This article was first published byImage: Getting into the property market in any capital city in Australia is not easy but it will be highly rewarding over time.
HOUSE prices are still effectively doubling every decade in Australia’s capital cities for owners prepared to hold for the long term.
An analysis by News Corp Australia of price data going back 36 years shows that the major capital cities have shown strong similarities in median house price growth and all have increased at least 1100 per cent since 1980.
Real Estate Institute of Australia figures show that anybody who bought in any capital city 20 years ago has doubled their money several times over.
Sydney and Melbourne, currently enjoying house price booms, are the biggest long-term improvers, up more than 1400 and 1600 per cent respectively. Brisbane and Perth were leaders of the pack previously.
Cities that haven’t doubled in the past 10 years — Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra — have all trebled in value in the past 20 years.
Real Estate Institute of Australia president Neville Sanders said that after almost 50 years in real estate, he had found that price cycles were consistent “but not always predictable”.
Occasional dips and downturns reflected factors such as interest rates, unemployment and prices cooling off after a boom, he said.
“When you are in the middle of a cycle, you don’t think too much about what it was like three years ago and you don’t know what it’s going to be like in another three years,” Mr Sanders said.
“Property is a long-term investment — it’s not about buying now and selling in two or three years to take a profit. Some do that if they hit the right cycle at the right time, but it’s luck.”
Mr Sanders said while the auction market grabbed the most headlines, it accounted for less than 40 per cent of overall sales.
“Most sales are private sales negotiated by agents — there’s no theatre so you don’t get as much reporting,” he said.
“Things just keep ticking along. If you hold through a cycle, and through the next one, you get to benefit from that consistent long-term growth.”
BInvested co-founder Nathan Birch said capital city property markets did not move at the same time, which created opportunities for investors.
Mr Birch, who at 31 owns more than 200 properties across three states, bought up big in Sydney during its long period of low and negative returns in the 2000s.
“People say it’s dangerous, but I heard the same stuff in 2003. I heard that I was stupid and was going to go broke,” he said.
Anyone buying real estate needed to have a plan, a strategy and a long-term view, Mr Birch said.
“Researching the market takes up a lot of my time. Knowing what else has sold in the area, for how much and also understanding the neighbourhood, not just the suburb you’re investing in, is essential,” he said.