Table of contents
 - featured image
By Brett Warren

Here’s the type of property that will outperform in the long term

I’ll get straight to the point…

I believe the middle-ring suburbs of our big capital cities will be the best medium to long-term investment locations.

1200px 800px Suburbanaerial

Here’s my logic…

The latest government forecasts suggest that Australia’s population will increase from 27 million to well over 30 million by 2031

And then reach 40 million people by the middle of the century.

Thing about that – another 13 million people will be living in this beautiful country and our four big capital cities are likely to accommodate around three-quarters of this population growth.

In other words, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth could double in population over the next 50 years, with Melbourne likely to do a bit better than the others.

So where will this substantial growth occur?

All our capital cities have their town planners working furiously on future plans and what is well recognised is that the future growth won’t be spread evenly across the metropolitan areas.

Our CBDs will Manhattanise with more of us living in these central hubs and the many high-density developments that will ooze out into the inner suburbs.

Sure this trend may slow a little after some of us changed our preferences following the coronavirus pandemic, but over the long term, this trend will continue.

Town planners are also envisaging less intensive medium and high-density apartment development spreading out like tentacles, primarily along the main roads along railway lines and along transportation arteries.

Their logic is to deliver this type of higher-density apartment product within a relatively small area along main roads and in and around established commercial districts

But I’m sure you realise that this “investment stock” product is very different from “investment grade” family-friendly apartments that make good long-term investments.

That’s because these developments offer little if any scarcity value or owner-occupier appeal and with the government hoping we will build so many new apartment developments , investors have no control over the number, location, style or price points of the many new apartment projects coming out of the ground.

Row Of Houses And Apartments And Sky

While these developments serve a purpose in providing accommodation for many students and first-time renters, I feel many of these high-rise monoliths will become the slums of the future, especially as they have very few owner occupiers and many have a large proportion of overseas investor owners who can’t even make it to the Owner’s Corporation meetings.

Then there are all the construction issues that are just starting to emerge - watch this space more shoddy building practices will come to light creating substantial losses for the purchasers in many high-rise buildings.

Sure there are some exceptions that are well located and well configured for owner occupiers, but in general, the typical off-the-plan or new apartment does not make a good investment.

Demand for new housing won’t stop

Much of it will be soaked up in these new apartments in the inner ring and then there will be all the new houses built in the new estates in the outer ring.

While these will provide accommodation for those who need them, neither of these types of dwellings makes good investments.

Happy Family With Two Kids Moving Into Their New Home Sitting

So what’s the answer?

We need more medium-rise family-size apartments and townhouses in the established middle-ring suburbs of our capital cities.

We will need more housing that fits between the small apartments that are currently being built (usually downtown and in large, soulless complexes) and traditional detached homes.

This housing is often, these days, described as the “missing middle”.

The following schematic from Michael Matusik explains this concept well.



The missing middle

Much of the demand for these townhouses in our middle ring suburbs will come from ageing Baby Boomers who will be looking to downsize in their local area.

They will have equity in their homes but won’t be looking for a sea change or tree change – they want to remain close to the amenities and facilities they’ve become used to.

Home With Long Term Investment Potential Hawthorn East1

These new townhouses and family-size apartments will also become home to younger generations who will trade backyards for balconies and courtyards because they want to live in the right neighbourhood - a 20-minute neighbourhood to minimise the commute time.

This demographic will also want to have easy access to the cafes, bars and restaurants of the hipster zone as well as to major knowledge worker institutions near and around the inner city.

As our big capital cities get bigger, competition for accommodation in their inner and middle-ring suburbs will intensify, especially in the train-accessible suburban zones as our roads become more congested.

And both the Baby Boomers and younger well-to-do demographic will not only want to, but they’ll be able to afford to buy or rent townhouses in these locations.

Think about it…

As our cities grow and expand, a premium will be attached to townhouses.

More of us want to live in large modern accommodations on compact blocks within striking distance of the trendy inner city because of their considerable land component

Apartment Randwick

That’s one of the reasons we’ve been project managing and constructing townhouse developments for clients of Metropole for the last 20 years.

We manage the whole project from construction to completion – you can read more about our development project management services here.

We help our clients get their finance and ownership structures organised, locate the old knockover properties in good locations, conduct feasibility studies and help our clients purchase their properties.

We then take care of all the town planning, development and construction processes and then hand over our client’s projects to the team at Metropole Property Management.

What can you do about this?


property time market clock house cycle investment timing watch growth

It’s a great time to buy an old house with development potential and “manufacture” your own capital growth through property development.

The idea in property investment is to spot property value uplift prior to anyone else.

Using big-picture demographics, it’s possible to theorise about how our cities will work and change over the coming decades.

I think that the next hot zone will be the middle zone of our biggest capital cities.

Why not contact us at Metropole and explore your options — just leave your details here.

Here are some of the ways we can help you:

  • Become a developer – If you would like to become what we call an “armchair property developer”, we will provide all services for you from finding the right property, and project management to construction.
  • Project management – If you have already purchased a property you would like to develop and have a preferred construction firm, you can choose to use our project management services only.

About Brett Warren Brett Warren is National Director of Metropole Properties and uses his two decades of property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their wealth through strategic property advice.

The future 'slum' developments you write about are not all 'future' - many are practically slums already. Just a few years old and they already look quite delapidated and were never attractive. I think it's absolutely wicked that these developments h ...Read full version

1 reply

I would like to know why when Core Logic values a property at a certain value then Real Estate agents place a mark up of anything from 10% and a lot higher on most

1 reply
1 more comments...


Copyright © 2024 Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts