline McKenzie, can’t help but feel a sense of pride.

And she should — the 33-year-old has been there from the start of the transformation. “I do feel proud,” McKenzie says as the doors to the centre open. “It’s been a lot of hard work. But, more importantly, it’s great for the community and great for Mandurah and the region.”

The opening marks the beginning of a new frontier for the one-time sleepy holiday and retirement community. It means new shops, new jobs, new cafes and new places to eat. But it also means people will no longer have to travel to Perth for high-end fashion.

David Jones is the key tenant — the kind of retailer many thought would probably never get to the seaside city.

But it is not all about the shopping.

To beat off the rapid rise of online retailers, such as Amazon, shopping centres are evolving into more than just places where you park your car, buy things and then leave. Like it or loathe it, Perth’s shopping centres are turning into community centres — the modern-day version of the town square.

For McKenzie, the new Mandurah development is about building a sense of community — a place where people can go to feel a part of something.

“We want the forum to be a place where people gather — a large part of the community that has a positive influence on it,” she says. “I mean, having that element helps to build a sustainable business as well, of course. But, for example, in Mandurah, where there is a youth unemployment problem, we’ve been holding job fairs for all the new retailers coming in, making it easier for jobseekers.

“We’ve encouraged the new retailers to hire locally. And we’ve partnered with the City of Mandurah to conduct eight-week hospitality courses for all the new food vendors. That’s what I mean about a positive influence.”

“I think there’s easily still room for growth,” McKenzie says. “Shopping centres are now catering to the needs to the community. There’s entertainment, health, education — it’s now a place where the community feels comfortable and feels like they own, because if you don’t do that then the community will abandon you. It’s somewhere to meet, to shop and connect with your family and friends and give you a bit of a break.”

Back in metropolitan Perth, this theory appears to ring true.

Like Hawaiian Group’s Claremont Quarter shopping centre redevelopment, which opened in 2011, the Karrinyup and Garden City redevelopments, owned by AMP Capital, both have residential apartments included as part of their redesigns.

Garden City’s redevelopment is set to finish in the second half of this year, while Karrinyup’s upgrade will begin within six weeks. The combined upgrades will cost a staggering $1.4 billion.

The company’s divisional development manager in WA,Scott Nugent, says the inclusion of apartments is all about giving people a chance to live “closer to the action”.

Perth’s taken a while to adapt to this trend,” he says. “It’s been happening a lot on the east coast.

“We recognise people don’t really want to live actually on top of a shopping centre, so the apartments are constructed on what we call the ‘frames’ of the shopping centres. So they’re not actually inside but more just part of a hub.”

He describes this “hub” as a community centre point.

It will host street parties and pop-up events — an initiative known in shopping-centre circles as “place making” — similar to those that have sprung up around Perth’s urban centres.

“Place making is a term to describe the way people feel and interact with a space,” he says. “The design and feel — making it feel like a nice place to be. That’s what we really want to encourage, so people can just come for the day — you don’t have spend anything, just be part of it.”

This is a cultural phenomenon in some parts Asia, where going to a shopping centre is a day out. In the Philippines it even has a name, malling, where families go to walk around the mall with no real purpose other than to be there. The Grove in Los Angeles is another example.

For some West Australians, just coming to a shopping centre and “walking around” may indeed be a bridge too far. But there is little doubt the attraction of a shopping centre — a one-stop-shop for all you need — is a major pulling point, and has seen traditional shopping precincts, such as those in Subiaco, Mount Lawley and Perth city, struggle.

With all these redevelopments finishing within a few years of each other, is there a chance Perth people will become shopped out? According to retail expert Darryll Ashworth, this is a real possibility.

“It’s a race,” he says. “Not just to complete them (the redevelopments), but to get the best retailers. There is going to be incredible competition between them all to attract the right tenants. For example (Swedish fashion house) H&M may only have two more stores in Perth; Uniqlo may only do three stores … it’s going to be very competitive.”

Ashworth should know. He was once the man in charge of Westfield in WA, the company behind Whitfords, Carousel and Innaloo shopping centres, and is now a managing director and retail expert at consulting firm Metier.

“It’s going to be very interesting,” he says. “It’s a great boost for the WA economy, and they (the shopping centres) will be popular, no doubt. But every second day there are stories of retail decline, and I’m unsure about it all.”

Yet for the true believers, it is onwards and upwards.

Gruenpeter says his confidence in a redevelopment such as Innaloo comes down to one simple element.

“We’re humans,” he says. “We do thrive on personal contact. And the modern shopping centre is about providing the environment for that to happen.”

The changing face of shopping

Whitfords: $110 million

299 stores over 76,450sqm.

Includes apartments, new cinema, food hub and brewery.

Opened September, 2017.

Mandurah Forum: $350 million

220 stores over 63,000sqm.

Retailers include David Jones, new food hall.

Opened March 22, 2018.

Direct Factory Outlet (near Perth Airport)*:$150 million

120 stores over 24,000sqm.

No retailers yet confirmed.

Due for completion later this year.

Karrinyup: $500 million

290 stores over 109,000sqm.

Apartments, cinema, new high-end retailers, food hub.

Due for completion 2020.

Garden City: $750 million

370 stores over 120,000sqm.

Apartments, cinemas, new retail mix, food hub.

Due for completion 2021.

Innaloo: $600 million

300 stores over 110,000sqm.

