The Australian Market: State By State
On today’s episode,
Bernadette is going to be sharing one of her Masterclass trainings from her membership that she does each month with her students. She has invited local experts to be the special guest speakers to give you an overview of the Australian local market.
Listen to Episode 45: The Australian Market: State By State
Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:57 — 34.75 MB)
- Michelle Lewis overview of the South Australia market
- The hot spot for subdividable properties in South Australia
- Julie Anglesey's overview of the West Australia market
- The low, middle and high-end market of Perth
- Lisa Parker's overview of the Melbourne market
- Why Melbourne is the auction capital of Australia
- Amanda Gould's overview of the Sydney market
- What is the Sydney market like after the elections
- Jo Vadillo's overview of the Brisbane market
- What are the big standouts in buying a property at the Brisbane market
02:38 - A general overview of South Australia
04:20 - A quick rundown of the Perth market
06:20 - Rental vacancies in Perth
09:31 - The higher end market of Perth
12:44 - What's happening in the Melbourne market
17:00 - A window of opportunity in Melbourne
20:27 - One of the challenging things
20:41 - Sydney at the moment
23:27 - You've got to know what you're doing
25: 59 - The Brisbane market
28:17 - Dual Key properties
30:57 - The big standouts
33:00 - Financial Freedom...Against The Odds
33:15 - She Renovates Facebook group
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“Basically what I did was called in some of my contacts from around the country and asked them to present on the state of the market in their particular state and more importantly, on what opportunities there are for renovators."
Hi there, it's Bernadette. And in this episode, we're going to be doing something slightly different. What I've done is taken one of our trainings, masterclass trainings that we do inside our membership each month with our students. And I have included it here or an excerpt of that training here, because I think you will find this really great value.
Basically what I did was called in some of my contacts from around the country and asked them to present on the state of the market in their particular state and more importantly, on what opportunities there are for renovators. My community loved this. And so I thought that I would include a section of each of those talks for you. We're going to get into it now. And the first cab off the rank is Michelle Lewis from Adelaide in South Australia. She's going to be talking about what she's seen and heard of happening in Adelaide and South Australia. Enjoy.
Bernadette: Welcome, Michelle!
Michelle Lewis: Thanks, Bernadette. Thanks for having me on. I thought I'd start with just a general overview of SA (South Australia) and then go into some specific deals or areas that I've been looking at buying in and have bought recently. Is that okay?
Michelle: Excellent. I did a bit of research from the experts to the likes of Peter Carley's and others and the general theme was the inner west in the areas of Bagot Mile End and Richmond and they're about a high 5 to low 6'es price point. They were areas that were mentioned.
The other area that is very popular with the price range to about $550 as a buying price is the inner and southwest area of Marion. Now an insider tip with that area is there has been a change in the development plan. Some policy areas, policy area12 where you could normally do one into three, you can no longer do so. Once the market gets wind of that there'll be an opportunity for renovators to come into those areas and buy those properties that would have perhaps otherwise been bought by developers.
The areas that I've been looking at are a little further out with a lower price point. I tend to buy and work in the lower end of town because there are always buyers in those areas.
There is a picture I sent to you, this was an auction I attended at Christies Beach which is about 30 kilometers south of Adelaide it's a coastal town and this particular property was in Michelle Lewis special and it was 1 Fox Avenue in Christies Beach and that was a house that had been inhabited by squatters. I went along to the auction with sort of an idea that if I could purchase it at $260K that would be something I'd like to do. It had basically been empty for some years. The owner had passed away. The squatters moved in.
This particular house did sell at auction for $269K and went to a young couple who would owner occupy and renovate it themselves. I was happy to buy it at $260K. I was also happy to see them purchase it at $269 and then that property could be on-sold for the low 4's once renovated in a nice manner with room for profit there.
Michelle: The other areas I've been looking at a little closer to the city but still south in the areas of Blackwood or Hawthorndene. We settled on a property there on Monday we've purchased a 2-bedder for $320K that will change into a three-bedroom house, do a budget reno and hopefully sell for a minimum of the mid 4's or even more to make a nice little profit on that one.
