Who is the fairest in the land?
Once a quarter CoreLogic RP Data releases figures on profit- and loss-making sales around the country, and the results are always interesting. Whether you’re looking at homes for sale or picking up rental properties for investment, it’s always good to see where the capital gains are, how much they are and what the hold period is that nets the best return.
On a country-wide scale, 90.9 per cent of home sales made a profit. This is not quite as good as the 91.4 per cent recorded in December but when compared to March 2014, however, we’re doing better by 0.5 per cent. Interestingly, 30.7 per cent of sales resulted in home owners at least doubling their money.
Loss-making sales ended up costing vendors $69,468 on average, with a total of $417million for the entire country in the March quarter. However, this was completely dwarfed by the $13.8billion in profit made on real estate in Australia, with an average gain of $230,633 for sellers.
While results around property sales are interesting and informative, it can be more fruitful to look ahead. The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) believes that the current monetary policy settings by the Reserve Bank of Australia will see growth in the property
“In 2015 we expect interest rates to stay low and growth in dwelling prices to continue, however changes to rules around foreign investment in Australian residential real estate may change the dynamic on the market,” said Neville Sanders, president of the REIA.
However, Mr Sanders did also point out that recent increases in median prices across the capital cities has not been evenly spread.
“The weighted average, median price for other dwellings for the eight capital cities was $517,929. Over the quarter, most capitals recorded increases; however prices fell in Adelaide, Perth and Canberra,” said Mr Sanders.
It’s interesting to note though, that all of these cities did better in CoreLogic RP Data’s Pain and Gain report than the national average – excluding real estate in Canberra, although even the ACT capital improved on the previous quarter.
One thing’s for sure: Property markets don’t generally change over night. The Pain and Gain report reveals that the average length of ownership for a gross profit making sale was ten years – well ahead of the six years that loss making homes were held for on average. Those investing in real estate now should look to play the long game, as houses for sale that achieved double their purchase price were held for an average of 16.8 years.
Where to buy to make a profit
Of course, the other half of the profit-making equation is location, location, location. The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has released research which suggests that the Premier State is the place to be. In fact, the industry body expects median house prices to increase to $1million before the end of the calendar year. And that’s not just real estate in Sydney – it’s across the board.
“If the current trend continues, which saw the March 2015 quarter Sydney median house price rise 3.6 per cent to $914,056, by the end of year we will see property prices hit the $1million mark,” said REINSW president Malcolm Gunning.
However, sometimes it’s the less obvious pick that makes you money. While the median price may have gone down in Perth over the March quarter, according to the REIA, profit-making sales were exceptional. CoreLogic RP Data reveals that real estate in Perth achieved more 100 per cent or more profit-making sales than any other capital city. And what’s more interesting? Regional Western Australia did even better.
This could be a stark reminder to not put all your eggs in one basket, and to certainly never underestimate the underdog.