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Remote investing rush driven by desirability of WA

By Staff Reporter
17 November 2023 | 10 minute read
Mike Mortlock reb

New research reveals a significant surge in “remote investing” among landlords in 2023, with the average distance between their residence and investment properties nearly doubling in the past year.

MCG Quantity Surveyors’ analysis of customer data indicates a substantial increase in the average distance between Australian landlords’ homes and investment locations, with that distance reaching a staggering 1,502 kilometres in 2023.

According to Mike Mortlock, the firm’s managing director: “This is a substantial uptick on last year’s result and shows that buyers are incredibly mobile when it comes to securing a desirable property investment.”

The distance recorded in 2023 almost doubles that of 2022’s 857 kilometres. The trend has been steadily rising, with distances in 2021 at 559 kilometres and in pre-pandemic times, specifically January 2020, at 294 kilometres.

Mr Mortlock highlighted two crucial takeaways from the research. Firstly, property investors display remarkable agility, strategically placing their capital where it can maximise returns.

Secondly, that Western Australia has emerged as the focal point of Australian property investment, which is a large part of the reason the gap between home and investment has widened.

Western Australia, particularly Perth, has seen a substantial uptick in investor participation for various reasons, explained Mr Mortlock.

WA is now considered among the nation’s most investor-friendly jurisdictions, and the affordability factor plays a significant role. The average price an investor pays for a property, approximately $615,000, goes much further in Perth than in Sydney or Melbourne.”

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Mr Mortlock said the data might serve as a warning to east coast politicians, asserting that their recent legislative moves are playing into Western Australia’s advantage.

He cited concerns among investors about tenancy legislation, compliance costs and increased tax burdens in populous states influencing their decisions on where to invest.

The anti-investor rhetoric continues in the east, Mr Mortlock said.

He pointed to recent comments from Greens lord mayoral candidate for Brisbane, who proposed changes that could substantially increase council rates for certain investors, potentially impacting property investment and tenants in the rental market.

Mr Mortlock also noted how tech shifts in Australia’s investment landscape has served to encourage remote investing. With the ease of conducting business over long distances, property investment has become more accessible to a broader audience.

He added that engaging with buyers’ agents, conveyancers, or building inspectors across Australia is now a simple matter, enabling investors to conduct thorough analyses while relying on professionals in their areas of interest to complete ground-level work.

Looking ahead, Mr Mortlock predicts that remote investing will continue to gain traction, although the average distance may plateau. He anticipates investors growing more comfortable with remote, sight-unseen transactions as data quality improves.

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