AS THE real estate market across Australia flounders to recover from the Global Financial Crisis Gladstone has been highlighted by market experts as the top investment location.
The inaugural Fast 50 report by Smart Property Investment said although forecasts for Australian house prices remained lukewarm there were still strong investment opportunities for investors with the nous to sniff out the right pockets of the market.
The report highlights the top suburbs tipped to deliver investors the best capital growth in 2012 and beyond with resource towns in Queensland making up a significant proportion of the suburbs listed in the report, with 11 local suburbs making the influential list.
Gladstone was the standout suburb, identified by three of the seven real estate experts who collaborated with Smart Property Investment to formulate the report.
The report idetified a strong resource industry and impressive population growth as contributors to significant investment returns in our major industrial township, with high capital growth prospects, low level risk, low vacancy rates, high per capita incomes and a shortage of housing compared to demand, all contributing to its investment appeal.
Hotspotting director Terry Ryder earmarked Gladstone as one of his top selections. "Rents have shot up in Gladstone but prices haven't yet moved a great deal," Mr Ryder said.
"The early influx of workers on the $100 billion or so in new industrial projects has started to impact and this will gather serious pace in 2012," he said.
The Bowen and Surat Basin regions and their neighbouring areas also featured strongly in the Smart Property Investment Fast 50, with Moranbah, Dysart, Chinchilla and Roma all making the list.
Woolloongabba was the only Brisbane suburb to make it into the report.
The Fast 50 hotspots were selected based on a range of key metrics, including population growth, demand for housing, income levels, employment, vacancy rates, previous capital growth and current gross rental yields.
The report's contributors included leading property economist Dr Andrew Wilson, TV personality and property expert Margaret Lomas, property research specialist Louis Christopher, property columnist Terry Ryder, property mentor Helen Collier-Kogtevs, independent mortgage broker and buyer's agent Todd Hunter and director of NextHotSpot Luke Berry.
Editor of Smart Property Investment Phillip Tarrant said the 2012 Fast 50 proves there are still plenty of opportunities on offer for astute property investors.
"Capital growth is no longer a given when it comes to investing in real estate, but that's not to say it's not achievable either," he said.
"We're moving into a new era for property in Australia and investors will need to do their homework and buy strategically in order to secure the best returns."
In addition, Mr Tarrant said the 2012 Fast 50 highlights the need for investors to look outside capital cities.
"Certainly capital cities can be a good, safe investment, but for investors chasing more lucrative returns, strong, diverse regional centres are proving a very popular choice among the experts, largely due to their lower buy-in costs and more attractive rental yields - as well as great potential for price growth," he said.
"With mining and resources continuing to underpin the national economy, resource centres also continue to represent enormous opportunity for investment," he said.
For the full 2012 Fast 50 Report, investors can pick up a copy of the February issue of Smart Property Investment, on newsstands now.
The 2012 Smart Property Investment Fast 50 suburbs:
- San Remo
- Neutral Bay
- Seven Hills
- Port Hedland
- South Hedland
- Halls Head
- Port Adelaide
- Aldinga Beach
- Port Augusta