The Stayers perform, even when the market is in decline: Terry Ryder

The Stayers perform, even when the market is in decline: Terry Ryder
The Stayers perform, even when the market is in decline: Terry Ryder

Most property investors are out there chasing the big growth. Many of them end up disappointed citizens, especially those who chase it in the wrong places, like resources-influenced regional centres.

Very few places sustain that big growth for more than short periods.

There’s a lot to be said for a less popular but much safer and often more profitable policy: chasing consistency.

In our quarterly survey of sales activity around Australia, a report we call The Price Predictor Index, we have a prominent spot for the consistent markets. I tend to think of them as The Stayers of residential real estate.

They sit in the middle of the market, between the growth locations and the declining ones. These Consistency markets record steady rates of sale, quarter after quarter, year after year.

These locations, above all else, represent safety for investors. They are usually not boom markets, but have the valuable quality of solidity and consistency. And markets with this high level of even performance usually produce solid price growth over time.

Bowral in the Southern Highlands of NSW is one of those wonderfully consistent markets. It tends to sell between 100 and 110 homes every quarter, regardless of what’s happening in the wider market or the general economy.

In the past 12 months its median house price has risen 14% to $710,000 – and over the longer-term it has averaged 7% per year for the past decade.

The Sydney suburb of Sutherland has a modest median price, by Sydney standards, of $780,000 but it is good performer on price growth, on the back on a steady sales performance.

Over the past three years it has recorded between 78 and 88 sales virtually every quarter. No dramatic peaks and troughs, just good steady performance. Its median has grown 13% in the past year and it has averaged 9% per year over the past decade, which means values doubling in eight years.

The Brisbane suburb of Bulimba is another of those stayers – selling a similar number of properties quarter after quarter, year after year. Its median price has grown an average of 7% per year over 10 years, including 9% in the past 12 months, and its median is now above a million dollars.

These case studies – and there are many more like them - show that Consistency markets can produce good price growth and, in particular, steady long-term capital growth rates.

And they can be found anywhere, including in city markets that are generally in decline.

Perth is towards the bottom of the pile in terms of capital city markets. In the new Autumn edition of The Price Predictor Index, we can now identify only four suburbs with any kind of forward momentum in the entire Perth metropolitan area. But one Perth suburb has grabbed our nomination as the most consistent market in the nation.

Middle-market Willeton has sold between 80 and 87 homes per quarter in 10 of the past 11 quarters (with one quarter recording 100 sales). In the past six quarters, sales have been 83, 84, 83, 86, 87 and 81. Willeton is in the Canning LGA in the southern suburbs of Perth and currently has a median house price of $755,000.

While Perth prices generally are going backwards, three years after that market peaked, Willeton’s median price grew 3.4% in the past 12 months and has grown an average 7% per year over the past three years. Its long-term performance is 8.5% per year, which means values doubling in 8-9 years.

It’s a good example of how The Stayers perform, even when surrounded by a broader market in decline.

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au. You can email him or follow him on Twitter.

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au.

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Bowral Residential Market

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