PROPERTY investment does not need to be limited to your local area, as investing further afield may help balance local market fluctuations.
Realmark Dunsborough senior property manager Ashley Ritchie said investing in the South-West was a smart choice in the current real estate climate.
“Our rental market is performing well,” she said.
“The median rent for Dunsborough is $460 per week, which is above the market average ($360 per week) for Perth.
“Rents in the area have remained steady over the past 12 months and we have not experienced the substantial drop Perth has.
“This is due to the fact that the population in the South-West is increasing and not decreasing, as it is in Perth.”
Mrs Ritchie said vacancy rates were minimal compared to Perth.
“As long as the property is priced right and well-presented, vacancies are being kept to a minimum,” she said.
It seems the South-West lifestyle not only influences the types of properties buyers want, it also affects rental demand.
Mrs Ritchie said tenants were typically families and people looking for a sea change from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“FIFO workers and families often rent first in the South-West to make sure they want to live here permanently before purchasing a property in the region,” she said.
“Properties on acreages are always in higher demand, and so is any property with a shed and/or room for a boat/caravan and side access.
“Properties close to the beach also usually lease quite quickly and properties that allow pets are highly sought after.”
Mrs Ritchie said their local market was expected to hold steady in the next year.
“The usual seasonal fluctuations can be expected,” she said.
“The winter months generally attract slightly lower prices than the peak summer months.
“Should population growth in the South-West continue, we would expect good rental returns on investment properties.”
Mrs Ritchie felt growth was on the cards.
“A $60 million upgrade to the Busselton Airport will allow for direct interstate flights and will be the gateway for future tourism in the South-West region,” she said.
If you are looking to buy an investment property in the region, Mrs Ritchie offered the following advice.
“Four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes are definitely the most popular rentals,” she said.
“If you are considering building an investment property, include some storage if possible. This is always advantageous, whether it be a shed or making the garage larger than normal.
“Neutral decor is always a winner with tenants and low-maintenance lawns and gardens are also attractive.” n