And then the last suburb I wanted to mention that I also attended an auction in and I don't know that you can do a renovation or purchase renovate, renovatable properties in the area is Happy Valley and that's 20 kilometers south of Adelaide. The auction that I went to recently was 2 houses on 1 title it was a 2 bedder and a 3 bedder and that sold for $360K which some say cheap compared to other states. And there was definitely money to be made in that deal with renovating them on the budget and on selling them or even keeping them and renting them out.
Bernadette: So are you doing any deals with land as well?
Michelle: No, but I do know a couple. Do you mean subdividable properties, Bernadette?
Michelle: Absolutely. Largs North is a hot spot for that particular strategy at the moment. I do know a couple that have purchased for about $430K and they've split off the back and they should get about to $230K for the back block and they've renovated the front house and they'll sell that for a little bit of a profit. But the profits in the back block in that, it's a property with the right side, a right frontage on either side of the block so it goes through to 2 roads each side. I know that one particular couple are using that strategy in that area, which is a seaside location in the northwestern area of Adelaide.
Bernadette: Awesome. Thanks so much Michelle. Okay. Next, we've got Julie Anglesey. Julie is in Western Australia and she will be sharing her understanding of what's going on, in particular, in Perth.
Julie Anglesey: First of all, I just wanted to give you a quick rundown on how I look at what's going on in the Perth market. Everyone, I think probably knows that the prices in Perth have been going down over the last 5 years or so. I just wanted to show a couple of graphs and data from the Real Estate Institute of WA's website.
Julie: The first thing that I like to look at and monitor is the property listings for sale and you can see here that I'd put a red box around the numbers at the bottom. This week, there's currently 13,892 properties for sale. Just to put that into some sort of context. Equilibrium in Perth is considered to be about the 12-13,000 properties for sale. You can see that 4 weeks ago it was 14,000 and then this time last year it was 15,500. It's actually a positive sign to see that the number of listings is starting to go down a little bit. It's just steady and it's not huge. So it's not going to be any sort of like booming market anytime soon but it's just giving people a little bit of optimism about the supply isn't so oversupplied as it was.
The next thing that I look at is the median house price in there. There's a really great visual you can see what's been going on in Perth since 2015. The median price was $555K or something and now it's $485K. A lot of properties that I'm seeing for sale but the asking price is lower than what they paid for it 10 years ago. In Perth, we definitely don't have that saying about property values double every 10 years. They definitely haven't in Perth.
Julie: The next slide is just a little bit more about the market and the days on market is another thing to look at here in Perth and days on market is still increasing according to that graph there. And that's not such a great sign but I can say that it was sort of flattened out over the last quarter so let's hope it just starts to go down a little bit in line with those listings going down as well.
And the other thing that we look at is rental vacancies. You can see in the red box there that we've currently got 6,500 properties for rent in Perth. Four weeks ago it was 6,800 the same time last year it was 7,800. Once again the available properties for rent are just steadily going down. These are just all very slow but slightly optimistic signs for Perth after we've been absolutely hammered.
Julie: And on the next slide or you can see also that the house median rent in Perth is $360 dollars a week which probably sounds ludicrous to you in Sydney. The median house rent would be $360 but there you go. It is actually gone up if you can see it in the next slide. It was $350.
What I like about this slide is the bars on this graph here show the actual vacancy rate. Back in September 2017, the vacancy rate was 7% which is really high but currently, in the last quarter, it's 2.9% that is also just another positive sign for Perth.
Julie: The next slide we'll go into is where I say the opportunities are. I'm a little bit like Michelle. I do like the low end because it's easier to pick up something cheap and make it look beautiful and it really stands out from the crowd and you can usually definitely make a profit.
This is one that I did earlier this year and the buy price was $130K. The opportunity is in buying something that people can't move into and live in. This had a nonfunctioning kitchen and it was a deceased estate and cats have been living in it and that stunk can get pretty much, no one really wanted to buy this. We were able to pick it up for $130K and we spent $50K on painting, putting in a new kitchen, bathroom, and laundry and sanding the floorboards and doing a bit of gardening. And then we sold it for $259K. The profit in that was $63K. At such a low-end property, I see that as a great opportunity to make some money and do it quickly and you can do it quite cheaply as well. From us, buying and settling to the settlement of its selling was 3 months. The renovation took about 5-6 weeks and it was over Christmas as well. There was a decent amount of stuff done but because it's a small property just wasn't too hard it wasn't a headache at all.
