Remote investing doubles in 2023

WA takes centre stage in the trend

Remote investing doubles in 2023


By Mina Martin

Remote investing has surged in 2023, with the distance between landlords’ homes and their property investments nearly doubling in the past year, according to new research from MCG Quantity Surveyors.

Mike Mortlock (pictured above), managing director of MCG Quantity Surveyors, revealed that the average distance between landlords’ homes and their property investments has now soared to a whopping 1,502 km in the year to date, based on the company’s analysis of its client data.

“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,” Mortlock said.

This year's outcome nearly doubles the 2022 analysis, which reported an average distance of 857 km. The trend has been consistent, with the distance being 559 km at the end of 2021 and 294 km before the pandemic in January 2020.

Key takeaways from the MCG study

Mortlock identified key insights from the analysis.

WA’s pivotal role

He said Western Australia has emerged as the centre of Australian property investment.

“Western Australia, and more specifically Perth, has seen a substantial uptick in investor participation for several reasons,” Mortlock said. “WA is now considered among the nation’s most investor-friendly jurisdictions. Price is a factor too as some big capital city markets are now beyond the reach of everyday buyers.”

MCG Quantity Surveyors’ analysis revealed that the average price an investor pays for a property is roughly $615,000.

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

Investor flexibility

Mortlock said property investors remain agile, investing in locations and assets in whichever investor-friendly national location and asset type that promise the best chance to maximise returns.

This mobile agility of investors, he said, should serve as a warning to east-coast politicians.

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

Evolution of Australian investment

Mortlock said the fundamental shift in Australian investment over the last five years is pivotal to the current landscape.

“We are all aware that it’s easy to conduct business over long distances nowadays – and that convenience extends to property investment. 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.”

Looking forward, Mortlock is expecting remote investing to continue to gain momentum, although the average distance is likely to level off.

“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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