You won’t have to look far to hear an opinion on property.
From dabblers through to multi-million-dollar portfolio owners, it’s an industry with plenty of advice coming from all corners, and plenty of emotion attached to each opinion.
In fact, I've often said there are 25 million property experts in Australia
But I should warn you: some things you’ll hear that are simply not true.
Forewarned is forearmed, so take note of these misguided property myths that consistently make the investor circuit.
1. Buying near capital cities is a certain money-spinner
No - that's not necessarily true.
Sure capital cities have all the trademarks of high demand, which stems from consistent employment opportunities, diversity of the economy, and land constraints.
However, that doesn’t automatically equal the location for successful property investment.
Of course, location will do most of the heavy lifting in your investment property's performance, but the right location still needs amenities, great infrastructure, proximity to schools, shops, and hospitals, and draw a demographic that will continually improve and rejuvenate the suburb to ensure its future growth.
Not to mention that some city suburbs can actually present dangers to investors – low yields, high prices, and oversupply is just a sample of the issues investors can run into in some of the inner suburbs.
But now more than ever the right location near - but not too close - to a capital city will be critical.
It seems that in our new “Covid Normal” world, people love the thought that most of the things needed for a good life are within a 20-minute public transport trip, bike ride or walk from home.
The ability to work, live, and play all within 20 minutes’ reach is the new gold standard desirable lifestyle.
Many inner suburbs of Australia’s capital cities and parts of their middle suburbs already meet a 20-minute neighbourhood test.
However very few of the outer suburbs would do so.
2. Property prices double every 7 – 10 years
This is an endemic myth that puts a lot of investors at risk because they think they can just buy any property and it will increase in value
It’s based on the idea that a well-positioned property in a capital city will experience an average 7% annual growth, resulting in values doubling in around 10 years.
And while that figure of an average of 7% capital growth is about right over the long term, that also means that around half of all properties won't perform anywhere nearly as well as that. (That's how averages work!)
However markets move in cycles, and each market – depending on location, price points, and property types – will fluctuate at different times.
To say that each one of those cycles is likely to double in value is an incredibly misleading and dangerous strategy to rely on.
3. You can’t lose with property
Yes, you can, and I’ve seen it happen.
The property doesn’t equal profit every time.
Just look at the results of the quarterly Corelogic Pain and Gain report which shows the percentage of properties that were resold at a loss.
You'll find that not every property is an investment-grade property.
And many beginning investors seem to make the same mistakes - they buy a property because it’s around the corner, or simply because it’s within budget without doing the local area due diligence.
Knowing the local area because you live it is very different from understanding the property fundamentals of an area.
That's why smart investors seek expert advice from independent property strategists like the team at Metropole to guide them through the process and ensure they're making sound decisions in line with a proven strategy.
4. Houses are a better investment because of the land.
While there are investors who will argue black and blue that the land holds the value, not the bricks on it, that’s not exactly right.
Yes, it's important to own a property with a high land-to-asset ratio, but not all land is created equal.
I'd rather own a 10th of the block of land under an apartment building in an expensive exclusive suburb than acres of land in regional Australia.
It’s important to remember that desirability, demand, and location are also fundamental components of a successful property.
And of course, a lot has to do with your budget.
Your price point might only allow you to buy a unit or townhouse in your desired suburb which shows potential for strong growth and that may be better than buying a house in an outer suburb with less capital growth potential.
When it comes to property types, we simply can’t paint the market with such a broad brush!
5. It’s too late for me to invest
Sure It’s tougher to reap the rewards of property growth if you’re older, but it’s never too late.
Even in your 60’s, there’s still the opportunity to amplify your retirement funds – and don’t forget the legacy you’re building for your own children and grandchildren.
Nowadays, the option to utilise a self-managed super fund also means you’ve got extra leverage to purchase a property that can potentially generate more weekly cashflow than your superannuation fund, particularly if you don’t have the finances to carry you through all of your twilight years.
Never assume you’re out of the game because of age or finances.