Why Local Expertise Matters: Real Estate Insights from Northern Beaches

In the dynamic and ever-evolving real estate market, the importance of local expertise cannot be overstated. This rings especially true for the captivating region of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where property values and market trends are influenced by a multitude of factors unique to the area. In this article, we will explore the reasons why local expertise matters when it comes to buying or selling property on the Northern Beaches. As a trusted property buyers agent and advisor, STRAND Property Group brings unparalleled insight and knowledge to help clients navigate this thriving market.

Unveiling the Northern Beaches Real Estate Landscape

The Northern Beaches of Sydney is a sought-after region renowned for its pristine beaches, breathtaking coastal views, and vibrant community. Each suburb possesses its own distinct charm and character, and understanding these nuances is crucial when making informed real estate decisions. STRAND Property Group, as a dedicated buyer’s agent specialising in the Northern Beaches, offers comprehensive insights into the local market dynamics, ensuring clients have access to accurate information and strategic guidance.

Local Market Knowledge and Trends:

With a deep understanding of the Northern Beaches real estate market, STRAND Property Group keeps a finger on the pulse of local trends, including property values, demand-supply dynamics, and emerging opportunities. By leveraging their extensive network and market intelligence, they provide clients with valuable information to make informed decisions regarding property purchases or investments. This local expertise empowers buyers to identify areas with potential growth, ensuring their investment aligns with their long-term financial goals.

Navigating Suburb-Specific Factors:

Each suburb within the Northern Beaches has its own unique set of factors that influence the real estate landscape. Factors such as proximity to schools, transport links, lifestyle amenities, and future development plans can have a significant impact on property values and desirability. STRAND Property Group’s local expertise enables them to guide buyers through these suburb-specific considerations, assisting them in finding properties that align with their lifestyle preferences and investment objectives.

Access to Off-Market Opportunities:

One of the key advantages of working with a local expert like STRAND Property Group is access to off-market opportunities. Off-market properties, often not listed publicly, can present hidden gems for buyers looking for exclusive and unique real estate options. Through their extensive networks and connections within the Northern Beaches community, STRAND Property Group uncovers off-market properties that match their clients’ criteria, enhancing their chances of finding the perfect property before it hits the open market.

Negotiation and Transactional Expertise:

Navigating the complex process of property negotiation and transactions requires a high level of expertise and skill. STRAND Property Group’s experience in the Northern Beaches real estate market equips them with the knowledge and strategies needed to negotiate favourable deals on behalf of their clients. Their understanding of local market dynamics, property values, and negotiation techniques ensures that buyers have a competitive edge when making offers and securing their desired properties.


When it comes to buying or selling property on the Northern Beaches, local expertise is a game-changer. STRAND Property Group’s in-depth knowledge of the local market, suburb-specific factors, and access to off-market opportunities make them a valuable partner for buyers seeking to make informed decisions. By leveraging their expertise, buyers can save time, stress, and money while maximising their chances of finding the perfect property. If you’re thinking about selling your home on the Northern Beaches in Sydney and need a trusted recommendation to a reputable sales agent, reach out to STRAND Property Group to experience the benefits of working with a dedicated property buyers agent.

If you’re thinking about selling your home on the Northern Beaches in Sydney and need a trusted recommendation to a reputable Sales Agent, please reach out to STRAND Property Group. Their local expertise and commitment to client satisfaction make them the ideal partner for navigating the Northern Beaches real estate market. Contact them today at (02) 8324 7438 or via email at info@strandpropertygroup.com.au.

Working with Property Investment Advisors in the Northern Beaches

Investing in real estate can be a lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning, market knowledge, and expertise to make informed decisions. For individuals looking to invest in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, working with a property investment advisor or a buyers agent can provide invaluable assistance. In this article, we will explore the benefits of collaborating with a trusted advisor like STRAND Property Group and how they can help you navigate the complexities of the investment property market.

The Role of an Investment Property Buyers Agent:

An investment property buyers agent is a professional who acts exclusively on behalf of property buyers. They have extensive knowledge of the real estate market and can assist investors in finding, assessing, and acquiring the right investment property. STRAND Property Group, as a leading buyers agency in the Northern Beaches, offers a range of services to help busy professionals achieve their investment goals.

Comprehensive Property Advisory Services:

If you’re new to property investment and unsure where to start, STRAND Property Group can provide expert guidance. Their property advisory services are designed to help clients develop a strategic property investment plan aligned with their financial goals. Whether you’re considering buying your first property or expanding an existing portfolio, their team can assist you in mapping out a tailored investment strategy.

Benefits of Working with a Buyers Agency:

Partnering with a buyers agency like STRAND Property Group offers several advantages for investment property buyers. Firstly, their services save you valuable time by handling the research, property inspections, and negotiations on your behalf. This allows you to focus on your professional and personal commitments without the stress of property hunting.

Secondly, buyers agents have in-depth knowledge of the local market and access to off-market properties, giving you a competitive edge in finding lucrative investment opportunities. They can also provide valuable insights into property trends, rental yields, and potential capital growth, helping you make informed decisions.

STRAND Property Group’s Approach:

What sets STRAND Property Group apart is their client-centric approach. They prioritise understanding your individual criteria, financial goals, and lifestyle preferences. By taking the time to comprehend your unique requirements, they can match you with the ideal investment property that aligns with your long-term objectives.

Their comprehensive nine-step process, including brief, search, inspect, shortlist, assess, appraise, negotiate, exchange, and settle, ensures a thorough and systematic approach to property acquisition. This process allows you to have a clear understanding of each stage and provides transparency throughout the buying journey.

About STRAND Property Group:

STRAND Property Group is led by Michael Ossitt, a highly property industry professional with extensive experience in construction, design, development, and investment. As a licensed buyer’s agent and property advisor, Michael and his team possess a deep understanding of the Northern Beaches market dynamics.

As members of reputable industry associations such as the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) and the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA), STRAND Property Group adheres to strict codes of conduct, ensuring that their advice is always in the client’s best interest.


Why should I work with a property investment advisor in the Northern Beaches?

Working with a property investment advisor provides several benefits. They have extensive knowledge of the local market, access to off-market properties, and expertise in property trends and investment strategies. Their guidance can help you make informed decisions, save time, and maximise your investment returns.

How can STRAND Property Group assist me in my property investment journey?

STRAND Property Group offers comprehensive property advisory services and serves as a buyers agency. They can help you develop a tailored investment strategy, handle property research and inspections, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you through the entire buying process. Their expertise and client-centric approach ensure a seamless and successful investment experience.

What experience do STRAND Property Group advisors have?

The advisors at STRAND Property Group are fully licensed buyer’s agents and property advisors. They have over 20 years of experience in the property industry, including construction, design, development, and investment. They are members of reputable industry associations such as the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) and the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA).

How does the property advisory process work?

The property advisory process at STRAND Property Group involves a thorough nine-step approach. It includes briefing sessions to understand your requirements, property searches, inspections, shortlisting, assessment, appraisal, negotiation, exchange, and settlement. This method ensures a systematic and transparent approach to finding and acquiring the right investment property.


Investing in property on the Northern Beaches of Sydney requires expertise, market knowledge, and strategic planning. By working with a property investment advisor like STRAND Property Group, investors can navigate the complexities of the real estate market with confidence.

Their comprehensive property advisory services and buyer’s agency expertise provide a range of benefits, including time-saving, access to off-market opportunities, and personalised guidance tailored to individual investment goals. With a client-centric approach and a commitment to transparency and professionalism, STRAND Property Group is an ideal partner for anyone considering investment property in the Northern Beaches area.

If you’re thinking about selling your home on the Northern Beaches in Sydney and need a trusted recommendation to a reputable Sales Agent, please reach out to STRAND Property Group. Take the first step toward achieving your investment goals by contacting them today.

Are you ready to embark on your investment property journey in the Northern Beaches? Contact STRAND Property Group, your trusted property investment advisor and buyers agent, at (02) 8324 7438 or email info@strandpropertygroup.com.au to schedule a consultation. Start making informed and profitable investment decisions with the help of industry experts.

