Hotspot the property as well as the location: Tracey Chandler

Property Observer has been speaking to buyer’s agents, developers, economists, researchers, and other property experts to find out how they find their best growth locations – and how you can too. 

We spoke with Sydney buyer’s agent Tracey Chandler, who has 28 years’ experience in the property market and focuses on the property as much as the location. 

She first looks out for popular areas, such as Sydney's Parramatta and Balmain, but always looks out for the two suburbs away from it as well. 

Her top pick of the moment is Merrylands, which is close to Parramatta. She notes that while Parramatta has long been a popular area, Merrylands “never really got there”. 

While properties in the area cost around $300,000 earlier this year, she notes that they are now worth about $350,000 to $360,000 on average, reflecting an increase of $50,000 to $60,000 in six months. 

“You would not have made $50,000 to $60,000 in Parramatta in the last two years,” she said. 

She notes that two-bedroom apartments in Merrylands were already enjoying a healthy rental yield since earlier this year. 

“Rent back then was about $400-420 per week, which is excellent if the price was about $315,000.” That reflects a yield of over 6.7%. Chandler expects rents to continue to increase as demand continues to go up. 

Chandler added that Stockland had invested $120 million for a shopping centre in the area, and the council was spending money on the streetscape – showing that the area had potential. 

In Sydney’s west, Chandler looks out for two-bedroom apartments for her investor clients. 

“A one-bedder’s not worth it, and a three-bedder has too much holding costs,” she said. 

Conversely, for inner-city suburbs and the east, she recommends purchasing a studio or one-bedroom apartment as it will rent quicker or sell quicker, depending on your investment goal. 

Price is an important factor as well. She prefers middle-of-the-road properties, nothing too cheap or overly expensive. 

“I always tell my clients: if you buy a bargain, you’ll sell a bargain,” she said. Chandler also favours smaller, boutique blocks over massive developments, as this translates to lower strata costs. 

“I would never buy anything with a concierge or gym. Why should I pay for my tenant’s concierge? I’d rather put my money in a small boutique block with lower strata costs, and it’s got more street appeal,” she said.

Street appeal is another factor Chandler looks out for. 

“I don’t want anything dark and dingy. If it’s got no street appeal; no balcony, tenants are not going to stay there. Rent is going to be pretty abysmal,” she said. 

Location is also especially important if the property is close to public transport or near the water. 

She also recommends factoring in both yield and capital growth when purchasing an Investment Property. Budget is also a huge consideration.

“If a client’s budget is around $800,000, I might recommend he get two properties instead of just the one,” she said. 

Lastly, she also looks out for work that the property may need, especially small cosmetic work which won’t be too much hassle for her clients.

Diane Leow

Diane Leow

Diane has spent her entire career in the world of digital. She is passionate about delivering the best content to a world that is becoming increasingly jaded by the news. She also believes in the importance of great journalism and how it can change the world. Oh, she also drinks a lot of coffee.

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