Julie: Just talking about the middle of the market just doing my research for this presentation. The feedback that I've got is that the middle of the market which in Perth is around $500K-$1M mark is the toughest area of the market to actually try and make money out of a renovation because you're paying more than the lower end and you need to do a lot more to that house to make it stand out really get that extra uplift.
But if you were wanting to work in that area of the market what you would need to do is find a house that is non-livable like the previous one and like this one here is one that I did but turn it from a three-bedroom one bathroom to a three-bedroom two bathroom. There has to be some other add value if you're wanting to try and make money in this area of the market usually an extra bedroom is probably not going to do it but definitely the extra bathroom would. And that's where a subdivision would come in as well.
Julie: And then the higher end of the market which is the over a million-dollar mark, the upper end. The only opportunity that I find that people are making use of is if you are actually a builder. I've spoken to a couple of women whose husbands are builders. They work with their husbands' building company and what they're doing is buying an old two-bedroom one-bathroom gorgeous 1930s house in an inner-city suburb and doing a proper structural renovation on turning it into a four-bedroom two-bathroom but because they are the builder they're not having to pay that builder's margin. That's where they're able to actually make their profit. For your average flipper there's not really any money in this area of the market either.
Julie: The next slide is the last opportunity that I see which is, buy, renovate and hold. And this is the one that I have found for your student, Bernadette. They wanted an apartment close to the city and they wanted something to buy and hold. I found this one didn't really need a renovation all it needed was a paint job. But I was able to find it through an agent that sells off a lot of I suppose distressed properties in a way deceased estates and that kind of thing. We're able to get the two-bedroom two-bathrooms in units in this complex, it's got a swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, games room. It's a really nice complex. They were selling up to $400K four years ago but we were able to pick this one up for $245K. Then I found a tenant for them at $365 a week. That's definitely neutrally geared if not positively geared but it's got great potential for capital growth soon as Perth starts to turn around.
Julie: This is in a great location between the airport and the city and it's close to the river. But the tenant that I've found for them is going to be the perfect tenant for them because she's running an Airbnb, her Airbnb business. This is one of her properties and her Airbnb. It's obviously going to upkeep the apartment it's not going to need regular property inspections or that kind of thing. I got her to send me photos last night so I could share it here on this presentation. They're not the proper photos it's not even on the Airbnb site yet but you can just see how just getting rid of the navy blue wall and installing it. It's made it more appealing for a start but the win-win is it's a great property for the owner.
The new owner they don't need to do too much except take the rent but if you were someone that was in Perth and you wanted to find this yourself, paint it yourself and then run Airbnb. It's an awesome opportunity in this area of the market. I suppose in summary the 2 areas that I see are the best opportunities in Perth at the lower end. If you can get it cheap enough and do the right things to it and the buy, renovate and hold in good locations.
Bernadette: Okay. So next person, Lisa. Now we have Lisa Parker and Lisa's a fabulous buyer's agent in Melbourne, and so she'll be giving you the take on the market in Melbourne.
Lisa Parker: Hello.
Bernadette: Hi. How are you?
Lisa: Really good. Thank you. Where flat stick in Melbourne it's buyer advocates. We've gone from being a little bit quiet the last 18 months to really at waitlists. We are about to tip over into waitlist territory. Things have really taken off in Melbourne since the federal election.
Just to share with you what's happening on the ground. I think one of the most important factors for people to understand about the Melbourne market is two things. Firstly, we're the auction capital of Australia. Most of our properties in the inner and middle rings of Melbourne will run to the auction. Typically we have a 4 1/2, 4-4 1/2 week campaign. What we've been seeing is the auction clearance rate since the federal election has jumped from, their hovering around the 50-55% clearance rate mark. And now in the last 12 weeks, they have steadily climbed to the 70% mark. And over the last 6 weeks, we've been seeing them close to the 75-76% mark.
The other really interesting for buyer advocates is that we're down, that we're going to be down roughly 7,000 properties this spring. Typically spring is our biggest selling season in Melbourne and we're usually very busy from September through December. And it's where we have the most auctions held every week. This spring the RERB is calculated that we're down roughly 7000 homes that would normally go to auction. What is happening as a result of that is instead of buyers having 3 or 4 or 5 houses to choose from they have one house to choose from. And so all of the options that we're attending in most instances we are up against 4 to 6 bidders and we're seeing prices. We're seeing properties sell for very healthy levels above the quote range.