Home Design Trends in Northern Beaches Property

When it comes to real estate on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, staying up to date with the latest home design trends is essential. Whether you are a homeowner looking to renovate or a prospective buyer searching for your dream home, understanding the current design preferences can help you make informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the top home design trends in Northern Beaches property, providing valuable insights for both homeowners and buyers.

Embracing Coastal Vibes

One of the defining features of the Northern Beaches is its stunning coastal setting. As a result, homes in the area often embrace coastal vibes in their design. This trend includes incorporating natural elements such as timber, stone, and lots of natural light. Homeowners and buyers alike appreciate open-plan layouts that seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor living spaces, allowing residents to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Whether it’s through large windows, bi-fold doors, or spacious balconies, the goal is to create a harmonious flow between the interior and exterior spaces.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Design

As environmental consciousness continues to grow, sustainable and eco-friendly design practices have become increasingly popular in Northern Beaches property. Homeowners and buyers are looking for features that reduce their carbon footprint and promote energy efficiency. This includes the use of solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable building materials. Incorporating green spaces and gardens into the property design is also a common trend, providing homeowners with opportunities for organic gardening and outdoor relaxation.

Modern Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are two areas of the home that receive significant attention in Northern Beaches property design. Modern kitchens are characterised by sleek cabinetry, high-quality appliances, and ample storage space. Open-plan kitchen and dining areas are particularly popular, as they foster a sense of connectivity and facilitate social interactions. In the bathroom, clean lines, minimalist designs, and high-end fixtures are sought after. Features such as freestanding bathtubs, walk-in showers, and double vanities add a touch of luxury and functionality to the space.

Outdoor Entertainment Spaces

Given the region’s favourable climate, outdoor entertainment spaces have become a must-have feature in Northern Beaches property. Homeowners and buyers value the ability to enjoy alfresco dining, relaxation, and entertaining in their own backyard. This has led to the rise of outdoor kitchens, covered patios, and landscaped gardens that provide a seamless extension of the indoor living areas. The inclusion of swimming pools, spa areas, and outdoor fire pits further enhances the outdoor entertainment experience.

Smart Home Technology

The integration of smart home technology has become increasingly prevalent in Northern Beaches property design. Homeowners and buyers are seeking properties equipped with the latest automation systems, allowing them to control various aspects of their home with ease. From lighting and temperature control to security systems and entertainment, smart home technology provides convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency. Integration with voice assistants and mobile devices has made managing and monitoring homes more accessible and efficient.


As the real estate market on Sydney’s Northern Beaches continues to thrive, keeping up with the latest home design trends is crucial for homeowners and buyers. Embracing coastal vibes, incorporating sustainable features, focusing on modern kitchens and bathrooms, creating inviting outdoor entertainment spaces, and integrating smart home technology are key elements that define the current property landscape. Consulting with a knowledgeable real estate consultant and home buyer agent, such as STRAND Property Group, can provide valuable guidance and insights for navigating these design trends to ensure a successful and fulfilling home ownership experience. By staying informed and embracing these trends, homeowners and buyers can create homes that reflect their unique style while maximising their enjoyment and investment potential in this sought-after coastal region.

Selling Your Property on the Northern Beaches: Tips for a Successful Sale

Selling a property can be a significant milestone in your life, and when it comes to the prestigious Northern Beaches region, it’s essential to approach the process with careful consideration and strategic planning. With its stunning coastal landscapes, vibrant community, and strong demand for real estate, the Northern Beaches offers a prime opportunity for a successful property sale. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips to ensure a smooth and prosperous sale of your Northern Beaches property.

1. Choose the Right Real Estate Professional

One of the most crucial steps in selling your Northern Beaches property is selecting the right real estate Professional. Look for an agent who specialises in the Northern Beaches region and has a track record of successful sales in the area. They should have an in-depth understanding of the local market trends, pricing strategies, and effective marketing techniques. A knowledgeable and experienced agent will help you navigate the selling process, attract qualified buyers, and negotiate the best possible price for your property.

