Network boss urges investors to be 'realistic' about current market

The CEO of one of Australia's largest real estate groups has warned property investors that the changing nature of the property market and data reporting could derail their portfolio growth.

The immediacy and frequency with which property data is published, combined with fear and panic about a looming property bubble, could cause investors to prematurely exit the market and miss up-and-coming hotspots, according to Century 21 CEO Charles Tarbey.

Speaking to Smart Property Investment in its latest episode of The Smart Property Investment Show, due to be released later in June, Mr Tarbey said that now, more than ever before, investors need to know how to see through the clutter of information.

“We hear about a train crash in India where 10 people were injured nowadays. That’s what our world is like. And you start to become paralysed. If you listen and go on social media today, you’ll go literally from boom to bust and back to a boom again, just within three or four different posts on Facebook,” he said.

“[In that environment] it’s incredibly difficult to make decisions – which is why I say to people, ‘Anything is possible when you don’t know what you’re doing’. If you are too educated, you won’t make a decision. And I think a lot of people don’t bite the bullet.”

Mr Tarbey said people who bought into talk of a property bubble had panicked and exited the market prematurely in recent years, missing out on massive capital gains.

“I’ve learnt to be there. Be there when the boom happens. That is what the biggest issue is. A lot of people weaken and look at the future, and they either get a bit scared and they pull out and they walk away too early. My big thing is you’ve just got to be there. You’ve got to stay there. If you don’t stay there, you’re in trouble. If you have to get a second job or a third job, or if you have to change your lifestyle, you do that, because you got in there for a reason, you just need to be there when the cycle changes. And that’s where a lot of people fall away.”

Investors have to be “realistic” about their short- and long-term prospects in order to make the most of the current market conditions, he said.

“If you’re in a strong capital city in one of the safest regions in the world, where the weather [is the envy of the world] … If you’re buying in a [good] area and you’re buying within your means … I think that you’re pretty safe.

“I just get a bit concerned with people who are trying to go too quickly with an investment. They want it to happen now, and it’s not going to happen like that.”

Mr Tarbey said investors who buy into doomsday predictions and follow the negative crowd will also miss out on up-and-coming hotspots.

“There are a lot of pockets around capital cities that people talk down. There are suburbs that people have negative comments to make about – whether it’s because of government housing or whatever. And those are the areas, in my view, that have the most potential,” he said.

“I went out to those [undesirable] areas, and those areas nowadays – particularly those out west of Sydney or in parts of other capital cities that were not seen as great areas – are really boom areas now, and the price of property is secured. When you go out there you know you’re going to do well.”

[Related: 'Ingredients in place for Australian housing crash']

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