Property Newsletter – December 2017

What can Census data reveal about investment locations?

The latest Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was conducted in 2016, and results have been steadily released over the course of 2017. What insights can we gain from the data when it comes to selecting a property investment location?

The first comprehensive dataset from the 2016 Census was released at the end of June 2017, and included key characteristics on ‘person, family and dwelling’ such as age, sex, religion, language and income.

The remaining data was released in late October and contained useful figures on employment, qualifications and the mobility of the population, including internal migration and worker commute times.

These figures can be further broken down by state, region, and even suburb, providing valuable insights into the demographic profiles of particular areas. While the data from a single Census can paint a clear picture of an area at a certain point in time, it is by comparing the trends from one Census to another that the Momentum Wealth research team is able to map and follow key result indicators

For instance, in following the same metrics from previous Census data to the most recent, we are able to identify areas undergoing change to their demographic makeup. This change can be due to a number of factors including dwelling additions, the previous age structure (for example, a younger population may have more births resulting in more children in the area), birth and death rates, and migration. These factors affect the type of people moving in or out of an area, the overall age profile and its economic prosperity.

An important trend to look out for is the process of suburb gentrification, which is the influx of more affluent residents to an area.. This may be from the addition of new infrastructure, increased employment opportunities attracting more workers, and increased amenity improving an area’s desirability as a place to live.

Typically, areas undergoing gentrification will see an increase in property values as the process advances. Identifying these areas early on in the process can be hugely beneficial when selecting a property investment location. Read more about how Momentum Wealth Research tracks such gentrification processes in our case study

Festive fervour – the benefits of acting during the holiday season

With the silly season just around the corner, it’s a busy period for many as they prepare for upcoming festivities or plan a holiday away. Often, big decisions – such as choosing an investment property – are either put on hold or are simply the last things that come to mind at this time of year. But what are the benefits of purchasing while it’s relatively quiet?

If you’ve already made the decision to invest in property, not waiting until general market activity is back in full swing can reap huge rewards. Purchasing during the Christmas and New Year season presents a unique set of circumstances that, if taken advantage of, can be a great opportunity for the astute investor.

The number of properties listed for sale will typically take a dive over Christmas and New Year, with a noticeable drop in activity in the market. With people generally busy or away during this time, there are less buyers around which prompts many sellers to delay listing their property or even to take their already listed property off the market until it’s a better time to sell.

The reduced number of buyers results in less competition for those buyers remaining, and while less properties to choose from may not seem like an advantage, what it can mean is that sellers who are still advertising their properties while others aren’t may have a very strong motivation to sell. For example, they may have placed an offer on a property themselves and need to sell their current home to facilitate the purchase, or it could be due to financial hardship, a change in family situation, or other matters necessitating a speedy sale.

When it comes to negotiating a property purchase, finding a highly-motivated seller works well in your favour, as the buyer. Knowing how desperately someone needs to sell can give you the upper hand, but also knowing the reasons behind the sale can allow you to make an offer that meets the seller’s needs while securing yourself a great deal, thereby benefiting both parties.

While not all properties being sold at this time of year have strong motivations behind them, the chance of this being the case does increase considerably, allowing those who are willing to keep an eye out the opportunity to swoop in and snap up a great purchase.

In the event that you don’t find that great deal in the last few weeks of the year, the fact that you are already closely watching the market puts you in a good position in January, when a lot of the ‘on hold’ stock comes to market. There will be more choice available, and you’ll already be on the front foot while other buyers are still enjoying the remnants of their glazed hams.

In summary, it simply comes down to: if you don’t look, you won’t see the deals. Continuing to actively look for properties while others are taking a break over the festive season means you won’t miss out on any great deals that emerge.

A well-connected, well-serviced suburb packed full of amenity

Bateman is a family suburb benefiting from excellent educational facilities, attractive parklands and a well-connected public transport system. It’s one of the premium lower-density suburbs of Perth with a median price under $1 million and room to grow.

Located in the City of Melville, Bateman is approximately 12km south of the Perth CBD, with a median house price of $805,000. Its neighbouring suburbs include the similarly-priced Brentwood to the north, Murdoch to the west and Bull Creek to the east, with the southern periphery being Murdoch University and Fiona Stanley Hospital, which are part of the suburb of Murdoch.

With a population of 3,717 Bateman is a medium-sized suburb compared to the surrounds. 34.8% of the population identify themselves as professionals, which is well above the WA and national averages of 20.5% and 22.2% respectively. Due to the area being popular with the Baby Boomer generation, there is currently an abundance of empty-nesters which has pushed the suburb’s median age to 40 — much older than Perth’s overall median of 36.

The suburb is well connected, being bordered by three main arterial corridors allowing efficient access to the area. It is situated between Leach Highway and South Street to the north and south, with the Kwinana Freeway making up the eastern periphery. Buses run frequently along these roads, providing convenient public transport to the CBD, Fremantle and other major amenities. Two train stations, Murdoch Train Station and Bull Creek Train Station, also service the area as part of the Mandurah Line. More than 70% of the suburb is within walking distance (1km) to either of these stations, making the area highly accessible and favoured by CBD workers for efficient public transport to their place of employment.

The area is mostly zoned R20 (low density), with a few pockets of R40 zoning near Bull Creek Station. Dwelling stock comprises 87% houses, 13% semi-detached dwellings, and no units — making the area extremely low density. The whole area is built out to its current residential limits, with very few development options besides updating older stock. However, the City of Melville has released its Murdoch Activity Centre Structure Plan, which identifies residential areas within walking distance to the Education and Health Centre to potentially receive a zoning upgrade, creating greater development opportunities in the future.

Construction is dated from the 1970s with redevelopment common in the 2000s as well as high levels of renovations to the aged stock. The typical streetscape is a mixture of single- and double-storey houses.

Bateman benefits from abundant amenity in its neighbouring suburbs, including Murdoch University, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Garden City Shopping Centre and Stockland Bull Creek Shopping Centre. The suburb is also within the catchment zone for Rossmoyne Senior High School, which is one of the top-rated public high schools in the state. This high level of amenity has made Bateman a highly desirable suburb to live in.

Recent finance award makes it a hat trick for Momentum Wealth this year

Momentum Wealth was honoured to be named the WA Brokerage of the Year (<5 Staff) at the 2017 Connective Excellence Awards held last month, which was the third major finance accolade awarded to the team this calendar year.

The Connective Excellence Awards winners were chosen for their expertise, integrity and outstanding customer service standards. Connective is one of Australia’s leading mortgage aggregators, accounting for one in every 10 Australian home loans.

The accolade was a great achievement in a competitive category, and Momentum Wealth is proud to be recognised amongst the best in Australia’s mortgage and finance broking industry.

A big congratulations also to Momentum Wealth’s Ashleigh Patterson, who was named Best Newcomer of the Year at the awards ceremony. The award celebrates innovation in business practice that sets the broker apart from the rest.

It has been a successful year for our broking team, picking up two other major awards earlier in the year — these were the Best Customer Service award at the Better Business Awards in March, and Best Finance Broker (2-5 loan writers) at the MFAA Excellence Awards in May


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