In this article, we take a look at what makes a good investment location - both for residential and commercial properties - and how to find one.
Location, location, location!
Choosing the right location is one of the most important factors in the success of a property investment. The right location can differ according to the kind of property investment you choose – commercial or residential.
However, in both cases, the principal is to find a property that will be popular with tenants both now and into the future, as this will support your requirement both for a steady rental income and future capital growth.
What to look for in a commercial property location
Looking for commercial property, you will need to assess the purpose of the property and if the location will be good for that particular business. Retail commercial property should be in a location that provides a steady stream of passing trade and is easy to reach via public transport or car. There should be plenty of car parking available and if possible, the location should already be enjoying good trade. Locations that are busy will create competition amongst potential tenants and this will always be good for capital growth.
For more industrial commercial properties, good road links and parking, ample space and excellent facilities are more important than passing foot traffic. You’ll need to ensure that the purpose or possible uses of the building are acceptable under local council zoning laws so that there are no restrictions on the type of tenants who may use it. Importantly, you’ll want to make sure the property is not too far away from a city / port or airport – particularly if it is a warehouse or manufacturing building.
What to look for in a residential property location
You may think that it will be easier to find a suitable location for a residential property investment. However, competition for good locations is on the rise. With residential property, you’ll also need to find a location that provides all the attributes a tenant will be looking for.
Apartment living is rising in popularity, particularly for working people with no families. If you’re choosing an apartment, make sure it has good public transport facilities, and is close to amenities such as restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Houses are more popular with families, and for an investment like this, facilities such as parks, schools, and easy access to public transport are important. Suburbs that are already popular with tenants because of the quality and easy access to such facilities may be in short supply and therefore expensive, so look at adjoining locations that may be up and coming.
For both apartments and houses, the availability of work nearby for tenants will help to ensure its popularity with tenants and this adds up to capital growth potential. Properties that are a long way from employment may be less expensive and easier to secure, however rental returns may be much lower and the potential for capital growth reduced.
How to find the right location
All property investment requires careful research to find the best locations with optimal capital growth potential. Most people start with online research and by making contacts within reliable real estate agencies so they are alerted when investments with potential become available.
The first step is to look for areas where income levels are high and occupancy rates are good. Real estate agents and reputable buyer’s agents are a reliable source of this information, but it’s also a good idea to subscribe to a property market data service that will give you the information you need at your fingertips.
Try to avoid areas where future oversupply of properties may become an issue. This is particularly important when considering investment in an apartment – to avoid mistakes, check with the local council to find out how many developments are in the pipeline for the area as this may have a significant effect on values.
Houses appeal more to families and may carry better
capital growth potential. Look for areas where infrastructure development is either good or planned for the near future.
Popular schools always attract competition for houses, so you may want to research which are the best schools in the areas you are considering and look for property nearby. University locations also create a reliable source of tenants and income, and often offer good entry level investment opportunities.
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Disclaimer: The articles included on our website are for general information only and have not taken into account a clients’ personal circumstances, goals or objectives. Prior to making any investment decisions you should contact us to ensure that the advice is appropriate to your personal needs and objectives.
This article originally appeared in the InterPrac 2015 Winter Newsletter, June 2015. Re-published with permission.