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Remote investing surges as investors head to WA

Remote investing has taken off in 2023, with the distance between where landlords live and where they invest almost doubling compared to last year.

According to research from MCG Quantity Surveyors, the average distance between where landlords live and where they invest has blown out to a staggering 1502km.

This year’s outcome is a near doubling of the same analysis in 2022, which showed an average of 857km between a landlord’s home and investment property.

“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,” MCG Quantity Surveyors Managing Director Mike Mortlock said.

He said remote investing had been trending up for some time.

At the end of 2021, the distance between where an investor lived and their investment property 559km. 

Pre-pandemic, the remote investing distance was 294 kilometres to January 2020. 

Mr Mortlock said there were two key takeaways from the latest analysis. 

“Firstly, property investors remain agile and will park their capital in whichever investor-friendly national location and asset type offers the greatest possibility of maximising their return,” he said.

“The second is that Western Australia has become the centre of Australian property investment. 

“There’s little doubt its popularity with real estate buyers from the east coast has increased the gap between home and investment.” 

“Western Australia, and more specifically Perth, has seen a substantial uptick in investor participation for several reasons. 

“WA is now considered among the nation’s most investor-friendly jurisdictions.”

Mr Mortlock said price was a major factor in investors decision-making, with some of the big capital cities out of reach. 

“Our analysis shows the average price an investor pays for a property is approximately $615,000,” he said.

“That amount will go a lot further in Perth than it will in Sydney or Melbourne.”

Mr Mortlock also warned east coast politicians that investors were agile and poor policy could drive them across the border. 

“There remains a raft of ill-conceived legislative moves among east-coast political parties which is playing to Western Australia’s advantage,” he said.

“Talk among investors is that tenancy legislation, compliance costs and increased tax burdens in our most populous states are forcing their hand when deciding where to purchase or build an asset. 

“Unfortunately, the anti-investor rhetoric continues in the east. 

“Just recently, the Greens Lord Mayoral candidate for Brisbane said he’d introduce changes that would substantially increase council rates for some investors. 

“The outcome of that would severely impact property investment there and would be devastating for tenants in that rental market.” 

Mr Mortlock said property investment had fundamentally changed in the past five years, with long distance investment now a much easier process to complete.

“Engaging with almost any buyers’ agent, conveyancer or building inspector in Australia is a very simple matter,” he said.

“This has opened up all Aussie markets to smart investors. 

“They can conduct their own analysis while employing professionals in their areas of interest to complete their work at ground level.” 

Mr Mortlock said his long-term outlook for remote investing was that it would continue to gain traction, although the average distance is likely to plateau. 

“Investors will continue to grow comfortable with buying remotely and sight unseen as the calibre and quality of data improves,” he said.

“That said, I suspect that when the current WA investment flurry eventually cools, we may find the distance between home and investment plateaus.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.