Plenty of regional hotspots to tempt investors as market hovers at five o’clock on property clock: Margaret Lomas

Plenty of regional hotspots to tempt investors as market hovers at five o’clock on property clock: Margaret Lomas
Plenty of regional hotspots to tempt investors as market hovers at five o’clock on property clock: Margaret Lomas

Property investors should look to get into the market now rather than try and time their purchases to when the market bottoms out, Margaret Lomas told attendees at the weekend’s Melbourne Home Buyer & Property Investor show.

Lomas says the property market currently sits at five o’clock on the property clock, meaning it has yet to reach the bottom of the current cycle.

“It’s better to buy at five o’clock, because it’s very hard to time your purchase so you buy at six o’clock. And you don’t want to buy at seven o’clock,” says Lomas, founder of property investor advisory business Destiny and a regular pundit on Sky Business.

With flames flickering on a screen behind her, Lomas then launched into her hotspot list, telling the big crowd that they should be looking at regional markets with strong population growth, and where there a big infrastructure projects in place.

“Some regional centre populations are growing faster than the national average. And there is a growing affluence as well in some of these locations,” she says.

In Victoria, Lomas favours regional centres like Shepparton, Ballarat, Bendigo and Morwell.

She says investors should steer clear of apartments in Melbourne because the market is oversupplied. with prices forecast to fall by around 2%.

Overall the outlook for Victoria is one of subdued growth over the next 18 months.

 


 

The outlook is better for NSW due to a housing shortage in many areas and tightening vacancy rates.

She picks Blacktown on the Sydney fringe as one of her NSW hotspots as well as locations in the Hunter Valley including Branxton, Singleton, Cessnock and Muswellbrook.

In Queensland, Lomas says there is a two-speed housing market due to the mining boom, with some regions benefiting and others not.

She says investors should steer clear of Brisbane apartments – she forecasts a 10% drop in prices over the medium term due to an oversupply of new apartments.

Rather, Lomas says investors should look to places like Toowoomba, which benefits from the mining boom, but is not solely dependent on it.

“Pick towns with a mining influence rather mining towns,” is her credo.

The only mining town she picks as an investment hotspot is Gladstone.

“It has 13 separate mining projects including coal and aluminium – so not dependent on one project,” she says.

Her other picks are Rockhampton, which benefits from the Gladstone “influence”, and Mackay.

Lomas says investors should be wary of WA mining hotspots, unless they have an appetite for risk.

“Mining towns are at risk if local government bodies release more land for development.”

Furthermore, she says mining companies are looking to build their own cheap housing for mine workers, rather than be "held to ransom by private landlords".

Lomas says there are no hotspots in Tasmania.

South Australian hotspots include Port Noarlunga, Port Adelaide, Hackam, Huntfield Heights, Christie Downs and Mitchell Park.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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