Living in the big smoke, it can be easy to get wound up in your own world and forget that different situations and opportunities exist not too far away.
Never is this more relevant than for property buyers.
While property supply might be scarce and prices overinflated in your city, chances are that a matter of a couple of hours down the road, the market tells a different story.
Your market might be at the top of its growth cycle after a recent boom, well, maybe only if you live in Sydney, but this often means regional markets in the same state will benefit from a flow on effect shortly afterwards.
When property prices rise in capital cities, investors can be priced out, or at least stop seeing the value in the urban market. That’s when they turn all ‘green acres’ in the quest for a deal.
And there are some great chances to buy into a regional area for a good price, just before the market sets off on a double digit growth spurt.
Some towns have houses for less than $200,000 and units for $100,000.
It doesn’t take much to get a deposit for one of those properties, at least relatively speaking.
A decent market will also mean rental income that covers mortgage repayments and holding costs, making your slice of country pie a cash flow positive asset.
Low-priced property has plenty of capital growth potential and is less risky if the investment turns sour.
Buying several $100,000 properties will spread the risk further and double your money faster than by buying one more expensive property.
It makes sense. what will double in value faster, a $1 million house or a $100,000 house? Always the cheaper one.
So if you have a bunch of them, it’s kind of like a death of a thousand paper cuts, except that it’s wealth of several small investments.
However, and there is always a however, regional economies can be weak and go years without capital growth.
Depending on the fundamentals at play, towns can be volatile and if remote enough, properties can become worth less than the materials they are made from; especially if the one major employer or mine that keeps the place afloat is closed down.
Before you invest, Make sure the town has a diverse economy in place, with multiple industries.
Population is important too because you need demand to actually give a property some resale value.
A good population number to start from is 10,000 people.
A good way to gauge a town’s potential is to look around and see what companies have a presence there.
Major supermarket and fast food chains only open in towns that can support them, so if the big companies and brands are there, you may well be on the right track.
Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au.
Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing.
His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au