Surprising factors that can impact rental yield
For decades now, owning investment properties has been considered by most Australians as an outstanding means of building wealth and long-term security.
And for good reason.
Property markets in Australia have enjoyed moderate (and in some cases, dramatic) long-term growth over the past 50 years, which have provided excellent returns for countless investors. What’s more, many have taken advantage of generous tax deductions – including from negative gearing, which can reduce the amount of tax you pay on earnings at tax time. Meanwhile, the equity in investor portfolios has been a valuable resource, allowing investors to secure finance to achieve other goals – whether they be investment or lifestyle focused.
Pretty good, right?
Then there’s rental income – arguably the most obvious and sought-after motivation for investors to purchase additional properties.
Renting out your investment property gives you an income to contribute to your home loan, which usually means you can pay it off sooner. Provided you pay your mortgage off, investment properties can become a long-term income stream that typically increases over time.
At this point we should pause to mention that the aforementioned benefits depend on a few factors. Market conditions and economic trends play a significant part, as does the importance of choosing a good investment in the first place (we can help you with that). And even in an ideal environment, it’s important to be aware that fluctuations happen, including with rental returns. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
Why rental income fluctuates?
Interestingly, weather is one of the biggest influencers of rental demand. According to a study conducted by realestate.com.au, data shows that demand for rentals drops at the start of winter and recovers before spring. This is particularly true of beach side suburbs, which typically reside in areas that are less popular in cooler months.
Rental properties up for grabs at the end of the year can also be impacted by decreases in demand. Both June (winter) and December are generally the easiest months to find a rental property, according to realestate.com.au, with far less competition in the market – which can force prices down.
Meanwhile, rental properties in suburbs close to universities can also experience fluctuations depending on the time of the year. During university breaks, demand often peaks, whilst throughout semester (when students are immersed in their studies), it plateaus.
Other factors which can impact rental returns include the economy of the town or suburb where the property is located – for example, an emerging or exiting major business or industry in the area, such as mining can drive demand up or down. How scarce similar rentals are in your area (i.e. supply and demand) is also another major factor. Whilst supply of new properties on the market is inevitable and can have a short-term effect, you can safeguard against this by buying in a suburb with low vacancy rates and by checking with the council on the number of new development applications in the pipeline. Another potential impactor includes the holiday season – availability of lease options via websites like Airbnb can create upward pressure on rentals when there’s fewer long-term options on-hand.
The key takeaway
Investors should expect some fluctuations in the rental yield of their investment property – it’s normal. Ultimately, the most important thing investors can do to shield themselves against fluctuations is to invest wisely in the first place. Choosing an investment property that will be ‘ever-green’ in its appeal to renters – through factors such as location, style and features is a way to help ensure consistent results that cannot be underestimated.
Like basically all investment properties, your rental will do best when viewed in the long-term.
Over the years at Providence we’ve gained a reputation for achieving superior results through research-driven insight, meticulous property selection and the highest levels of advice and customer service. Our services enable you to save time and money in the selection of property with ease, simplicity, confidence and proven results. If you’re interested in finding an ideal investment property, get in touch with our expert team.
How property rewards those who wait
Australia has one of the most impressive track records for long-term property yield in the world, but often, the biggest mistake property investors make is not being patient enough to truly reap the rewards.
Just how well has Australia’s property market performed?
Well, according to a recent report from the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements, the long-term rise in Australian house prices since the early 1960s has been the most sustained property market upswing in the world.
But that doesn’t mean the country is immune to stagnation and slumps. In fact, these are a normal part of the property cycle – that is, the habitual rise, fall, stabilising (and then rising once again) of property prices.
Like many other types of long-term investments, it pays to be patient and remember that in many cases short-term volatility is being underpinned by long-term growth – you just have to hold on!
Take some of our clients as an example:
In 2008, we negotiated the sale of a block of 91 two-bedroom, two-bathroom, one car apartments in Sydney’s southwest. The sale price was $405,000 per apartment.
