With 2023 looming, we can already see the trends lining up.  We’ll review all the forecasts soon, but for those of you who plan your purchases during the summer break see below for the top ten influences we believe will impact the market in 2023.

Market ‘relaxation’

We are definitely experiencing market relaxation in the sizzling hot markets of Sydney and Melbourne and have been experiencing this for at least the past six months.  Remember though, every suburb / property type is a market in itself so there are plenty of Sydney + Melbourne markets on the way up . . but the overarching sizzle has settled. Personally, I really hope this continues as the pricing pace of 2021 was completely unhealthy.

Give me a buyers market any day and I’m in heaven.  Remember the good old days when you could negotiate prices down more often than not?  That feels a bit predatory, so I would just settle for a flat market.  Flat markets are predictable and absolutely wonderful as the backdrop for our next trend – renovations.

Renovations

Will the renovation option ever get old?  I can’t ever see this happening, so we will just see this move in waves as suburbs age.  As a buyers’ advocate I definitely see two distinct buying groups – one who is repelled by even the smallest amount of work, and one that can’t wait to get their hands on a renovation project.

The Housing Industry Association economists have done some work on figures – they point to suburbs that are around 30 to 35 years of age as the sweet spot for renovations with good uplift.  Opportunities are Australia-wide.  With sensibility coming back into the market, the renovator group should be able to buy and sell, and move onto their next project without being priced out of their next purchase.

Upgraders

The ‘upgrader’ group (ready to move from their first or second property) has been held back over the past few years as they watched from the sidelines while prices smashed records.  Sure, they made significant gains, but they’re currently growing out of or are bored with their existing properties and looking to utilize some of their property profits to change locations.  With lending restrictions on investment properties and attractive rates for home loans, the upgraders will finally get moving again . . . literally.  Renovators – please take note . . .here’s your market.  This will impact price points anywhere from $750,000 and generally up to $2,000,000 range, Australia-wide.   Some clients in this band are selling their principal residence and moving to more ‘cost effective’ locations, then purchasing ‘a few’ properties instead of just one – but then they become ‘changers’ not upgraders.

The laggards

Look to the areas that didn’t have double digit price increases over the past two years as these will now receive attention.  The general buy-in price for many first time buyers is the $500,000 to $600,000 price range, so well located properties in this price band will continue to be popular.  This will mean Brisbane will get more action and will be pushed along by Government spending in preparation of the Olympic Games in 2032.  Also, Perth, Bathurst, the Central Coast of NSW, Ballarat, Geelong (note that Newcastle and Wollongong are already closer to $650,000+ range) as well as Hobart and Canberra.  Caution should be used with Hobart as they’re currently experiencing some good results bit this will be a very limited run – Hobart should be thought of in the same category as big regional towns (not regional cities).

Canberra is another amber light – firstly, it’s just like a mining town as they have one major employer . . the government.  Secondly, we’re not fans because it’s leasehold land – not freehold like most other areas of the country so the goal of ‘eternal’ income isn’t as assured. 

And no, I didn’t forget Adelaide.  It’s just not high on my list, unless you want to buy a great vineyard. 

Infrastructure

Follow the good projects.  This is another eternal trend / influencer (as per renovations above).  Of course, timing is everything as different property will perform at different stages of infrastructure completion.  Rail projects are quite good to track (pun intended) but be really careful of useless spur lines that finish in greenfield areas (hello Springfield, Qld), though the Qld government is now working on linking the Springfield line through to Ipswich.

Commercial property

For the focused property investor who actually likes to receive immediate positive returns on their investment, we are seeing an increased interest in commercial property.  This trend is underpinned by a combination of other trends – a trail after the increased residential activity, and new suburbs / areas impacted by Federal and State infrastructure spending. 

Back to cash

The craze of chasing capital growth despite appalling returns is finally slowing, although we should always be looking for good capital growth accompanied by good rental yield.  The really nice twist involves clever purchasing (properties that need a little work) along with clever use such as Airbnb, adding a granny flat, or our next trend . . small lot development.

Small lot developments

Very hot in 2022, and gathering further pace for 2023.  With councils re-zoning to unlock supply and keep pace with population increases, all property owners should be checking their zoning regulations.  Yes, even those of you who have units – particularly low rise constructions on large blocks of land.  If you’ve checked your properties and you’re not sure you can do anything, give us a call as we can review your property and provide an outline of what can (or can’t) be achieved.  Definitely any future purchases should include consideration of local zoning requirements even if you’re not planning to take any action in the short term.

Micro apartments

This is the new term for the old ‘boarding house’ approach.  There’s considerable variety in how this strategy can play out depending on the property, your budget and your goals.  This includes converting an existing house to facilitate shared kitchens and other living areas, through to true ‘apartments’ ranging in size from 12 to 25 square metres.  Note the rents include all services such as electricity and water, appliances and often crockery (plates etc), however the returns can be extremely good.  The added benefit is providing affordable housing to those who will really appreciate access to well located affordable rent.  Like all building forms, each council will have standards that need to be observed and there is specific legislation for owners to know and understand.  The one consideration is that currently in most situations, the micros cannot be split up and sold separately like a block of town houses, but this may change in the future.

Portfolio balance

With markets on the move and the banks tightening lending practices, the importance of building a balanced portfolio is emerging as a significant issue.  Balanced portfolios allow you to continue to buy when the time is right, and hold on to your property when the market tightens.  The best portfolios contain a diverse mix of property types and should include at least one or two properties that can be either renovated or developed for further capital uplift. But it’s not only about what you buy, it’s also about the way the property is purchased.  A shameless plug here as this is what we specialize in at The Property Frontline – building portfolios that deliver lifetime income.  Currently we’re mostly focused on building portfolios that include Australian and New Zealand property, but we should be organized for purchases in at least four other countries soon.  If you would like to know how to build or balance a profitable portfolio, give us a call.

In summary

2023 will no doubt be another year to remember, but for now it’s all ahead of us.  I hope the trends outlined above will provide you with a good planning framework, but there’s plenty more trends on the horizon (including smart homes and autonomous vehicles to name a few) .  If you have one (or more) trend you would like to suggest, please send them on through to us at support@propertyfrontline.com.au or comment on our social media pages.

About the author

Debra Beck-Mewing is the Editor of the Property Portfolio Magazine and CEO of The Property Frontline.  She has more than 20 years’ experience in property investing Australia-wide and has used a range of strategies to build her property portfolio including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is a skilled property strategist, and a master in sourcing properties that have multiple uses and multiple exit strategies. She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business. As a passionate advocate for increasing transparency in the property and wealth industries, Debra is a popular speaker on these topics.  She is also an author, podcast host, and participates on numerous committees including the Property Owners’ Association.

Follow us on facebook.com/ThePropertyFrontline for regular updates, or book in for a strategy session to discuss your property questions. 

Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances. 

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