Melbourne about to be flooded with units + Finding ‘off market opportunities + Strategy vs tax

Flood Melbourne

Melbourne about to be flooded with units + Finding ‘off market opportunities + Strategy vs tax

Highlights from this week:

  • Some markets are ‘turning’. Which ones?
  • Is it best to rent a property with furniture?
  • 2 ways to find ‘off market’ properties
  • Something every Melbourne investors needs to know
  • The peril of confusing strategy with tax benefit

Transcripts:

20,000 units to flood Melbourne – Simon Pressley

Kevin:  If you are an investor in Melbourne, you’re probably not going to like what we have to say, because apparently, 20,000 extra Melbourne apartments currently siting vacant could hit the market within the next few months. Why? What’s happening? What’s behind it? Joining me to talk about it, Simon Pressley from Propertyology.

Simon, what’s behind this? I can imagine 20,000 extra units in Melbourne is going to put a bit of a dent in the market.

Simon:  That’s a large number. That’s a Victorian state government figure. What it is, Kevin, is the Victorian state government feel there’s a need for them to intervene and increase supply in the Melbourne property market.

On their estimates based on the lack of water being used in properties, they calculate there are about 20,000 dwellings in Melbourne that are sitting vacant permanently, and they’re trying to force those owners to make it part of the rental pool.

How they’re going to do that is they will charge property owners a vacancy tax. For a typical property, let’s say it’s worth $500,000, the tax will be $5000 per annum if that property is not occupied for six months or more in each calendar year. That’s a lot of money.

Now, there may be some existing property investors who elect to just pay the freight, suck it up and pay it each year and still keep it empty, but I’d suggest that for $5000+, a lot will either sell or they will do what the government wants and make it part of the rental pool. Either way, that’s a lot of properties to hit the market.

Kevin:  It’s a bit like wealth tax, really, isn’t it? If you’re an investor and you have an investment unit, whether you leave it vacant or you put a tenant in it shouldn’t be anyone’s concern, to be quite frank. I really take exception to this.

What about someone who’s got a holiday unit and they don’t want to let someone else in, they don’t want to tenant it out; they want to use it whenever they want. This is really just a penalty on them, isn’t it?

Simon:  There are a few exceptions, and I’m still digesting the fine print. This legislation has just come out. But a holiday home, you need to prove to the state government that you’ve occupied it yourself for four weeks or more, so there’s an exception there. Another exception is if you own a second property because you work and you want to live in effectively two homes, you need to prove that you’ve lived in this property for 140 days or more.

That might cover some of those 20,000 properties, but a large percentage of them, people – for reasons known only to them – they want to leave empty. Now, I’d suggest that that’s their right to do what they want. They paid all that money for an asset, they paid extra stamp duty in the first instance. If they don’t want to collect an income, so be it.

This is concerning for every property investor in Melbourne, in my opinion. It’s not just the $5000 that those who currently have an empty property will feel the pinch. Let’s make up a number, Kevin. If we said 15,000 out of 20,000 over the next few months hit the Melbourne rental market, all those existing property owners who are collecting rent, they have 15,000 extra properties that they’re competing against.

What’s that going to do to rent on their property? What’s that going to do to their own personal confidence? How might that affect their own mood, their behavior? That has a knock-on effect to retail trade, that has a knock-on effect to lots of properties being sold, a lack of confidence in the market, whether you’re an owner-occupier or an investor.

I’m getting increasingly concerned not just in Melbourne, Kevin, but too much government intervention. When we fiddle with market forces… If you think of property markets, we’ve had diluting negative gearing benefits, depreciation deductions in the last 12 months. That’s a federal government initiative. We’ve had APRA come in and make it harder for people to borrow money. We’ve had APRA also slug investors up to 1% extra in interest rates. And now we have a particular state government targeting other investors, as well.

I think it’s going to affect more than the owners of those vacant properties. Eventually, people are going to say “We’ve had enough,” and it’s going to significantly affect the mood of the whole population, not just the owners of the vacant properties.

Kevin:  Of course, we talk about Melbourne, Melbourne is a fairly big market. Have you got any indication about the spread of those 20,000 units? Are they all inner-city Melbourne?

Simon:  I think it was originally sold in parliament, Kevin, that it was the inner-city apartments, but I’ve been on the state government website today, they’ve named the local government authorities that are listed, and there was 16 of them in total. Greater Melbourne is made up of 31 city councils, so half of those are caught up in this legislation.