We sold all 91 apartments and a couple of years on, some clients mentioned that the apartments had only grown slightly in value and that rental yields were low. We reminded these clients to be patient, mentioning that they purchased in a good suburb and at a good price and that they will see the greatest results if they hold onto their properties.
Nevertheless, a few became restless and sold in 2010/2011. After costs, they made little profit, most just breaking even.
Nine years on the apartments were recently valued conservatively by a bank at $875,000 – and they’re expected to continue growing in value. Over this period, we have seen rents wax and wane, some years increasing by as much as 5%, others decreasing by a few percent as more property came onto the market, followed by years on flat growth before increasing again.
The takeaway here is to be patient and to consider the long-term growth in value of your investment – though that’s not to say there won’t be a time when selling is the best option. This could be because of unexpected life events requiring you to free up your money, or to take advantage of a suburb/city boom that may be short-lived (e.g. holiday towns). You may consider selling a property to finance the acquisition of an investment with greater potential.
In any of these cases, the team at Providence can support you with advice and services to help you make an informed decision about buying your next home or investment property, or deciding which agent to use and which approach to take when the time comes to sell.
But remember, be patient!
Ultimately, the message here is to be patient with property. In many cases, the longer you hold on, the greater your returns. Fluctuations in market, including stagnation and slumps are normal in all property markets, though in almost every case, and certainly in Australia’s big cities over the past half-century, the overall property price trend is pointing one way… up.
If buying your ideal investment property for less sounds appealing, download our latest free report for the complete 7-step process for securing the perfect investment property in your price range. DOWNLOAD HERE.
Providence Property Group is a specialist property advisory firm providing unparalleled research-driven insight into the Australian residential, industrial and commercial property markets. Providence is a strong advocate for responsible and informed investing and supports clients to find and secure successful investment opportunities across Australia.
Blacklists – the truth behind the bank’s ‘high risk’ suburbs
Chances are you’ve heard of the banks’ property ‘blacklists’ – the suburbs that the banks really don’t want to lend you money to purchase in. If you’re shopping for a loan to buy in a bank’s blacklisted suburb, you will find they will decrease the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR), therefore requiring an additional deposit of 20 or 30 per cent and reducing the perceived risk to the bank. Or they simply won’t lend to you.
A quick Google search will give you results like an article in October 2017 that claimed 600 towns and suburbs were on NAB’s property lending blacklist. But how valid are these lists and how transparent is the information provided? What agenda is driving these suburbs to appear on the list one month and gone the next? How valid are these blacklists, and how they can affect people as purchasers, whether you are an occupier or an investor?
The central question here is how does a bank decide that a suburb is too high risk for their liking and should belong on their blacklist?
There are two reasons why a suburb might appear on blacklists.
Reason 1. The banks believe a certain suburb has too much supply, with an excess of development being carried out. This could apply to suburbs with high density housing or low density new house and land estates.
Reason 2. The banks have too much exposure in one particular suburb. For example, the bank may have lent too much money to investors and/or owner occupiers.
Looking at the first reason, a suburb being on a blacklist can be a good reason to dig deeper and look at the supply and demand in the area. For more on how to utilise supply and demand figures in real estate, take a look at our recent article ‘The danger of misunderstanding figures for supply and demand in property’. Don’t just accept that the suburb you’re interested in is on a bank’s blacklist and scratch it based on that fact alone, because it just isn’t enough — as is clear from reason two.
Reason number two is a crucial reminder that different banks may treat your lending needs differently based on their own interests. While one bank may be looking to limit their exposure in a certain suburb, another may not have that same overexposure.
The truth behind blacklists is that banks may very well choose to blacklist suburbs because of their personal, circumstantial risk assessments, not to protect potential lenders from a poor performing suburb as some may be lead to believe.