2. Showcase the Beach Lifestyle

The Northern Beaches is renowned for its coastal lifestyle, and highlighting this aspect can greatly enhance the appeal of your property. Emphasise the proximity to pristine beaches, picturesque coastal walks, and vibrant beachside cafes and restaurants. Showcase any unique features of your property that capture the essence of beachside living, such as outdoor entertaining areas, ocean views, or access to water sports and recreational activities. By emphasising the beach lifestyle, you can attract buyers who are seeking the Northern Beaches experience.

3. Stage Your Property to Perfection

First impressions matter when it comes to selling a property, and staging plays a crucial role in creating an appealing and welcoming atmosphere. Consider hiring a professional stylist who can optimise the layout, furnishings, and decor to maximise the visual appeal of your property. Clean and declutter each room, allowing potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Pay attention to the outdoor areas as well, as the Northern Beaches’ natural beauty extends beyond the property lines. Well-maintained gardens and outdoor spaces can create a lasting impression.

4. Leverage Digital Marketing

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is essential for a successful property sale. Work with your real estate Professional to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes professional photography, virtual tours, and captivating property descriptions. Utilise online platforms, social media, and real estate websites to reach a wider audience. Highlight the unique features of your Northern Beaches property and its desirable location, ensuring that potential buyers can visualise themselves enjoying the beachside lifestyle.

5. Set the Right Price

Pricing your Northern Beaches property appropriately is crucial to attract potential buyers and ensure a successful sale. Collaborate with your real estate Professional to conduct a thorough comparative market analysis, considering recent sales of similar properties in the area. Take into account factors such as location, size, condition, and unique features when determining the price. Setting a realistic and competitive price will generate interest and potentially lead to multiple offers, allowing you to achieve the best possible outcome.


Selling your property on the Northern Beaches can be a rewarding experience with the right approach and preparation. By selecting a knowledgeable real estate Professional, showcasing the beach lifestyle, staging your property effectively, leveraging digital marketing, and setting the right price, you can position your property for a successful sale. The Northern Beaches region offers a highly sought-after real estate market, and by highlighting the unique features and lifestyle benefits, you can attract qualified buyers who appreciate the charm and allure of the area.

Remember to collaborate closely with your chosen real estate Professional throughout the selling process. Their expertise and local market knowledge will be invaluable in navigating negotiations, managing offers, and ultimately achieving a successful sale. So, whether you’re selling a beachfront apartment, a family home with ocean views, or an investment property, these tips will help you maximise your chances of a prosperous sale. Reach out to STRAND Property Group if you need a qualified recommendation of the best real estate Professionals in the Northern Beaches real estate market.

From Beach to Bought: The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Buyer’s Agent on the Northern Beaches

Are you considering buying a property using a Buyer’s Agent on the Northern Beaches?

Acquiring a property can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. But don’t fret! You don’t have to go through it alone. Enlisting the services of a buyer’s agent can streamline the process and make it less of a headache. This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know about hiring a buyer’s agent on the Northern Beaches.

What is a buyer’s agent?

A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate professional who exclusively represents the buyer’s interests in a property transaction. Unlike traditional real estate agents who represent the seller, a buyer’s agent’s role is to help you find the right property at the best price and guide you through the buying process.

What are the benefits of hiring a buyer’s agent?

One of the most significant benefits of hiring a buyer’s agent is their extensive knowledge and expertise in the local property market. They can help you identify properties that meet your requirements, negotiate on your behalf, and provide valuable insights and advice.

Another perk of working with a buyer’s agent is that they can save you time and money. They can handle all the legwork, such as researching properties, arranging inspections, and communicating with sellers’ agents. This frees up your time to focus on things like work or family.

How to choose the right buyer’s agent on the Northern Beaches

Selecting the right buyer’s agent is pivotal to the success of your property purchase. Here are some factors to consider when picking a buyer’s agent:

  • Experience: Search for a buyer’s agent with a proven track record in the local property market.
  • Qualifications: Ensure the buyer’s agent is licensed and has the capabilities to represent you.
  • Communication: Opt for a buyer’s agent who communicates effectively and keeps you in the loop throughout the buying process.
  • Fees: Grasp how the buyer’s agent is paid and what services are included in their fee.
  • Independent: Make sure the buyer’s agent is independent of any sales agency businesses and only works exclusively for buyers.