What we’ve done is we’ve looked at the suburbs in the outer city councils that are captured. North of Melbourne, we’re talking as far out as 15 kilometers from the post office, the eastern suburbs as far out as 35 kilometers. So, we’re talking most of Melbourne is going to be affected by this.

Kevin:  This is not mooted legislation; this has actually been enacted. When does it start?

Simon:  It comes into effect as of January 1, 2018, but it’s partly back-dated. My interpretation of what I’ve read on the state government website this morning is that the legislation was moved in parliament in May, so what they’re saying is to all existing property owners in Melbourne, “We’re going to give you a free kick, the first four months of 2017, even if it was empty, we’re going to assume that you had it occupied.” From May through December 2017 this calendar year, they need to have it occupied physically for an extra two months to make it a total of six months in this calendar year. If they’re a day short of six months, they’re paying the freight. They’ll be paying the example I used earlier, the $5000. And that’s how it’s going to be calculated every year.

Kevin:  Wow. And, of course, there’s a bit of a knock-on effect here, too. It sends a very sobering message to developers, doesn’t it? If there’s going to be that much stock possibly coming on the market, someone who’s not out of the ground right now might say, “Well, I might just mothball this for another year or two.”

Simon:  That’s exactly right, Kevin. Whenever governments intervene with market forces, invariably there are always unintended consequences. Now, this might take a couple of years before these unintended consequences are really realized, but you’ve made a really good example of one of those.

If a market gets saturated, think of all the future construction jobs that won’t probably be created because the construction industry will say, “Well, there’s already too much built; why would we build anymore?” Where will they go to get more jobs? When you have a damp property market, that also reduces demand for property-related jobs: real estate agents, property managers, conveyances, tradespeople.

There are always going to be knock-on effects here, and let’s not forget the state government coffers themselves. The single biggest revenue for any state government is stamp duty on property taxes. So, if we cause that much damage to consumer confidence and there are fewer property transactions in any authority, the state government will feel the pinch. And then there are the infrastructure projects and so on.

So, there’s going to be a knock-on effect from overregulation in the property sector.

Kevin:  I appreciate your time, Simon. Thank you.

Simon:  Thanks, Kevin. Let’s hope no more state governments jump in and follow suit.

Kevin:  Exactly. Thanks, mate. Talk soon.

Simon:  Bye-bye.

Strategy vs tax benefit – Shannon Davis

Kevin:  Quite often, we see property investors get confused between having a strategy, having an investment strategy, and tax benefits. Let’s try to demystify this. Let’s try to pull all this apart and take away some of the confusion. Shannon Davis joins me. Shannon is from Metropole Property Strategists. They are strategists, and they can help you set one up.

Good day, Shannon. How are you doing?

Shannon:  Good day, Kevin. Good, thanks.

Kevin:  Do you see this often? Do investors get confused between the two, Shannon?

Shannon:  Yes, they think “Oh, I have a big tax bill, so I might go and buy another negatively geared property,” and then in a certain time, that property might not be negatively geared anymore. Then they get another one, and they have land tax, and then they might sell these properties for a gain.

Tax deduction is nice, but it’s not the be all and end all. When it comes to investing, we want to make sure our investments are A-grade and are going to get us good capital gains and yields going forward.

Kevin:  Yes, there is some confusion, isn’t there? We’ve talked in the show in the past about negative gearing, how some people see that as an investment strategy, but it’s really just an outcome.

Shannon:  Yes, it is. It’s an outcome depending on the interest rate of the day, the level of deposit, how rents are rising or falling. So, yes, it’s really just an outcome; negative gearing or positive gearing is not really a strategy.

What there is are four main returns for properties: capital growth, so that’s the increase after purchase. There are also rental yields, so your property is going to give you an income, and that’s important for the investor. There is the tax deduction that can come through such things we’ve mentioned as negative gearing and depreciation. And the one big thing with property is that you should be looking to add value.

We can’t go into Woolies and paint the walls and hope our shares go up, but with property, we can definitely add value, and that’s one of the things that sets it apart as an asset class.

Kevin:  Do you look for properties specifically that you can add some value to? And how hard is that?

Shannon:  I’m a value investor; I don’t like paying for a renovator’s margin or a developer’s margin. I’m just going to do that myself and get a bit of an upside in the increase that I can create. So, brand new properties are nice and attractive and shiny and new but probably a slow way to wealth because you’re paying a big developer’s margin all the time, and that slows down your capital appreciation.