When property blacklists and results don’t align
Over the last 12 months the Sydney property market has declined 0.32%, however the suburbs NAB Blacklisted in Oct 2016 have performed very well.
This list shows Sydney suburbs that were on that NAB October 2016 Blacklist, demonstrating that while a 20 per cent deposit was required to gain a loan to purchase in these areas, they performed well.
Chatswood NSW: 12 Month Growth House 4.42%, Apartments 7.07% growth
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: House 9.91%, Apartments 7.58%
Putney NSW : 12 Month Growth House: 31.58%
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: House 8.99%
Newington NSW: 12 Month Growth House 5%, Unit 2.64%
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: House 7.78%, Apartment 6.29%
Auburn: 12 Month Growth: House 9.48%, Unit 5.66%
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: House 9.32%, Unit 8.04%
Baulkham Hills: 12 Month Growth: House 10.91%, Unit 14.04%
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: House 9.22%, Unit 7.65%
The Ponds: 12 Month Growth 7.14%
Average 10 Year Capital Growth: 14.15%
The impact of blacklists on selling
Blacklists aren’t just a buyer’s consideration — if you’re selling in a blacklisted suburb, you could be affected too. We frequently help clients through the process of selling property, and a blacklist is something we take into account when timing a sale.
Even if a suburb has been performing well, reluctance from banks to lend to buyers interested in your blacklisted suburb or requiring a larger-than-normal deposit means you could experience reduced interest or find your buyers require more time to secure finance.
The broader impact of blacklists
Understanding that blacklists are not always what they seem is essential because they are often referenced as a means of assessing the state of the property market.
Lending blacklists that keep coming up from banks seem to be the basis of many articles that feature in publications, such as the Financial Review as an example. These articles use these lending blacklists as an indicator of what’s happening in real estate more generally. However, as we’ve explored throughout this article, while a suburb appearing on bank blacklists could encourage you to explore its potential risks, there are many bank-centric reasons why blacklists feature the suburbs that they do from one month to the next.
Certainly major economic occurrences such as a downturn in the mining industry will trigger a bank to place suburbs on a blacklist, but only when the major industries are slowing down. In this instance, the property market would have already started to cool when banks announce the suburbs to go on the blacklist.
In summary, while you shouldn’t base property decisions solely on blacklists, they are still something to add to your research arsenal. Never let a bank’s property blacklist deter you from a purchase without doing the research yourself.
Better yet, enlist our help in assessing the optimal property investment choices to reach your goals. We take a three-tiered approach to property research and our experienced team of property investment experts can use our proven strategies to help you discover advantageous property opportunities. Contact us here or call 1300 25 25 50.
Written by Lynton Stevenson, Managing Director at Providence Property Group.
The danger of misunderstanding figures for supply and demand in property
Supply and demand is always a hot topic in property. It’s something we get asked about all the time, and in investing it is very important to know whether the area you’re considering has an oversupply in property, or an undersupply.
This is something we keep a very close eye on here at Providence, and in this article we will take a closer look at some of the key numbers. It’s very easy to get distracted by photos or videos of lots of new homes being built in housing estates or new apartment blocks going up in a given suburb. We see plenty of articles in the media that jump to fast conclusions about the state of supply but provide zero quantitative research to reach their conclusions.
To draw our conclusions we use a range of data; some of it in the public domain, some of it from fee for service databases. This data may not be perfect, but we believe it is quite accurate and a good basis on which to draw our conclusions.
Supply and demand in Australia’s property market — the real figures
What we will look at today is overall capital city supply and demand data focusing on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This consideration is one of many – considering the supply within and around any given suburb where you’re considering investing is essential. As part of the work we do, we examine and analyse supply and demand data both at macro/city level and at micro suburb level.
Looking back a few years, through the GFC there was certainly an undersupply across the capital cities. Developers couldn’t get funding for new developments, so less developments were built. Meanwhile, migration rates stayed the same or even increased during that period and so there was a consistent undersupply for a number of years.