The difficulty for buyers and the thing that people really need to be careful of is that we're in a situation where prices are rising at the moment but when the banks look at the comparable sales in the area there's going to be a disparity between what people are paying for property and what the comparable properties have been selling for in the previous 6 months. And so buyers need to be very careful to ensure that they've got comps to support the purchase price they are paying. And if it's contested that they can provide those comps to the value of. Also that they have backup plans if there is a valuation shortfall. They need to find the money to come up with that shortfall. Having a backup plan is really important in the market at the moment. Until we have a little bit more history of the higher price points.
Lisa: Overall in Melbourne 18 months ago we saw the prices come back 15% across the board. And I think by December we should probably see the prices statistically come up probably about 5% below the peak of the market in the last cycle. At the moment we still have that disparity. A perfect example was a townhouse that I called in to appraise for a client in Coburg. The identical property next door had sold for $810K three months ago. And somebody offered before the auction $850K. This was a situation where I advised my clients to walk away from because there was not a single comparable sale in the area to support $850K. And it was a high-risk purchase for the clients if they didn't have that $40K difference because obviously the valuer is going to look at the identical property right next door which just sold 3 months ago.
So overall in Melbourne we have had about 15K properties available for sale where usually we would have between 23-26K properties. We're roughly 8.5K properties down this year. We're expecting spring to change that because that's where we see vendors put their properties on the market. But unfortunately, we're not seeing vendors do that.
I think if you guys know people who want to sell in Melbourne this is a little tiny bit off-topic but related, if you've got property in Melbourne that you are thinking of selling there's a window of opportunity between now and December where you're going to get a really strong price for your property due to the lack of stock. What will happen is once the data is released into the public domain it gets out in the news and consumers hear the information enough times to accept it as true and fact. That's when they will start to put their properties on the market.
I'm expecting early next year that we should see the number of properties being put on the market increase. And I think we'll see a slight leveling off in property prices because technically we really shouldn't be experiencing this little mini-boom that we are currently in Melbourne.
The biggest opportunities I think in this market at the moment. Quite a contrast to Michelle and Julie. I love your prices by the way. I mean we're at $400K in regionals in Melbourne. Yeah, we just don't really get those prices. We're dealing with budgets of $800K and up most of the time. The biggest opportunities are actually in the middle ring areas. What we're finding is that people want to buy properties that are already completed. They want to walk in, they want a nice garden, they want to have nice fixtures and scenic finishes. They want to walk into a property that's already done and they don't want to have to spend time renovating.
If you can take something that isn't presenting well and maybe had some floor plan challenges and correct the floor plan challenges to create an end result which is in line with modern-day expectations there'll be a lot of homeowners that will want the property and we'll compete heavily for it. We see that in the inner city in particular. People don't want unrenovated homes and there seem to be a lot of them on the market at the moment. Mostly off-market and getting access to that off-market is a really good opportunity because you're not competing with other people at auction and we're able to buy more competitively when we don't have competition.
We've asked agents for off-markets that don't just rely on what's coming onto the market. Create those good relationships be known as a reliable buyer who acts fast, who is decisive, who is really good to deal with so that you become one of the buyers at the very top of your local agent's hit list and you'll be the first person they call. And if you are really good to deal with they will deal with you exclusively for 24 hours before going out to the rest of their database.
I think the low end of the market there's a section in Frankston which is close to in the Karingal section of Frankston where there is an opportunity right now to be purchasing in and around the $430-460K mark and renovating the property. Pick up some really good floor plans where you can actually put the house to a four-bedroom two-bathroom and the floor plans really important, get the right floor plan and create that four-bedroom two-bathroom home and you'll get $660K for it.
One of the challenging things for us is our really high stamp duties. When you're training in and out of property it can become difficult at that lower price point. But the numbers are stacking up reasonably well for that section in Frankston at the moment.
Bernadette: Next up, we've got Amanda Gould, who has a company called High Spec Properties, and she will be talking about the Sydney market.