Kevin:  Shannon, what are the steps to setting up a good strategy?

Shannon:  I think a lot of the time, it’s getting the work done first and foremost in your head: what you’re comfortable with as a borrowing strategy, what the bank is prepared to lend you. But what you’re comfortable with is the most important thing.

From there, find out form your accountant what would be the most tax effective entity to hold it in, and also you have to consider asset protection there. Then from there, we’re going to look at the strategy and the sourcing of the property. Are you looking to buy and hold and renovate, or buy and develop, even?

Then it’s executing on that: going out, finding it, not paying too much, negotiating well, not getting emotional, and making it a part of your portfolio for the long term.

Kevin:  You and I have talked off air and on air in the past about putting the cart before the horse – in other words, why are you getting into investment? Is it for taxation, or is it for wealth creation?

Shannon:  Yes. It’s definitely the wrong way around. There have been lots of tax-beneficial investment strategies, like almond farms or investing into movies or even certain types of properties, but it’s not the basis of a great investment if you lose your capital in the first place.

Kevin:  Very sound advice always from Shannon Davis. He’s from Metropole Property Strategists, and also the co-host of Buy in Brisbane, which is a great new vlog that you’ll catch on our site, as well.

Shannon, thanks for your time. I look forward to catching up with you again soon.

Shannon:  No worries, Kevin. Any time.

To rent with furniture or not? – Brad Beer

Kevin:  A fairly common question asked by investors is whether to rent their investment property furnished or unfurnished. We’re going to give you an answer to that. Furniture can improve an investor’s depreciation claim. In fact, Brad Beer from BMT Tax Depreciation joins me.

Brad, does furniture impact depreciation in terms of the deductions that can be claimed?

Brad:  Kevin, great to be here as always, firstly. And yes, furniture, effectively is plant and equipment. It’s items within a property that are used to help increase that income. Usually, you’d hope that the rental income from a furnished property is slightly higher.

The furniture that you have there, all of that is a plant and equipment item. It’s written off fairly quickly in comparison to the structure of the building, so yes, it gives you additional deductions and additional cash flow after tax if you furnish the property.

Kevin:  Brad, are there any assets that investors may not be aware could be classified as furniture when they’re calculating a depreciation claim?

Brad:  Firstly, they probably shouldn’t calculate it themselves. But some of the items that you don’t think about if you were to buy a furnished property are things like even children’s play equipment is a plant and equipment item.

Chairs outside on the deck or the porch are examples of things that may be easily missed. Things like garden gnomes are potentially things you can claim depreciation from. Anything that’s kind of loose that you put inside that property or outside the property, for that matter, is potentially an item that you own that has potentially some depreciation attached.

Kevin:  I guess any house that’s being rented with a pool, that has pool equipment, that’s probably another good example, isn’t it?

Brad:  Yes, pool equipment. In a pool, your pumps and things have a different rate that’s a bit faster than the structure of the pool. But even your other equipment around there that’s loose, you generally would be providing that as the landlord and they’re things that you’d be entitled to some depreciation against.

Kevin:  Are there any specific types of residential properties where you’ll find furniture more likely to be prevalent?

Brad:  There are a few obvious ones or maybe not so obvious. Student accommodations are often furnished because students don’t often own a lot of their own furniture, or I didn’t when I was a student, some old stuff. But when you’re providing that student accommodation, it’s very regularly provided furnished.

Obviously, if you have a holiday home that you use part of the time and rent out the rest of the time, you usually always have to have that furnished. A lot of Airbnb these days: people are using their properties for that sort of thing, so furnished property in those sort of situations.

Look, I have furnished property as well, and it’s just because it was actually furnished when I bought it, which was good because I didn’t actually pay for all the furniture, but I got it as part of the purchase, and the depreciation on that was quite high in the early years, as well.

Kevin:  I’m curious to know from you, then, if you think that it’s a disadvantage or an advantage when you’re renting a property if you leave the furniture in there, Brad.

Brad:  Furniture is something that will potentially help to increase the rental amount that you can get for the property, but not everybody wants a furnished property, either. It needs to be transient areas or areas where students might want to live and you want students as tenants who might be nice or not nice to your furniture.

I don’t think that it’s always right to put furniture into a property, because sometimes it’s just not the right thing. If it’s a property in the right area that has the ability to get additional rent because of that, it’s a factor to consider.