As we moved our way through the GFC and banks began to loosen credit for developers and home buyers to access construction funding, we’ve seen a supply response, particularly over the last 4 years. Whether you’re in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, there have been a lot more cranes in the sky and more properties being built.
As part of our analysis, we’ve looked at population growth, establishing what population growth is occurring in each capital city. We then looked at the predicted demand based on a requirement of 2.6 persons per household (the average number of persons per household, according to the ABS).
Our research then takes into account the number of dwelling approvals and the approximate dwellings that will be completed based on those actual dwelling approvals. Then we have to make an inference about the number of dwellings that will actually be completed, because of course all the dwellings that are approved are not necessarily completed. So we’ve done this on the basis of the statistics for the last 30 years. We also make a subtraction for a number of demolitions, because not only are there properties being built, there are many properties being demolished to make way for the new.
We often see highly emotive articles about oversupply based purely (and erroneously) on the number of development applications that have been submitted – not taking into account these other factors. A significant proportion of development applications do not make their way to completion. The media frequently talks in crisis and generalities to drive circulation, to get eyeballs, and to do whatever it is that they need to drive advertising. So it’s really important that when supply and demand is discussed, it is based on facts and data, not emotion.
Supply and demand in Sydney
Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see that in Sydney in 2011/12 and 2012/13 there was a shortfall in required dwellings, moving into a surplus in all the following years. Not a massive annual surplus, but a small one. This has created an accumulated surplus of around 29,990 dwellings to date, which as a proportion of the total dwellings in the city is a very small percentage. We don’t see this as anything to be concerned about at a macro level. However it is certainly meaningful on a localised area basis, and there are absolutely areas where this concentration of excessive construction will have an impact. These would include Zetland, Epping and Holroyd.
Melbourne property oversupply or undersupply?
Now let’s take a look at Melbourne. We will see that once again during 2011/12 and 2012/13 there was a shortfall in required dwellings, moving into a small surplus in all the following years. This has created an accumulated surplus of around 31,521 dwellings to date which, once again as a proportion of the total dwellings in the city is a small percentage. We don’t see this as a concern at a macro level, however areas where this property oversupply is concentrated and would be of a particular concern would include Southbank, Docklands and the CBD.
What about demand? The ABS predicts that Melbourne is increasing in population by about 1800 people per week. So based on dwelling size, the number of people per dwelling being 2.6, Melbourne requires 700 new dwellings per week. So that 30,000 oversupply that we are talking about is about 40 weeks of excess supply based on current growth numbers.
Now we’ve seen from those numbers that supply moves in waves. There are periods of oversupply and undersupply, and what we’re seeing in bank funding to developers is credit has been tightening dramatically.
Importantly for the supply numbers not only in Melbourne but also in each of these three cities, we are seeing the trend of expected completions falling significantly. You can see that in the figures. We expect to continue to see lower completion numbers across Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane in the near term.
Brisbane’s supply shortfall
If we take a look now at Brisbane, we see supply shortfalls in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 and again in 2016/17 and 2017/18 resulting in an overall undersupply/supply shortfall of 13,248 dwellings. This is interesting news considering we have seen reports of oversupply in various articles on Brisbane.
There has certainly been an oversupply in specific suburbs – such as Brisbane CBD, Fortitude Valley, Hamilton, Albion and the East side of Chermside. But an overall supply shortfall is an interesting revelation and is one of the reasons we think parts of Brisbane make it an appealing property investment destination.
Dwelling-type specific oversupply in property
Another interesting dynamic we’ve seen in areas with apparent oversupply in property is that there are always markets within markets. Although there may be an oversupply of a certain type of property within a specific suburb – for example, small living area, high volume, commoditised, apartments in high rise buildings – there can be in fact a very strong market in that exact same suburb for higher-quality, more scarce/lower supply property.
