As with any sphere of the economy, being well informed about the market is the key to making prudent property investment decisions.
This means remaining fully abreast of all the latest developments in the property sector, and consistently, if not constantly, scanning, reading and absorbing the most recent, up-to-date news on the market.
It means investors must undertake their own research and due diligence about prospective investments and any extenuating circumstances that are likely to affect them.
It also entails possessing a deep and detailed understanding of the variable growth potential of different cities, suburbs and even streets, as well as understanding the likely impact of factors such as demographic changes and shifting economic circumstances.
As far as current market conditions are concerned, the outlook for Australia’s property sector in 2015 remains for the most part positive, on the back of a heightening of the key factors which have serve to fortify the market over the past several years.
While interest levels have long hovered at historic lows, according to Australia’s biggest banks the RBA’s surprise rate cut in February has already spurred renewed activity on the property market.
Westpac recently revealed that home loan applications rose by 10 per cent following the interest rate reduction, while ANZ Bank has also indicated that they’ve witnessed “strong” application levels in response.
On top of record low interest rates, the other factor which has served to bolster Australia’s property market over recent years – foreign investment is likely to further increase this year.
A key driver will be the ailing Aussie dollar, which has fallen in response to the tepid performance of traditional mainstays of the economy such as the resources sector.
The reduced cost of acquiring Australian properties will heighten their lustre in the eyes of overseas investors, as well as make it signifcantly easier for foreign nationals to satisfy visa requirements based on economic criteria – such as the Significant Investment Visa (SIV), which requires that applicants make $5 million in approved investments over a four-year period.
While Prime Minister Tony Abbott has introduced measures that ostensibly aim to clamp down on overseas property acquisitions, analysts doubt they will serve as much as a deterrent for many of the cash-flush investors throughout the Asia-Pacific who are eyeing the Australian market.
Despite the rising strength of the Australian property sector’s two main tailwinds, investors should continue to remain keenly aware of the possibility of overheating or bubble formation in the market.
Investors should be particularly wary of the potential for over-saturation in the stalwart investment destinations of inner-city Sydney and Melbourne, and give consideration to emerging property hotspots in other parts of the country.
These could include cities in Queensland that are likely to prove increasingly popular with nouveau riche tourists from Asia – such as Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cannes, as well as more remote yet still appealing suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne, such as Box Hill, Glen Waverley and Caufield.