Buying furniture for the purpose of more depreciation is not a good idea, because you have to pay for it. Depreciation is great if you have the furniture, but if you have to pay for the furniture, don’t make that the reason.

You have a bit more maintenance and a lot more things to fix up when you have furniture in a property, because furniture is more likely to break than your brick walls, for example, but that’s why you get the claim a bit quicker. The turnover of tenants is often a bit quicker because most people in their life want to buy furniture of their own at some point.

Look, there are some pros and cons, and it depends on areas, but my furnished properties worked very well for me.

Kevin:  With furnished properties, too, one of the other problems is if it breaks down, you’re obliged to replace it because it was part of the original lease. So, that’s something you have to bear in mind, as well.

Brad:  Yes, and it does break down more regularly, and that’s being nice. But generally, people, when they don’t own the furniture are probably not quite as careful with it sometimes, so it’s likely to break down.

Yes, because you’ve provided it as part of what they’re paying the rent for, you have an obligation to replace some of those things, so it can become a bit more expensive. But in the right area, sometimes you can get really good rent for a furnished property.

Kevin:  Yes, you have to balance that out for yourself, that’s for sure. Brad Beer there from BMT Tax Depreciation.

Brad, thanks for your time.

Brad:  Thanks, Kevin.

2 types of off market properties – Nhan Nguyen

Kevin:  One of the things I do know about property investors is that they like to be ahead of the game. They like to know where the properties are moving and which ones they can probably pick up at a fairly keen price. You’ll do that if you focus on off-market properties. So, what are they, how do you find them, and how do you secure them? A man who does it quite often –he even surprises me – Nhan Nguyen from Advanced Property Strategies.

Good day, Nhan. How are you? Nice to be talking to you again.

Nhan:  Good day, Kevin. Thanks for having me back. It’s a real pleasure to be back, and yes, I love doing deals. So, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk about property.

Kevin:  I know you love doing the deals, and we’ve featured a few of those in the show in recent times, too. Off-market properties, firstly I guess as the name says, it’s a property that’s not really on the market. Aren’t you dealing there with a seller who isn’t all that keen on selling, Nhan?

Nhan:  Generally, we put off-market into two categories. One that is currently being listed with a real estate agent or just listed and an agent gets it to you first, and then the other one is completely off-market; they don’t even know that the property is going to be sold soon.

The first way that we generally focus is with real estate agents. I think that’s the easiest way for most beginners to start with. We have a couple of key ways to do that. What you’re wanting to do is really just get it before it hits RealEstate.com and gets on the Net.

The agent might be about to list it on a Tuesday and they ring you on the Monday, the day before, saying, “I’m about to get a listing, it’s going to be this and this, if you want to check it out.” Then they list it on the Tuesday, and you sign the contract on the Tuesday/Wednesday, before it even hits the Internet for the open home.

That’s one category, and the other category we have is definitely with property owners who are nowhere near listing their property yet.

Kevin:  There’s a number of questions I want to ask you about both of those categories. Let’s deal with the first one, where the agent gives it to you before it goes up onto the portal. I believe that most sellers want more than their house is worth, and that generally means that a real estate agent may just list at a little bit more than what it’s worth initially.

How do you overcome that without paying too much for the property?

Nhan:  Like you said, most property owners want too much or most property owners want retail, and then you’re left with the few. So, you might have 1%, up to even 3% or 4%, who are happy to sell it for a price that might be under market or at a complete discount.

There are definitely instances where owners want a really quick sale, and what we generally look for is a motivated seller. We talk about the four D’s: deceased estate, debt (as in the bank), distance (as in interstate owners), or divorce.

When people are motivated to sell, they’re more negotiable, and sometimes they’re not actually after top dollar; they just want to sell their property. That combined with an agent who is happy to sell the property… He or she might be out of town or interstate even. We’ve had agents from out of town who don’t know the values of the property; there’s definitely an opportunity there.

Kevin:  I guess in that first instance where you’re working with an agent, it’s fairly important that you build a relationship with that agent so that they’re going to come to you first.

Nhan:  Exactly. And there are a few ways that you can do that. One is ringing them regularly, going to open for inspections. You might catch up with them once a month, even just a quick phone call, “Hey, how are you doing? What have you got?”

The other core strategy that we use in our programs with our clients is sending them text messages. You can send them individually or you can send them group texts, one to 100, one to 300. Or group e-mails, keeping their e-mail address on a database. Just like they keep our details and they send us listings once in a while, you can send them group e-mails, as well.