Amanda Gould: In Sydney at the moment. We're seeing a slight rise between 2 and 5%. These are going up especially at auction. Obviously, before the election, we did have a downturn in the market which did carry on for some time. After the election, it started to get a lot steadier. But I would say the last 4 weeks that I've been attending auctions they've been the highest I've seen them. We went to 3 auctions represented 3 different clients on the weekend. We only bought one of the three because the prices people were paying were desperation prices like we saw in 2016 and 2017 for the scarcity and the lack of stock in the market.
A prime example was just a very basic renovated property that I went to auction for in Chippendale 2 levels 77 square meter apartment. I valued that at $925K at a push the agent's guide was $800-$880K but I knew it was worth more than that. After doing extensive price research I went for $965K. I was trying to protect my client. That's what they hired us for, to protect them from making emotional mistakes. And that's what's happening at auction at the moment people are overpaying.
Now there was another bidder interestingly enough who was there and she came up to talk to me after and asked for my card and I have a badge on she said, "As soon as I saw you stop bidding I stopped bidding, too because I figured you knew what you were doing." That was really interesting. And that was not a great reno like by any stretch. It was a pretty standard basic IKEA reno, very beige. My clients were going to have to redo it and that's why I needed to protect the margin for them because if they were going to sink $50K into it that would have been the $50K that they would have overspent. We walked away from that at a certain point and we're still on the search for them.
The lack of stock is driving those prices. I'm about to go to auction for another property that has been renovated very nicely. It was packed. It was in Rose Bay. Now the agents' guide was $1.2M It's a $1.35M to $1.4M property any day of the week. We're finding agents are either underquoting to drive in as many people through the door so they look good to their vendors or their really so confused about what to put a price on and there are a lot of agents that are getting paid 2% commission which should be experts in their field that don't do half as much research. I'm sure Lisa will agree as a buyer's agent. They'll say that two-bedroom apartment and that two-bedroom apartment are in the same block so they'll be the same. But when you drill it down, ones the north-facing, ones on the top floor, ones on the bottom floor, ones 70 square meters, ones 60 you've really got to know what you're doing out there because you can make a lot of mistakes by overpaying in a market like this.
I don't think it's going to creep up like 2016/2017 but it's interesting to see that people's, frenzy is not the right word, but people are crazy. I mean I went to a $3M auction and the agent's guide was $2.5M to $2.75M. I said this is a $3M to $3.1M property any day of the week. They went for $3.280M. They're either underquoting on purpose or they're underquoting because they're not prepared or just lack knowledge.
But I will say that doing a renovation and something that's going to stand out in the market that works for you because obviously you are from all around the country. We're sick of seeing generic vanilla renovations they're not getting the same, normally they're not getting the same price.
This one in Rose Bay that I'm going for has been beautifully done, the floorboards are oak, the kitchens they've done a big galley kitchen it's beautiful I can send the address out once on board and I don't want to say anything until I got it. But they've done a really great job for the unit that it's in an old 80's block as most of the units in Sydney there are 60's 70's 80's that you're doing renovations on but making the most of the floor plan and really doing it to the best that you can afford and making it stand out. Maybe using tiles, flashback tiles that have got a little bit of texture so people go up and automatically touch them. That's a big thing.
Amanda: I do that in all my own renovations even in my home because when people come in even I have a cabana near the pool that I built, not me personally, but I chose all the stuff already there. And every time somebody goes in that bathroom they go, "Wow! Those tiles are amazing!" They're like a dragged out hexagon sort of. And their resin, they're baked they're quite an interesting tile and they're the sort of things that people will remember. And the colour schemes, I like the palette that you use. I'm just so sick of seeing the beige and the typical see-through stone. No, because people don't have an idea. But Sydney is seeing a peak and we're telling clients that are going to auction expect to pay between 2 and 5% more than you budgeted for. Whether we use that or not is another. We may not even get to that but if we have it in our back pocket and we have the money for it and it's a long term hold obviously not for renovators but for your end product if you've got a good product that will sell at auctions, that's the way to do it at the moment.
Bernadette: Beautiful. Well, thanks so much for that Amanda that's a really good insight.
Bernadette: Okay. The last cab off the rank is Jo Vadillo and Jo's going to be talking about Queensland. Lastly, I've got Jo Vadillo from Advocate Property Services and Property Women, and she's going to be talking about the Queensland market. So Queensland's got interesting recently. Listen up.
