READING the property market remains a huge challenge for investors and homeowners.
While the national housing market looks strong on an annual basis, with growth running at 8%, prices have actually fallen by 1.2% in the last three months.
And while fears about a housing bubble won't go away, the housing industry continues to warn of a serious housing shortage that will get worse in 2011.
But don't worry – SmartCompany is here to help. With the help of three of Australia's top property experts, we have found 98 property hotspots around Australia, using three distinct methods:
- Property hotspot expert Terry Ryder from Hotspotting.com.au has nominated one pick in each state that he thinks will perform well in the medium- to long-term (three to five years).
- Australian Property Monitors' researcher Yvonne Chan has found five suburbs in the major capital cities that have posted high gross rental yields (4%+) and consistent capital growth over the last five years.
- National research director of RP Data, Tim Lawless, finds the best performing suburbs by looking at the areas that show a combination of short selling times and minimal vendor discounting.
A few clear trends stand out. Ryder is bullish on regional areas for a number of reasons, including moves by state governments to try and decentralise population growth by pouring money into larger regional towns and the fact that independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have been able to drive a lot of new spending in the bush.
"I was very strong on the regional areas before that, but that makes it even stronger," Ryder says.
Lawless' research shows a clear trend towards suburbs 10 kilometres outside metro areas, where house prices are more affordable.
"With interest rates rising and affordability once again becoming a significant issue, it is no surprise that the middle ring suburbs are becoming more popular," he says.
"Suburbs along the major transport spines are popular in the lists, which suggest that many buyers are rating both the price and the commuting time into the city or their place of work high on their priorities."
Of course, the below hotspots should only be taken as a guide. Buyers need to do their own research – and lots of it – before taking the plunge.
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