"Buying in a depressed market, providing you buy the “right” property, offers additional benefits."
Why property investment is still a way to get rich in the current climate
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With so much negativity in the broader Australian property investment industry recently, there has been a lot of backlash against the “value” of property investment and the potential for success within it. Today I want to share some perspectives on this subject and discuss how some of the negatives should really be considered ‘positives’.
I want to begin by sharing an article by Michael Yardney about how the rich make their money.
He effectively states that you’ll “never get rich by working for ‘the man’”. I believe this to be true also. I think true financial freedom comes from stepping out independently and making your fortune. Doing it “your way” allows you to take control of which partners you choose and how much you are willing to pay others to help you get closer to achieving your financial dreams. He cites capital growth as being the main way to get ahead, make money, and get closer to becoming rich.
But with capital gains hurt recently in the Australian property market, it becomes hard to really look at property (and to some extent the share market) as an asset class objectively, when other investment classes such as gold and resources are offering more incentivised capital growth prospects.
So why invest in property in a climate like this? With plenty of negative sentiment about, some states and regions actually going backwards in growth numbers, and the immediate future looking to show no immediate dramatic improvement, property as an investment type must seem pretty unappealing right now – to the uninitiated, at least. Well, I am not going to argue with this. Sure, things right now are not as great as we’ve seen in the last 10 years, so why invest?
There is no easy answer to write in one sentence. But if I were to try to, I’d simply say this: everybody has to live somewhere. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. A roof over our heads is a pretty basic human need. And people need to work to live. Basic logic says that people thus need a place to live that is also within easy access to their place of work, so they can, well, make a living.
“Need” translates to supply and demand. If there are way too many properties in a market, demand will be low because everyone is already housed. This is where Australia offers such great opportunity. Because we are a young country, still growing and most places do not have enough property available to meet the demand of their markets, demand for property will remain very strong in places for years. Regardless of the volume of construction projects that get approved, Australia will always be “chasing its tail: to make sure there are enough properties available for people – where we need them, that is. This is a very important state of play for Australia and sets us apart from highly oversupplied markets such as the US, Dubai (and all of the United Arab Emirates, for that matter) and even Japan, which is beginning to shift more towards oversupply.
What I am getting at with all of this is: although values may fluctuate, this is all part of the process. This market correction we are going through is nothing new; it happens every 10 years, really, and is a normal part to any property market cycle (peaks, troughs, and everything in between). If your strategy is a long-term “buy and hold” approach, you have nothing to worry about on the capital growth front. The truth is, if prices were dipping so badly, this would not (and does not) change the dynamics of supply and demand.
Yes, the same number of people will front up to a Saturday inspection of a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Bondi, hoping to get that lease, regardless of whether the place is worth $250,000 or $500,000. What this means for investors is that in times of slow capital growth, if you buy property that provides good rental return, you won’t feel this so much. That one-bedroom in Bondi will still continue to rent for $500 per week, regardless.