FIFO purchasing reaches sky high

The idea of fly-in fly-out property purchasing is nothing new to the real estate industry but it's now becoming more commonplace during a housing boom.

Australians are regularly flying into hotspot areas such as Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, snavelling up a few choice properties and then flying out, often in the same day.

Century 21 owner and managing director Charles Tarbey said the idea has been around since he was a boy. However, it can pose a problem of limiting the amount of properties people are exposed too and is not always a true reflection of what an area represents.

“Often people will make a decision based on what they have been shown and not what the overall area represents,” Mr Tarbey said.

“The main issue with this is that people often never get to see a variety of properties or past the development they have been shown, and their total focus is on what the estate agent is offering them.

“If you wait long enough to buy in a development you can do ok, but often the wait is longer than established properties within the immediate area.”

Director of Harcourts in Mawson Lakes, Adelaide Peter Asimakopolous said the minute an investment opportunity opens up that meets the profile of a number of people, they fly in from interstate with one intention: to snap up hot properties.

"I had one client who was living in Sydney and found a place close to Adelaide city, caught a Saturday morning flight, then a taxi to an auction from the airport, bought it and then went home," Mr Asimakopolous said.

Justin Hagen, estate agent with Calibre Real Estate based in Brisbane, conducts regular state property and listings tours for interested buyers flying in from overseas and interstate.

Mr Hagen said he regularly speaks to expats and rural workers looking to make a smart property purchase either for future retirement or to guarantee themselves somewhere to live when they finish a stint working overseas.

He said investors and property buyers generally hit the ground running and are looking to get in the local market, and the whole process is not just about driving people around to look at properties.

“It is pretty hard because a lot of investors from overseas think about Sydney and Melbourne and the potential for capital growth may be higher but it takes a lot to get a foot in the door,” Mr Hagen said.

“A lot of people are buying units and house and land packages purely on the basis of where they want to move after finishing a stint working interstate or overseas – they are keen to get in the market when it is like this.

“A lot of people I speak to see the Brisbane market as one with room to move, and here market trends seem to offer a gradual increase leading to more solid results over time.”

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