Researchers from SQM Research predict a softening in rental prices over a range of different localities across Australia could indicate that there are a large number of first time home buyers making purchases.

Data indicating the prevalence of first time buyers in certain areas can be useful to property investors who are looking for areas that are most likely to offer a good return for their money.

When rental prices drastically rise or drop in a certain location, it can sometimes be directly related to the number of people in the area who are choosing to purchase their first home. When the economic climate is favourable and interest rates are also low, first time buyers are more likely to start looking for a home.

Andrew Wilson, senior economist with Australian Property Monitors suggests that current upswings in first time buyers in some areas could also be linked to various state schemes that have been deployed in the hope of enticing buyers into the market. He says that softening rent prices could be linked to a direct hangover from these attempts to encourage new buyers.

Being able to analyse the property data and figures available is an essential skill when it comes to making money from an investment property portfolio.

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Baby boomers or those in the elderly age bracket usually dominate Sydney’s high-end property sales, but Sydney has seen a notable shift towards younger buyers, with interesting purchases from a number of Sydney’s prominent youth.

Daisy Turnbull-Brown, daughter of Malcolm Turnbull, has just listed her sub-penthouse in Potts Point. Daisy and her husband, James, are expecting a baby and obviously are looking to boost funds as well as settle into their Paddington home ahead of the child’s arrival. Located in the Rockwell apartments block, it is expected to fetch over $3million thanks to its spectacular harbour views.

Elsewhere, singer Guy Sebastian and his wife are selling their four-bedroom Clovelly home for $2million. The architect-designed house on Knox Street has ocean views from the upstairs living area. The couple also bought a holiday home near Gerringong last year for $1.115million, which they subsequently renovated. Reportedly, their reason for selling in Clovelly is because they want to have a bigger garden for their young son.

Meanwhile, software entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes has bought a house in Palm Beach for an eye-watering $8.7million. The 33 year-old co-founder of software company Atlassian is clearly enjoying the spoils of his success. Not bad for a guy who used $10,000 worth of credit card debt to start up his company a decade ago with a friend from university.

The combination of a number of factors, such as the ageing population and lack of affordable housing in Western Australia, have ensured that granny flats are becoming more and more popular.

These small but perfectly formed flats are quickly proving to be a preferred solution for buyers of all ages, offering an attractive alternative to flat shares. Many young families are moving back to their parent’s home to live separately in a granny flat while there are an increasing number of teenagers staying at home for longer, hoping to save up enough to invest in property.

Changes to WA’s planning laws to ensure that it’s easier for property investors and home owners to build granny flats on their property is only likely to increase demand. Before March’s election, Planning Minister John Day pledged that regulations would be amended to allow people to rent their granny flats to people who are not relatives, expanding the market significantly.

Not only will carers who are currently allowed to stay in a granny flat be able to provide round the clock care if needed, the market is likely to see a surge in the number of people renting granny flats to strangers. This could offer significant opportunities for property investors to renovate and build on their existing portfolio to maximise their profits.

Understanding the way that changes to regulations can affect house prices is crucial for anyone hoping to enter the property investment market. If you are considering making your first investment or you are looking for help in growing your property investment portfolio, be sure to get in touch with the expert team at Sydney based Rass Global Investments.

The latest cut to interest rates sees Australia’s cash rate at the lowest it has ever been since official records began in 1959. At just 2.75 per cent, the record-breaking rates are sure to be celebrated by property investors who are looking for finance deals that will offer them a substantial return on their money in years to come.

The cash rate is now 175 basis points lower than it was when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) began its current course of cuts in November 2011, reports Australian Property Investor.

The cuts come as the RBA made the decision to shave another 25 basis points off interest rates. While the move was several months in the making, many industry insiders and experts have been predicting the cut, especially in light of March’s lower than expected house price growth rates.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said that the effects of the cuts are starting to be seen throughout the economy and that the board has already established the potential for the rates to be further lowered, should it be necessary to lower demand. A reduction of a further 25-50 basis points is expected by a number of analysts and commentators.

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Potential property investors who have been sitting on the fence are being encouraged to take the first step, with favourable economic conditions offering numerous opportunities. For those who want to take advantage of the current climate but are unsure of how to get started, property investment companies such as Property Secrets could be the ideal solution.

Aussie executive chairman John Symond cites recent suburb statistics commissioned from RP Data when claiming that there are a number of Australian suburbs offering gross rental yields that will be higher than the cost of a mortgage. These high-return properties are most commonly found in the suburbs surrounding capital cities, with rental yields that suggest that now may be a good time for people to buy their first investment property or to add to an existing portfolio.

Mr Symond added that while housing prices are still low in a number of areas, this could be set to change. What’s more, low fixed and variable interest rates make this a good time for potential investors to consider their options.

It’s worth noting that the PR Data that Mr Symond cites primarily looks at properties that are worth less than half a million dollars, meaning it highlights the kind of homes that may suit those who are thinking about entering the market.

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RP Data has revealed figures suggesting that the fall in house prices seen during April were nothing but a ‘blip’. Strong clearance rates and improvements in housing finance demand have convinced the analytics firm that the fall is a temporary issue and that prices are set to continue to improve.

The April RP Data-Rismark home value index showed a drop in value for most capital cities apart from Adelaide, but director of research Tim Lawless said this is likely to be nothing more than a stumbling block on an upward trend. His opinion is based on the 2.8 per cent rise the market for capital city dwellings has enjoyed in the first quarter.

Mr Lawless suggested that when the data from April was considered alongside the auction clearance rates, private treaty indicators and some improvement in housing finance demand, it was likely the dip was only a brief blip. He added that it would be unrealistic to expect the growth rates experienced during the first three months of the year to continue into April.

A steadier and more realistic growth rate is a preferable way for the Australian housing market to gain strength over the coming months, and buyers and property investors should bear in mind that the first quarter is often the strongest.

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