Apartments, new cinema, new retail mix including David Jones, food hub.

Construction to start this year, completion date not yet confirmed.

Morley Galleria: $500 million

330 stores over 126,000sqm.

Town square, new food hub, retail mix.

Completion date not yet confirmed.

Carousel: $350 million

390 stores over 110,000sqm.

David Jones, cinemas, new rooftop restaurants.

Completion date 2018.

NAB Quarterly Australian Residential Property Survey Q1 2018

The NAB Residential Property Index rose 3 points to +23 in the March quarter 2018 and remains well above its long-term average (+14).

By NAB Group Economics

  • Sentiment towards the Australian housing market improved in Q1 as strong gains in WA and QLD offset falls in NSW and VIC.
  • Confidence improved sharply in WA, but fell further in NSW amid expectations for bigger price falls.
  • NAB has lowered its house price forecast for 2018 on continuing weakness in Sydney and a softer Melbourne market.

The NAB Residential Property Index rose 3 points to +23 in the March quarter 2018 and remains well above its long-term average (+14).

“But the overall result is masking an ongoing shift in sentiment across states” NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said.

It fell further in NSW and Victoria, driven down by weakening house prices, and was also lower in SA/NT.

Sentiment towards the housing market in WA however rose strongly and recorded its first positive read since early-2014. It also continued to strengthen in Queensland.

Overall confidence levels were broadly unchanged, but have risen strongly in WA and softened in NSW.

“Survey house price expectations are mirroring these trends” said Mr Oster.

Property experts are predicting bigger house price falls in NSW and have scaled back their outlook for Victoria.

But they are much more bullish in WA, with stronger growth also expected in Queensland.

Among other key survey findings, the market share of first home buyers climbed to new survey high, but that of resident investors hit a new low.

According to Mr Oster: “Recent efforts by state governments to improve housing affordability is helping first home buyers, especially in Victoria and NSW, but the APRA inspired crackdown in investor lending is hurting investors.”

Surprisingly, there was a small increase in the share of foreign buyers in new property markets after having fallen to a 6-year low in the previous quarter. This was led by NSW and WA.

“Property experts also continue to tell us that credit access is still the biggest constraint on new housing development in the country and the biggest impediment for buyers of existing property” Mr Oster said.

But concerns over interest rates are growing.

“We’re not surprised given NAB’s own view is that interest rates will start rising gradually from late-2018, albeit with the risk this could be delayed until 2019” said Mr Oster.

 NAB’s forecasts on residential prices

NAB’s view for 2018 now has a small fall in house prices in 2018 (now -0.8% was +0.7%). This is largely related to continuing weakness in the Sydney market (-3.4%) and a softer Melbourne market (+0.1%) with little improvement now expected during 2018.

According to Mr Oster: “Looking forward it’s hard to see a near term rebound in Sydney and Melbourne house prices, especially given consumer concerns over the cost of living and high levels of household debt.”

“Strong performances in Tasmania and to lesser extent in regional areas, along with higher confidence in the West and Queensland won’t offset the aggregate effects of lower prices in Sydney and Melbourne. Nor will increased first home owner demand fill the gap” added Mr Oster

For 2019, our house price forecasts remain broadly unchanged at +0.8% with only Sydney expected to fall (albeit modestly).

Apartment forecasts are also broadly unchanged (-0.8% in 2018 & -1.8% in 2019) reflecting large stock additions and softer outlook for foreign demand.

For 2019, weakness will likely be concentrated on the Eastern seaboard – with apartment prices expected to fall in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Naturally, any additional changes to government or prudential policy to address affordability or financial stability concerns are likely to have an impact on these forecasts” said Mr Oster.

About 300 property professionals participated in the Q1 2018 survey.

Increasing property taxes won’t fix WA’s budget woes

The property industry is calling on the WA Government to not burden West Australians with unfair taxes, as a means of budget repair, following yet another disappointing GST carve up.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said while the Institute understands the WA Government is facing another difficult budget, relying on the property industry to prop up state finances will do very little to ease the state’s fiscal pressures.

“WA already has one of the highest rates of land tax in the country. Any further increases would deter much needed investment, driving up rent prices and pricing the most vulnerable out of the rental market.

“The property market has been weak for some time. We are beginning to see some green shoots of recovery, but increasing taxes could jeopardise WA’s economic bounce back.

“Access to affordable and appropriate housing is still one of the more challenging issues facing West Australians. Whether it be first home owners finding their feet in the market or seniors looking to right-size into more manageable accommodation, the WA budget should outline key reforms to open doors for those that need it most,” Mr Groves said.

In its pre-budget submission, REIWA has called on the State Government to introduce measures that will improve housing affordability for all West Australians including;

o    Re-introduce the First Home Owner Grant of $3,000 for buyers of established home of less than $430,000.

o    Introduce a transfer duty concession for seniors ‘right-sizing’.

o    Commit to no increases in property taxes, or changes to thresholds to either transfer duty or land tax.

“In the long term a complete tax review is needed to ensure taxes are being utilised as efficiently as possible. REIWA recommends a report into phasing out transfer duty in favour of a broader-based land tax.

“Safe and suitable housing is intrinsic to the success of local communities and the WA Government should be doing everything it can to ensure access to home ownership is a reality for everyone.

“Now is not the time to be burdening property with additional taxes,” Mr Groves said.