Researching the property market to buy
Before commencing your buying journey, whether you are a first-home buyer or an avid investor, the best place to start is with some thorough groundwork and research.
Researching the property market is more than just learning about stats and property jargon, it’s about getting clear on what you are looking for and understanding your local market, so you can make the best decision based on your needs.
Read on to discover how conducting thorough property market research can empower you to make confident and well-informed decisions when you're ready to dive into homeownership.
Know what you are looking for
When starting, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a location and a property. This is not to say that you can’t change your mind during the process, but knowing roughly what matters most to you will help you streamline your research.
“As property location is the primary factor influencing a homebuyer's decision, it's essential to focus your search on suburbs and areas that align with your requirements,” says Belle Property and Hockingstuart’s Head of Growth, Nick Boyd.
“Ask yourself questions like does the suburb reflect your lifestyle or a lifestyle you will be looking for in the future? Are there appropriate amenities and are there any development projects in the pipeline?” adds Nick.
Once you have an idea of the locations and lifestyle factors that are important to you, it’s a valuable exercise to also explore surrounding areas.
Using a tool like Sitchu’s suburb guide feature is a great option for doing a deep dive into the suburbs you’re interested in and can even open your eyes to areas you may not have considered.
Understand your local property market
Equipped with an area or suburb in mind, you can now focus your attention on learning more about what is happening in the local property market.
The best thing about this type of research is that you don’t even need to leave your house to get started. Jump online and begin by accessing real estate resources like CoreLogic or Domain to discover insights like property prices, type of properties available, demographics in the area and how long properties take to sell.
Be sure to sign up for email alerts and download any relevant apps to help you stay on top of the market, as well as reading the real estate section of local newspapers and grabbing copies of any local property magazines.
“Property magazines like the fortnightly Sitchu magazine are also a great way to access property information as well as premium lifestyle content,” said Nick.
“As a one-of-a-kind publication in the Australian real estate industry, Sitchu magazine offers curated lifestyle content, property advice and listings from our network of brands including Belle Property, Hockingstuart and Belle Property Escapes, along with international homes for sale courtesy of our partnership with Luxury Portfolio International.”
Stay across the national market too
In addition to learning about your local property market, it is also important to stay up to date with the national market and current property and price trends. Real estate portals often publish regular articles and newsletters aimed at buyers which you can usually sign up to, such as Domain’s property news section.
For a deep dive into the latest changes and trends in the national property market, you may also like to subscribe to more industry-focused publications such as the Real Estate Conversation, Real Estate Business and Elite Agent.
“Keeping your eye on the current trends will help you ride the property market wave towards a great deal. Those who have done the research and stayed up to date will ultimately get the best outcome come property settlement time,” explains Nick.
Talk with a local real estate expert
The perfect way to round off your research is to get in touch with a trusted local real estate agent. Real estate agents are your key to the local property market as they know the area like the back of their hand and will be able to offer invaluable insider knowledge of your chosen suburb.
“At the end of the day, homebuyers can only spend so much time researching the market. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent can help,” said Nick.
“Agents can give you insights into the local market, add you to their database so you are the first to hear about upcoming property listings - including any off-market listings - and let you know when open for inspections are planned.”