Little to entice sub-$300,000 investors in Melbourne, but 'brick veneer' is the word in regional Victoria: HTW

Little to entice sub-$300,000 investors in Melbourne, but 'brick veneer' is the word in regional Victoria: HTW
Little to entice sub-$300,000 investors in Melbourne, but 'brick veneer' is the word in regional Victoria: HTW

Property investment options under $300,000 in Melbourne are relatively limited unless you’re prepared to compromise on quality or are willing to spend extra on renovations, reports Herron Todd White in its September review of residential buying opportunities in this price bracket.

But further afield, in regional Victoria, options under this benchmark (close to the size of an average Australian mortgage, according to the ABS) are much more plentiful – provided you’re not too snobbish about buying a 1970s or 1980s-era brick veneer house.

Examples include this well-kept three-bedroom brick veneer home on King Street in Warragul, Gippsland (pictured below), listed for a negotiable $269,000 on an 800-square-metre block by South East Real Estate. The property was rented at around $220 per week in 2009, a yield of 4.25%. It was listed for sale in March 2010 for $250,000 but failed to sell.

According to HTW, suburban investment options under $300,000 in Melbourne stretch from close to the city, incorporating up-and-coming suburbs like Preston and Coburg, to as far north as Craigieburn, where Stockland’s Highland master-planned community is being developed.

In these suburbs, the best options in this price bracket are one and two-bedroom apartments.

Investors or owner-occupiers can snap up this one-bedroom apartment (below) overlooking the walls of the former Pentridge Prison, which is listed at $269,000 by Stockdale & Leggo Carlton. A third-storey one-bedroom apartment in the same development sold for $343,000 in July this year.

In Preston the range is restricted primarily to one-bedroom units.

Two-bedroom units are available in this price range, but HTW says they will be in a poor location or in extremely poor condition.

Currently priced at just under $300,000 is a modern one-bedroom unit (pictured below) by Mario Tucci of Harcourts Thomastown. RP Data show the property was last rented at $290 per week in 2009 – a yield of just over 5%. The property has been up for sale through a variety of campaigns since July 2011, seeking offers above $270,000.

 


 

For investors, HTW says prospects in inner suburbs like Preston and Coburg are enticing, as rental returns are still competitive, with one-bedroom apartments selling for under $300,000 but still commanding rental returns above $1,200 per month.

“Investing in the outer suburbs throws up more uncertainty, as the perception that these undeveloped suburbs creates risk and doubt leads to them experiencing slower growth patterns," says HTW.

Investors with more patience and a long-term holding approach could benefit, with HTW expecting growth to come once these suburbs are established in terms of infrastructure and the anticipated planning comes to fruition.

Moving out towards the fringes, HTW says it is very hard to find “liveable” homes for under $300,000 even in places like Wollert, around 30 kilometres from the CBD in Whittlesea.

“To enter into the market in the northern suburbs around Craigieburn and Wollert, a family requiring a 3- bedroom home can be expected to pay around $350,000. Closer into the city around Pascoe Vale prices will start from $360,000 to $370,000 range.

“The houses for this price are very basic and will often be in the poorer locations of the suburbs.”

Investors can pick up a house-and-land package for just above $300,000, with a new three-bedroom, two-bathroom house (pictured below) on a 263-square-metre lot selling in Stockland’s Eucalypt development in Wollert for $320,000.

Moving outside of Melbourne, there are numerous sub-$300,000 opportunities in the Gippsland region, an area that begins immediately east of the suburbs of Melbourne and stretching to the New South Wales border.

“Within our local area $300,000 presents buyers with a number of options,” says HTW

Gippsland

  • Warragul and Drouin: well-located circa 1970s to 1980s brick veneer home in good condition or alternatively an entry-level house-and-land package in a new subdivision
  • Moe, Morwell or Newborough: a good quality circa 1980s to early 1990s brick veneer home
  • Morwell and Newborough: HTW reports some recent sales of 1970s units well under the $300,000 mark “and admittedly where not very stylish or trendy, they do return in the range of 7% to 9% gross rental”.
  • Moe and Morwell: large numbers of basic commission-style dwellings available between $90,000 to $150,000, which show gross rental returns of between 7 to 9%.
  • Sale/Maffra:  a three- to four-bedroom, two-bathroom brick veneer home in an established area, generally circa 1980s to 1990s, on land sizes between 700 and 1,000 square metres.
  • Sale: a modern (circa 2005 onwards) townhouse in reasonable proximity to the CBD.
  • Maffra: a modern townhouse generally closer in to the CBD than in Sale
  • Loch Sport/Golden Beach/Paradise Beach/Seaspray: a modern house in a good location, generally with reasonable water views (Loch Sport) or access to the beach (Golden Beach/Paradise Beach/Seaspray) with rental returns of about 5% for a $300,000 investment
  • Sale and Traralgon: circa 1980 three- and four-bedroom dwelling in good location on a large block, a renovated older-style weatherboard dwelling in a central location, a brand -ew townhouse with good rental return of 6% plus.
  • Churchill: you can pick up two 1970s brick veneer dwellings earning up to 7% return, also older style rural residential property on one acre.
  • Rosedale: new house-and-land package four-bedroom home on 800-square-metre to 900-square-metre block, older-style rural residential property on one to five acres.

Mildura

 There are plenty of options, with the HTW database showing that $300,000 is above the median sales price.  In this price range it is possible to buy a brick veneer three- or even four-bedroom home built in the period from 1995 to 2006 on a reasonable sized allotment.

“The home won’t come with a pool and will have an average fit-out, but will most likely have some established landscaping and not need any immediate upgrading,” says HTW.

Other options in Mildura include compact four-bedroom homes bought off the plan by one of several project builders currently active in Mildura, with dwellings generally less than 140 square metres located in more of a fringe location.

“We see good prospects for this segment, $300,000 is relatively affordable for any professional people moving to Mildura, and while buyers have been able to be selective in the flat market that has persisted for the past two to three years, there is likely to be on going demand from owner-occupiers and investors alike," says HTW.

“The most active buyers of the new dwellings have been 'out of town' investors, keen to capitalise on the tight rental market and potential to obtain 6% gross rental returns combined with higher depreciation allowances than would be obtained from older dwellings.”

Click here for HTW sub-$300,000 recommendations in NSW.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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