How to research the market to buy
Find out how to gain the most value out of your market research when looking to purchase a home.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an avid investor, market research is an obvious, but an all-important part of the home buying process. When done right, market research will ensure you make the right decision long-term. Head of Belle Advisory, Andrew Robinson says that being familiar with a neighbourhood and the lifestyle that it offers is just as important as being abreast of current property data.
The good news is, the majority of research can be done from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the many industry, government and lifestyle sites which provide invaluable data and general lifestyle content on suburbs across Australia. But printed publications and visiting the area in person also has its place in the research mix.
Here’s how to research the market to buy.
Tap into industry websites and apps
When on websites or apps, such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, Andrew recommends that you narrow your search to specific pockets (Inner City, Eastern Suburbs, Western Suburbs etc.) so you can get an overview of the whole area and not just a particular suburb. Within those pockets, search current and recent listings. This will give insight into how many and what type of properties are currently on the market. You will also see the number of properties that have been on the market and how much they are and have been, selling for. If you find that your budget doesn’t allow for that area, you can look at other pockets that offer a similar lifestyle.
Connect with the local council
Look at the local council’s website to learn about current and future developments, arterial roads or amenities planned that might impact the property value, and ultimately your decision to buy into the area. Some council websites can be challenging to navigate or to pull information from, so it’s well worth popping into the office to ask a few questions about what changes may be abreast.
Sign up to email alerts
Get yourself on as many mailing lists as you can, including all real estate agencies and selling agents who service the area you’re interested in. A proactive and engaged sales agent will give you weekly updates on what is happening in the local market. Also, sign up to industry websites such as domain.com.au and realestate.com.au. They will send updates based on your search criteria straight to your inbox as frequently as you like.
Scroll through real estate publications
Industry magazines and the real estate section of local and state newspapers are a valuable way to research the market. Andrew points out, with publications, there is no limit to your search criteria, and you’re more likely to stumble across suburbs or properties that may not be top of mind, but still tick many of the boxes.
Discover the local lifestyle
You’re not just buying a property. You’re also buying into a lifestyle. So, whether you know the suburb you’re interested in intimately or not, research the area from a liveability point of view. What schools, public transport and shopping facilities service the area? What is the demographic?
Jump onto local lifestyle sites such as Sitchu and discover the neighbourhoods that you’re primarily interested in. Learn about the suburbs from a local perspective and find other’s that you may not have considered, but which offer a similar lifestyle.
Visit the area on different days and times of the week to gauge the overall lifestyle and its liveability. You may be surprised how busy or quiet a suburb is at different times of the day, or how much traffic flow changes.
Attend open for inspections and auctions
Andrew explains that you can gain valuable knowledge from being out and about, attending multiple open for inspections and auctions. This allows you to compare the quality of properties, their value, how competitive the market is and who the other buyers are.
Andrew Robinson’s Top 5 Tips to Researching Property
1. Jump on to the SOLD tab of realestate.com.au or domain.com.au and look to see who the most active agents are in the suburbs and price bracket you are looking to buy in.
2. Contact those agents directly and ask to be put on their database. This will allow you to see the properties which are sold “off market”.
3. Attend as many open homes and auctions as you can to get a feel for the property value in the areas you want to purchase in and what the competition is like.
4. Build a relationship with active agents in your area. They will contact you when a property pops up that may be of interest to you and is yet to hit the market.
5. Browse through lifestyle sites like Sitchu to learn about the suburbs you’re interested in. If you find that your suburb is not within budget, Sitchu is a great tool to find similar suburbs that you may not have considered otherwise.