Canberra needs a new generation of investors to keep up with the demand for rental properties.
With investment property owners taking advantage of record house prices and exiting the market in droves over the past two years, tenants have been left out in the cold.
Independent Property Group’s director of project marketing Wayne Harriden says now is the ideal time for people to take the leap into property investment.
“We’re seeing a lot of first-time investors entering the market to take advantage of the high demand for rental properties in Canberra,” he says.
“A wave of investors from 30 years ago has exited the market, providing new opportunities for the next generation of landlords.”
Despite rising interest rates, Mr Harriden says there’s never been a better time to invest in the Canberra market.
“There’s some negative press out there, but the reality is we’ve had it ridiculously good and, yes, interest rates are going up, but they’re still so low and landlords are seeing fantastic returns,” he says.
“You don’t wait to buy real estate, you buy real estate and then wait.
“Many people I speak to say ‘Oh my God I should have invested years ago’.”
Buying off-the-plan apartments is the most popular pathway for first-time investors who can take advantage of the greatest tax deductions for depreciation on a new home.
“Buyers are moving en-masse into that market,” Mr Harriden says.
“It makes sense, because buying off the plan gives buyers the time to get their finances in order before settlement.
“Once they secure a tenant, they can sit back and watch the income roll in with very little outlay for maintenance or repairs.
“The rental income can effectively pay off their mortgage.”
Off-the-plan properties provide a diverse range of housing options giving buyers more choice when it comes to choosing a new home or investment.
Mr Harriden says new properties in Canberra are not going to get cheaper, despite a very small drop in the market over winter.
“Building and labour costs are never going to be any cheaper than they are now,” he says.
“And the ACT is land-locked, so land prices aren’t going to go backwards.
“If you’re going to buy a new property as an investment, the time is now.”
Apart from residential tenancies, there are other options to bring in the big bucks for first-time landlords.
Many investors are taking advantage of the growing demand for short-term accommodation in Canberra.
“This is a huge market that attracts higher weekly income,” Mr Harriden says.
By listing your property on short-stay booking platforms including Airbnb, landlords could earn 30 per cent higher returns than a traditional lease arrangement. Even after management fees.
More people are discovering how profitable short stay can be, and Mr Harriden says earnings in Canberra are expected to increase as demand continues to grow.
“The returns are next level.
“Research suggests you could achieve an average of 30 per cent higher returns over long-stay rental.
“People need to weigh up whether they want a stable weekly rental income from their investment, or if they’re prepared to enter the short-stay market such as AirBnB.”
With growing tourism and the transient government and business population, Canberra has a high demand for quality short-term accommodation.
“Many visiting families prefer the freedom and space of renting a full house or apartment for a week, rather than staying in a motel,” Mr Harriden says.
“This sector is taking off in Canberra and has opened up a lucrative new market for investors.”
Home owners thinking of entering the investment market can use the equity in their existing home to purchase a rental property in the ACT.
“Many people don’t know they can go down this path.
“Now is a good time to talk to your broker or bank about wealth creation.”
Independent Property Group has a short-stay management company, Guested, which handles all the bookings, communication and cleaning, making it even easier for investors.
Contact Wayne Harriden at Independent Property Group to discuss the range of investment opportunities in the ACT.