Is This the Time to Invest in Real Estate in Australia?

This is a very good time to invest in real estate in Australia, the 12th largest economy in the world. If you were to do so, there would be competition from Australian citizens. New data showed that 26 percent of Australian homeowners were keen to acquire a second property as an investment. Might these people be onto something?

Immigration to Australia has grown markedly in recent years, there has been something of a baby boom, more people are choosing to live alone, and people are living longer, which have all increased demand for housing to the extent that demand often exceeds supply. In the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Spain, on the other hand, too many houses were built. Around 160,000 new households come into being every year. There were less than 320,000 properties available in Australia some months ago, but this had fallen to 300,000 as of October. The National Housing Supply Council estimated the shortfall to be around 180,000. A property investment in Australia would be a scarce resource.

There could be no better time to make property investments in Brisbane. The housing situation is acute in Queensland, where rents have skyrocketed, sometimes doubling. The rent for one property shot up to a record-breaking AUD3,800 a week. In November of last year, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland disclosed that there had been a 16 percent increase in the number of investors purchasing property in the state. One of the best places to find Queensland real estate investments is the Homesales website.

Housing in Australia is expensive. Gerard Minack, a global strategist for Morgan Stanley, estimated that houses in Australia were 40 percent costlier than those in other nations such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

While in Singapore or Hong Kong, tenants tend to be expatriates, more of the tenants in Australia are locals. In Hong Kong, there have been additional requirements of foreigners purchasing properties, but this is not the case in Australia. Australians could prefer to rent because they would then be able to live in a more desirable location, while they would have to resort to an “outer less desirable” location if they were to make a purchase. Younger Australians rent three or four homes before deciding to purchase one. It’s not uncommon for someone with a relatively high income to rent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official interest rate several times this year, and many commentators have said that a property boom is on the cards. This has been the case at other times when interest rates fell: in 2000 and 2001 and from the end of 2008 to the end of 2009. If there were any inkling of a trend, more people would be persuaded to join in as they would not wish to be locked out of the property market if they did not act immediately. A property investment in Australia is likely to accrue value.

The Australian tax regime favors foreign investors: when loans are correctly structured, there is no tax on capital gains. The Australian economy is stable, and performing better than those of almost every other developed country. Unemployment is low, wages and productivity are growing and inflation is manageable. This is where you should buy an investment property.

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