I think a big part of it is collating the information about the agents and keeping in touch with them, just like any customer or a business should.

Kevin:  I guess you have to go down a few dry gullies in that second instance where you’re finding a property that’s not really on the market, therefore you have to convince them that now is a good time to sell.

Nhan:  Yes, definitely. And we’re talking about a very small percentage of deals. We’re talking 1%, maybe 3% or 5%. So, let’s call it one in 20 properties that you’d find are motivator. That’s the first thing. It’s a numbers game.

If you’re looking at 10 or 20 properties and you think, “Geez, there aren’t many deals,” you just keep looking and looking and looking. It’s like finding the right partner; you have to try different things to find the right house. You just have to look at a lot of different alternatives, different options.

But having said that, you have to be focused as well, in your area, in your budget, in your strategy. You have to really focus. Wherever you’re at, there are deals, because wherever there are people, there are people wanting to sell and there are people wanting to sell potentially at a discount, too.

Kevin:  I imagine – as you just indicated – that you have to really focus on an area. Do you also focus on a type of property, or do you just broadly canvas an area?

Nhan:  I personally have a set of strategies. I know some of my clients just want to look for renovators, so houses that are typically not brick, because let’s say they might have old Queenslanders; that’s a lot easier to renovate. I have some clients who are focused just on, let’s say, splitters or one-into-two subdivisions. So they might pick a suburb, they might look at properties that are over 800 square meters so that they can potentially subdivide it.

Yes, you have to focus on a suburb, you have to focus on a strategy and a price point too. It’s tailoring the various things including your budget, your strategy, and matching that to the suburb as well.

Kevin:  Always good talking to you. Nhan Nguyen.

Nhan’s website is AdvancedPropertyStrategies.com if you want to contact him and get a little bit more information about how he does this. My guest has been Nhan Nguyen.

Thanks for your time, mate.

Nhan:  Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate it.

How to accurately ‘measure’ the market – Louis Christopher

Kevin:  As we track the market, a couple of indicators for us: those areas that are distressed around Australia and also vacancy rates. No one measures both of those better than Louis Christopher from SQM Research, who joins me.

Good day, Louis.

Louis:  Hello, Kevin. Good to be here.

Kevin:  Thank you, mate. I know you always keep a very close eye on these two indicators. Let’s firstly talk about vacancy rates, because your recent report indicates that there might have been a bit of a change around Australia.

Louis:  That’s right. Our most recent release, which was covering October, recorded a slight decline in vacancies nationwide, from 2.2% to 2.1%, representing some 67,700 vacancies nationwide.

Now, we did record some rather surprising results for some cities. Perth, for example, recorded a fairly steep fall, falling from 4.5% in September down to 4.1%. Now, 4.1% sounds elevated and it is elevated, but it’s a direction that we’re watching here for Perth. This time last year, the vacancy rate was 4.9%, and we’re clearly now recording a down trend in vacancies for that city indicating that we think the bottom is now in for the downturn that’s been occurring in Perth over the last few years.

Kevin:  Could you indicate for me how many properties we’re talking about there in that drop in Perth?

Louis:  In September, there were 9700 properties vacant, and now we have 8800 properties, so basically, a fall of 900 properties.

Kevin:  There are still a lot of properties vacant – aren’t there – in that market?

Louis:  Yes, there is, no question about it. It’s still a tenants’ market. To give it some perspective, Melbourne, which is considerably bigger than Perth, has currently 9300 vacancies. Yes, it’s still a lot of stock for Perth, but the point being that it’s in a down trend and that’s what, as a research house, we like to follow very closely.

Kevin:  What does that number in Melbourne represent in a percentage term?

Louis:  Melbourne’s vacancy rate also fell during the month. It’s now 1.8%. In Brisbane, we had a number of 3%, and that represents about 10,700 properties vacant. That was down from 3.2% recorded in September, so we’re also starting to record a slight trend in Brisbane vacancies, as well.

Kevin:  Increase or decrease?

Louis:  Decrease.

Kevin:  Tell me once again in percentage terms, where do you measure the market between being in favor of landlords and being in favor of tenants? What’s the vacancy rate?

Louis:  We think the equilibrium is circa between 2% to 3%. Generally, when you see over 3%, it’s favoring tenants. When you see it under 2%, it’s favoring landlords. But I stress that it’s the relative direction that’s important here.