What to expect when working with a buyer’s agent

When you hire a buyer’s agent, the first step is to meet them to discuss your requirements and budget. They will then scout for properties that fit your criteria and organise inspections. Once you’ve found a property you fancy, the buyer’s agent will negotiate on your behalf and aid you with the paperwork and legalities of the transaction.

Tips for a successful property purchase

Here are some tips to help you purchase a property successfully on the Northern Beaches:

  • Define your requirements: Draft a list of your requirements and prioritize them. This will help your buyer’s agent find properties that meet your needs.
  • Do your research: Research the local property market and understand the prevailing market conditions.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a better idea of your budget and make the buying process smoother.
  • Attend inspections with your buyer’s agent and ask questions.
  • Be ready to negotiate: Your buyer’s agent will handle negotiations on your behalf, but it’s essential to be clear about your budget and what you are willing to pay.

In conclusion, buying a property on the Northern Beaches can be complicated, but hiring a buyer’s agent can make it easier and more efficient. Following the tips in this guide, you can find the right buyer’s agent and successfully purchase your dream property. Best of luck with your property search!

Ready to hire a Buyer’s Agent on the Northern Beaches?

If you are currently looking to buy a property in the Northern Beaches property market and can’t find what you want, get in touch with STRAND today. We can save you time, stress and money through the whole buying process and help you find and secure your ideal property.

How to prevent an irrational property purchase

The thing about any property purchase is that it creates an emotional response in many people.

That’s because of the connotations of “home” being a place where we are safe, happy, and with our loved ones.

However, when it comes to property investment, emotions should play no part in our decision-making, which I know is easier read than done.

Many homebuyers and novice investors get caught up in how a property makes them “feel”, rather than how it is likely to perform as an investment vehicle over the medium- to long-term.

They usually end up overpaying for a property, probably at auction, or they fall in love with one so much that they lose sight of any research they may have done beforehand.

Heart over head

Thankfully for them, our guidance and expertise will always prevent them from making a property purchase just because it makes them feel good.

When we bid on behalf of clients at auctions, for example, we generally suggest they don’t attend, or they are not standing near where we are.

Now, this is not because we don’t want them to be part of the process, it’s because auctions are designed to achieve optimal prices, because of their competitive nature.

While we always stick to the budget and the reasoning that has been approved beforehand, the last thing anyone wants is for a client to get carried away by the atmosphere and lose their cool because we won’t go above the set price limit!

This situation can also occur when a homebuyer randomly attends an open home, for a property at the top end of their price guide, and promptly decides they simply must have it.

Sometimes the property isn’t even the type of dwelling that they originally said they wanted but that doesn’t matter to them anymore.

Such a turn of events can be quite common for second or third homebuyers who are generally upgrading to nicer digs.

What usually happens is their emotional reaction to a home, as well as wanting to treat themselves, will see them throw all reasoning out the window.

The next thing they know they are in a bidding war at auction or in multiple offer situation where any financial common sense has left the building.

Keep your cool on your next property purchase

One of the many ways that we assist clients is our ability to stay objective.

It’s a bit like having a wise uncle or aunt to keep you on the straight and narrow!

We work with homebuyer clients to create a brief that not only reflects their wants and needs, but also takes into consideration the best investment fundamentals as well.

So, even if they come to us and say: “We’ve changed our minds! We’ve found this amazing house that, sure, is smaller than we need and more expensive than we agreed, but we just have to have it!” we will listen and nod our heads – and then remind them about the reasons why our recommendations were nothing like this one.

They might metaphorically stamp their feet, but once they have calmed down, their perspective becomes more reasonable once more.

At the end of the day, our clients recognise that they aren’t experts in how to facilitate a great property purchase, which is why they engage our services.

On top of that, they also may recognise they have a propensity to make emotional property decisions and want to prevent doing that again.

Last and certainly not least, my design and construction experience means that I am able to recommend properties that they can add value to over the years, which will improve capital growth.

It’s all about seeing the potential in property – rather than paying top dollar for something that has all the bells and whistles to entice buyers – but won’t have much gas left in the growth tank anytime soon.  

