There is an increasing number of websites, apps and data sites becoming available for investors to scrutinise and analyse their next potential investment.
Many experts and analysts are monetarising these tools and taking advantage of our interest in investing in property.
I feel that many of these tools designed to analyse data at any point in time rather than over a longer period.
You are far better off investing for the longer term to grow your asset base and create wealth rather than chasing a quick sugar hit.
Here are 3 tools that I turn too, to assist me in my decision-making process for longer term wealth creation.
Arguably one of the most accurate property data sites available.
The site is run by Louis Christopher, one of the country’s most recognised and respected property analysts.
It really is a one stop shop for all your property needs and this site alone would likely be enough for all of your research.
I find the most valuable information to be contained under the tab FREE PROPERTY DATA.
In particular, within the Demographics link, you can get access to the Weekly Family Income for various suburbs.
The comparison above highlights the trends I am looking for.
Suburb A (on the left) has a much high weekly income that is rising rapidly when compared to the average for Queensland.
There is very little wage growth above and beyond the average with Suburb B.
Suburb B (right) has a demographic that will be very sensitive to interest rate rises, rental increases and economic shocks, while Suburb A will not be impacted as much.
Suburb B will tend to live pay check to pay check, while Suburb A has a much higher disposable income.
The typical Suburb A demographic tends to get emotional and pay too much for property and then overcapitalise and knock over existing houses or undertake significant renovations.
This puts upward pressure on prices regardless of the timing of the property cycle.
Due to these factors, capital growth is always superior in the longer term in suburbs with faster, rising incomes.
The way people are living is changing and lifestyle precincts, along with the café culture are playing a big part in where people are choosing to live.
As the next generation trades big backyards for smaller living spaces and balconies, what surrounds the property is becoming just as important as the property itself.
They are looking for convenience — great cafes, shops and restaurants, green space for pets or exercise and easy access to employment hubs.
If all of this can be achieved by foot then the higher the demand for property and this is where Walkscore comes in.
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It will initially rate the address provided and give it a Walkscore and also a Transitscore for public transport.
From here you can click on a map and highlight where the nearest coffee shop is, the nearest bar or restaurant and also the nearest park or school.
The transit section will also show you the nearest mode of public transport.
Obviously the higher the Walkscore, the superior the area is for walkability and transport.
How does this relate to property prices?
Sydney’s most walkable suburbs have proven to have outperformed the average property price by more than 20%.
In Brisbane, areas within walking distance to a train station have outperformed by 40% over the last decade.
These trends will only continue, so I need to ensure the suburb I am looking in has a good Walkscore and Transitscore.
State Government also provides an excellent resource for your research.
It will be different in each state, but one thing I am looking for here is the various school catchments.
You can also zoom into streets and houses to ensure they are located within the right boundaries for the highest demand school catchment areas.
While Brisbane is fairly new to this phenomenon, it is estimated that the strongest school catchments in Melbourne are attracting a $600,000 premium!
The difference between 40-50 metres could cost you thousands of dollars!
There are a number of tools that are at your disposal when analysing a potential investment property.
We always suggest that location should make up 80% of your decision.
Investigating the Weekly Income for an area, will give you an idea of the demographic and ensure they are high income earners that are not as affected by rising interest rates or rents and a more resilient during a financial crisis.
The way people are living is changing and the next generation are choosing to live near lifestyle precincts, where everything is on their doorstep.
The costs of rising private education and the existing strong Government schools is driving demand from young families to live in these locations.
All of these combine to make up an integral part of your investment decision and assist with long term wealth creation.