Jo Vadillo: With the Brisbane market. A lot of what I do crosses over on both those realms and as you'd know Bernadette we love the splitter blocks that are available in and around Brisbane City Council. I love the opportunity the splitter block provides it means that you have potentially got a house it's already on one side on one title and you can technically split off another block and then on-sell that as well. A lot of the formulas can be slide in the house to one side and renovating that house and selling it and frame a whole block of land or like some people, they realign the boundary kick the original house, renovates it, sell the house, sell off the block of land perhaps they keep the house. There's a multitude of strategies that come with that and that's what I find really exciting and fun.
Brisbane's going gangbusters at the moment. When BIS Oxford Economics put out a report in July looks to indicate that Brisbane's got the strongest growth projected about 20% although they do say that 20% will be in the back lot of that next 3 years.
Now Sydney's home for me but as an investor I'm very much a non-emotive investor and I'm just gonna be following where the market is showing where the fruits are to be had. Just in Brisbane now, Morton Bay is north of Brisbane City Council and in the next 3 years, Morton Bay is actually going to run out of land. Like everywhere it's being built out so it's going about 3 years left of land. It's a really good area. It's definitely one to watch. I've got a couple of properties there myself. You can still do a splitter block in the Morton Bay Area.
I work in conjunction with one of our business partners, who does a lot of the research for us ensuring that where we look at there's high rental demand, low vacancy. When we're buying existing properties ensuring there's enough margin that if you want to renovate that property and put it back in the market that people in that location are still paying a premium for a renovated version of that house ensuring also that, I guess an oversupply of housing estates or perhaps it is just an oversupply of a certain housing type as well.
The other part of my business is building dual key properties. And again that's ensuring that we're not in an area that's oversupplied with the dual key offerings. And the reason we loved doing the dual key case is because of the two-income aspect as well and allows our clients to free up their income and then be out of buy and buy again.
Jo: Just looking at Brisbane City Council at the moment, If we go north of Brisbane City Council, Kedron, Everton Park around Chermside is an area that's very very much sought after. There's a big gap between your entry-level houses and you're nicely renovated ready to go beautifully finished Queenslanders. So because it's got such a disparity between entry and selling that does indicate to me that's a good opportunity for renovators who want to come in and I guess rake the returns adding that value to that area as well. It gave us a go to Morton Bay and I'm looking at areas around the drivable distance to the city, to the water, Costco, IKEA, the university campuses just these areas that are just bringing people in.
They just won a $5B government contract to build tanks. It's going to bring in about 1000 talking about 200 new jobs, new jobs bring in family units, family units need schools, they need houses and this is a long term plan as well so it's making that part really sort of being on the map again as well for Ipswich.
Moving down south or south of Brisbane City Council I'm a big fan of Wynnum, Wynnum West, mainly. Bit of a sleepy spot has been for quite some time. When you drive through this area a lot of people are knocking down and doing rebuilds in this area. Lots of gentrification, lots of family units coming into that particular nook as well. And what's interesting about that part of that area is there are opportunities there. People wanted to look at multi occupancies as well. That's certainly an area to keep on your radar. If you're in and around Brisbane looking at doing some things of opportunity.
But then the big standouts for me at this point in terms of making a buying decision I think, Logan it's very affordable. It's a massive land that sits between the Gold Coast and Brisbane city. Make sure if you're looking at areas like this that you'd go into an established area that's got a really good high percentage of owner-occupiers in it as well. And there's always a fairly but very low vacancy in these areas. But you want to make sure that if you're going to be doing anything like renovating or subdividing that you've done your biggest really solidly and you know there's enough opportunity there for you to get to it and have an obviously good rate of return once you sold of as well.
Bernadette: I hope you enjoyed that and got some value out of it. I'm sure you did. I know our students really loved that particular masterclass.
Before I sign off. I just want to remind you that this weekend is our "Financial Freedom... Against All Odds" event in Sydney and Brisbane. If you don't have a ticket, you've got today to grab one, you'll find a link on the website and in the shownotes. And also, if you've not joined our free Facebook group, She Renovates, then jump over there and jump in. Get into the conversation. We'd love to see you there. Okay. Until next week. It's Bernadette signing off for today. Have a great week.