For example, higher quality, lower density dwellings or premium quality oversized apartments eg 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car. We’ve seen a number of examples of this in various suburbs around the country where these scarcer types of properties have demonstrated rental yields, vacancy rates and capital growth as if there was no oversupply in the suburb. In effect, a two-speed market for properties in that suburb. This is something that we will explore further in later research posts.
If you would like further detail or to discuss supply in any particular markets you’re considering, please feel free to contact us and we can put you through to one of our research analysts.
Why savvy investors choose Brisbane property
Brisbane is a hot favourite amongst property investors and with a range of infrastructure upgrades and developments pegged for the city and surrounding regions over the coming years, the trend looks set to continue. So why invest in Brisbane property? There are plenty of reasons.
Brisbane (compared to Sydney and Melbourne in particular) is more affordable and benefits from a higher income return for property investors. Many experts agree that whilst interest rates are low, Brisbane is a standout city for growing your investment portfolio.
This sentiment is echoed by investors.
According to a survey by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), Brisbane remains the top capital city pick, with 43 per cent of investors choosing it as their preferred destination for property investment.
So, let’s take a look at what makes Brisbane such an attractive investment location.
The population is migrating
Sydney house prices are nearly double those in the other capital cities. This, combined with rising job creation in Queensland, is creating an influx of migraters. According to research, when these factors have aligned in the past, more than 134,000 people have trekked up north over a 3-year period, predominantly out of NSW.
Wealth is transferring
Migration shifts like the one described above result in a transfer of wealth – with estimates of up to A$8.1bn of equity being injected into the Brisbane and South-East QLD housing market over the coming years. In turn, this will impact consumer spending too – boosting the Queensland economy.
As interstate migration goes up, property oversupply balances out. In Brisbane’s case, this means balancing any current oversupply of apartments whilst putting upward pressure on house prices.
The city is booming
Perhaps one of the most exciting (and important) reasons Brisbane is becoming the property investors top choice is the significant services and infrastructure upgrades taking place across the city (and beyond) over the coming years. Some highlights include:
Brisbane Live – An entertainment precinct penned to be Australia’s equivalent to New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The development will include a 17,000-seat world-class arena along with a 4,000-capacity rock club, multiplex cinemas, restaurants and bars, and a giant screen and amphitheatre to accommodate up to 15,000 people. The precinct’s other attractions include a proposed signature 90-storey residential tower and dining precinct.
Queen’s Wharf Brisbane – This will develop into a world-class tourism, leisure and entertainment precinct in the heart of the CBD, which is expected to create permanent employment to more than 8,000 workers once completed in 2022. The development is estimated to attract 1.4 million additional tourists yearly via five new premium hotel brands, three residential towers, a department store, an iconic ‘Arc’ building that will feature a Sky Deck, a riverfront moonlight cinema, a Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School operated by TAFE Queensland, and redeveloped public realm covering an area of at least 12 football fields.
Cross River Rail – This project will improve Brisbane’s public transportation landscape with a railway connecting Dutton Park and Bowen Hills. Between the destinations will be five new stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and Exhibition, including 5.9km of underground tracks beneath the Brisbane River and CBD.
Herston Quarter – Upon completion in 2027, this precinct will include a 132-bed public specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre, a new private hospital, childcare and aged care facilities, retirement homes, student accommodation, private apartments, dining and retail areas and renovated heritage buildings. Approximately 7,000 new jobs will be generated over the development period.
Interested in investing in Brisbane property, but not sure where to start?
As you can see, choosing to invest in Brisbane presents an incredible opportunity for property investors, but knowing where to begin can be difficult. As a specialist property investment and advisory firm, we provide our clients with responsible and informed investing advice – with expert knowledge in major Australian cities. We can assist with all aspects of the investment journey from professional guidance, to property negotiation and purchase, finance and further assistance.
Satisfy your curiosity and get in touch with our team to find out how investing up north can supercharge your wealth.
Written by Lynton Stevenson, Managing Director, Providence Property Group.