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These 3 boxes cover what you need to know about property - featured image

These 3 boxes cover what you need to know about property

I like to use three boxes to explain most things residential.

They are known as The 4's.

  • 4W
  • 4Q
  • 4P

3 boxes of property


The Four W's.

We originally these here and it’s the What, Who, When, and Where

1. What

Here, four things matter most – without wanting to place catchy caps on everything – I call these the Four Ps:

  • People – who is involved and what’s their pedigree/experience?
  • Product – does it suit the current and, more importantly, future markets?
  • Position – is the property in a good spot?
  • Price – not only the price paid but the terms of the deal too

2. Who

Who is going to rent the investment of you?

Can you get more rent via more tenants or higher-paying ones?

Who will buy the property from you when it comes time to resell?

Will this property hold an increasing appeal in the future?

If not, can it be improved so that it does?

3. Where

If an investment, is the property in a future pulse point?

Will the actual location retain; gain or lose value?

4. When

At what phase is the local property cycle – recovery, upswing, peak, downturn, stagnation, or trough?

Remember, the best buying opportunities are when supply exceeds demand – the downturn-to-trough stages of most property cycles.

The 4 Q's

This is the Matusik Property Clock – four Quadrants – Recovery, Upturn, Downturn, and Stagnation.

A market’s position on the property clock is based on the strength and direction of several key real estate indicators including – sales volumes, price and rent momentum, underlying housing demand, new and existing housing supply, employment generation, and growth in household income.

The 4 P's

This covers the more important stuff, for mine – the People involved, the actual Position of the property, the Product itself, and the Price paid. risk investment market

So, what do we look for when assessing an investment-orientated residential project or dwelling product?

After almost 30 years of doing this stuff, we are either an absolute fluke or we might know a little about what we do.

For the record, I do think it has been as much fluke as focus.

But I am told I can be a difficult bugger.

So here goes:

1. Pedigree

Who are the developer, builder, and manager? What is their track record? Do they deliver what they say they will?

2. Timing

In what position is the local market and subject product type in the property cycle? property time market clock house cycle investment timing watch growth

3. Who

Does the project appeal to at least three major housing local demographic subsets?

4. Value

Is the property fair value? Is the starting rent sustainable?

Are you getting the best deal?

5. Rental market

How big is the local rental market? What has been the local vacancy rate and rental growth over the recent past?

6. Supply

Underlying demand versus the potential to supply similar property in terms of price, design and site attributes.

7. Design

Are the project and product well designed? Does it appeal to renters now and potentially owner-residents on resale?

8. Depth

How big is the local market? Could you resell your property relatively quickly and above your purchase price?location map house suburb area find

9. Need

Is there a local need for this property type?  Are local jobs being created and how sustainable is the economic base?

10. Site 

How good is the actual site?  What facilities are proposed and importantly, already exist in the local area? How good is the local amenity?

11. Evidence

Does the property have valuation support? Does it have independent rental and financial evidence?

12. Exit

What are the longer-term demographic and economic trends? Does this property/project fit in with our housing market outlook?

The Key thing...

A key thing – and something that is really missing for the property space – is an independent review of builders and developers.

The industry award systems are really just, well, hand jobs.

Is anyone game enough to provide such a service?

The new housing market needs the equivalent of TripAdvisor or Choice if you ask me.

Editors Note: This blog was originally written in 2018 and has been republished for the benefit of our many new subscribers.

About Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive
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