For example, back in 2009, Canberra had a vacancy rate of just 0.5%. What happened after that in 2010 and 2011 was that the vacancy rate in Canberra rose to 2%, and we actually recorded a decline in rents during that period. So, 2% on its own sounds like it’s a landlord’s market, but it was the fact that it went up from 0.5% is what really mattered there.

Kevin:  Did all of the markets around Australia have a decline in the number of vacancies?

Louis:  Yes, they did, all capital cities did. The city recording the highest vacancy rate is actually Hobart, which has reached a new record low of just 0.3%, which is just 75 properties available for rent or vacant in Hobart. Now, Hobart is a small city, of course, for those who know it. But even so, just 75 properties vacant is very tight indeed.

Kevin:  Many of the commentators we talk to are continually buoyed by what’s happening in Hobart in particular, and those figures would tend to support that, I would have thought, in terms of price growth, Louis.

Louis:  That is correct. When we look at the rental market in terms of rents have done in Hobart, significant increases over the past 12 months. Units are up 12.6% in terms of renting in Hobart for units, and houses are up by 5.4%, so very much a landlord’s market in Hobart right now, and our forecast going forward is that that’s likely to stay the same for at least 2018.

Kevin:  Can we turn the focus now and maybe have a look at the most distressed areas around the country in terms of properties on the market and those that are not selling, Louis?

Louis:  Sure. We regularly have a distressed properties report, where each and every month without fail there are at least about 10,000-odd properties in some type of distress form on there. So, that’s mortgaging, possession, deceased estates, sellers moving up overseas, and so forth.

One area that regally keeps coming up in our report is the Gold Coast. It’s always been that way that the Gold Coast continues to record by far the largest number of distressed properties. I’m not sure why that is. You might have a better idea for it, but it’s always been the Gold Coast that’s come up.

Kevin:  How do you measure distress?

Louis:  We measure distress by looking at key search terms, advertised search terms. So, “mortgagee in possession” as an example, “divorced sale,” “deceased estate,” “bank-forced sale.” There are about 20 different key search terms that we judge this by.

Kevin:  Let’s have a look at the Gold Coast for a moment, a market that is the most distressed in Australia. How many properties are we talking about in terms of percentages, Louis?

Louis:  On the Gold Coast, that would represent some 5% to 6% of the market overall. As mentioned, the Gold Coast has always been this way; it’s not a new phenomenon. I want to be very clear here; we’re not recording any sudden spike in defaults on the Gold Coast or anything like that.

I think the Gold Coast, it’s safe to say, has always been a fairly transient type of place, and so I think with transient areas, you tend to see this type of phenomena a little bit more. Ever since we put this report together in 2009, the Gold Coast has always been right up there.

Kevin:  In the most recent release that you put out on distressed properties, are there any areas around Australia that have spiked that you’ve noticed?

Louis:  We are coming across more Sydney properties that are increasingly on the radar, sellers having to discount because they had too big an expectation and suddenly, they have to move really quick.

We’re seeing a little bit more in Sydney. We’ve had a few in the Brisbane CBD area, being apartments. These developer bargains are definitely starting to come through now, which is good for buyers who do their research. They’re probably the main areas we have had over the last few years. A few in Perth as well, just with the mining downturn there, as you may well expect. But that’s been it.

We rarely see any in Melbourne, as an example. You just rarely see it in Melbourne at all. Surprisingly enough, when you look at regional areas, agriculture-based towns, you don’t see too many of them at this point in time, either.

Kevin:  A lot of that’s to do with privacy, in some cases, too.

Louis, can I ask you about apartments versus houses in terms of the number of distressed properties you’re seeing? Can you say it’s predominantly apartments?

Louis:  I think we can say it’s been predominantly apartments. That may well be because of the whole issue of the Gold Coast. When I look at the Gold Coast itself, it would be running 70/30 in favor of apartments in terms of a ratio. So yes, more often than not, it’s apartment stock that we see that’s under some type of distress condition.

Kevin:  Louis, the distressed properties, is that available as a report from your website?

Louis:  That’s right. It’s actually a login. You get access to a program and a database where you can sort the data by geography. And we do it fairly cheaply as well. I think we offer a subscription at $29.95 a subscription, if I recall.

Kevin:  It’s great information for anyone looking to buy below-market or even off-market properties, so it’s really good advice. Louis Christopher there from SQM Research. The website is SQMResearch.com.au.

Louis, thanks for your time. Great talking to you, mate.

Louis:  Good to be here, Kevin.

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