With rental vacancy rates pushing 4 per cent, investors need to make savvy buying decisions to attract the right tenants.


Investor Assist general manager Peter Gianoli said it was a good idea for investors to determine their target tenant before buying an investment property to ensure it would meet their needs.

He said share houses comprised a large portion of tenanted properties, particularly with students and fly-in fly-out workers.

“If you are buying for this market, remember bedrooms need to be big enough to accommodate more than just a bed, ” Mr Gianoli said.

“Many share-house tenants like to spend time in their own room for privacy or study and have items like a desk, television and other personal belongings in the one room.”

Professionals Real Estate Group chief executive Shane Kempton said buying a home according to the tenants that investors wanted to attract was a “chicken to the egg” scenario.

“Owners need to be mindful of the demographic in the area in which they wish to invest, ensuring they secure a property that will appeal to the wider renting population, ” he said.

“If the majority of their suburb’s tenants are single or double-income-no-kids, then the traditional family four-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a big yard will not be high on the list of priorities of potential tenants.”

Acton managing director Travis Coleman said investors should look closely at individual markets and speak to local property managers about what tenants were looking for in the area.

“This can vary greatly; in some areas units may be in demand, while in others it may be family homes, ” he said.

“Find out what you should pay for an investment property in the area; you may be able to buy a lovely apartment for $1.2 million, but will get better returns for a property worth $800,000.”

Mr Coleman said a low-maintenance, durable property with attractive features would always be a good investment, with a user-friendly kitchen, hard-wearing floor coverings and window treatments, a bath in the bathroom and heating and cooling options, all good points.

However, Mr Kempton said the needs of tenants and owner-occupiers weren’t really that far apart.

“The only real different need here is that owner-occupiers might take into consideration the capital growth rate of the area, whereas that would not have an impact on tenants at all, ” he said. 


© The West Australian

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