If you are currently looking to buy a property in the Northern Beaches property market and don’t want to make an irrational property purchase, get in touch with STRAND today.

We can save you time, stress and money through the whole buying process and help you find and secure your ideal property without the emotional stress.

Why there are no unicorns in the Northern Beaches property market

There appears to be a disconnect between market reality and market dreaming for some potential buyers in the Northern Beaches property market at present.

Of course, the pandemic has created unprecedented uncertainty for all of us, but that hasn’t resulted in falling property prices in this eternally desirable part of northern Sydney.

For example, the median house prices of suburbs in the Northern Beaches property market have increased by double digit percentages over the past year, including price growth in recent months, too.

Major lenders have also revised their property market forecasts to reflect far more positive outcomes post-pandemic recently.

The 2020 PIPA Annual Investor Sentiment Survey has also showed an increasing number of investors keen on investing in Sydney over the next year.

The survey found that 18 per cent of investors see Sydney as offering the best property investment prospects, up from 14 per cent last year.

However, to make the most of future capital growth opportunities, buyers need to be realistic about the current market and especially consider these four important points:

1. Unrealistic expectations

As I’ve mentioned above, many potential buyers believe they can currently bag a bargain in one of Sydney’s best postcodes because of the pandemic.

They have a number in their head that has more in common with a property unicorn than a potential real estate transaction in the present market conditions.

Some people are looking for superior properties within a certain price range, but when they don’t find any, they blame the low volume of stock on the market.

The truth of the matter is that the property that they are searching for in that price bracket simply does not exist.

2. Northern Beaches property market truth

The market value of any property is what someone is prepared to pay for it – regardless of what is happening at a local, national, or international level.

Because of the historically solid buying demand from property buyers in the Northern Beaches property market, this means that there is usually strong competition for on-market listings, which drives the sales price up.

This is currently the situation with sought-after properties regularly selling for more than their listed price range.

Unfortunately, some buyers are only conducting research on what is for sale and not what has recently sold, which is warping their understanding of current market conditions.

3. Budget reality

On top of this misunderstanding is a misconception about how much property bang they are likely to get for their buck.

Some potential buyers are looking online at listings and dismissing them automatically because they are substandard to their often long-list of must-have attributes.

Perhaps it’s not in the exact street they desire to live in or maybe it needs a coat of paint or a new kitchen.

Rather than compromising on some features, they simply move on to the next listing, hoping to find a property that ticks all of their boxes while remaining within their budget.

Alas, this often results in them forever seeking a mythical property that just doesn’t exist – even when there is a more normal volume of listings available.

4. On the ground research

A key part of our professional services to clients is on the ground research.

This means that we physically inspect properties during the Search phase of the buying process.

Walking through prospective properties not only allows us to compare properties more accurately, we are also able to talk to sales agents about any other listings they may have coming up.

Off-market sales can happen in all market conditions and can provide an opportunity to secure an ideal property for a fair price, that wouldn’t have otherwise been available.

Note that I didn’t say bargain price, because when you are buying quality properties in a popular area, the seller usually knows full-well the value of their asset.

It’s difficult for homebuyers to learn about off-market or pre-market sales, and it can be even more tricky for them to negotiate the buying of one.

On the other hand, buyers’ agents have access to this information and expertise nearly every day of every week.

The Northern Beaches property market will continue to be in strong demand in the months and years ahead.

The buyers who will benefit the most are the ones who recognise that it’s better to buy when they have the finance and are ready to go – rather than wait for some sort of utopian market conditions at some point in the distant future.  

If you are currently looking to buy a property in the Northern Beaches property market and can’t find what you want, get in touch with STRAND today. We can save you time, stress and money through the whole buying process and help you find and secure your ideal property.

The truth about negative gearing

I’m not sure there is a hotter topic in the property space than negative gearing at the moment.

That’s because it could be one of the biggest issues that decides the upcoming Federal Election.

Now, this blog is not a political one.

I’m not here to tell you which party you should vote for, however, as an experienced property advisor I believe I need to explain what negative gearing is and what it isn’t.

You see, there is a lot of misinformation out there about negative gearing, including a false belief that most investors buy property so they can solely reduce their tax.

This is incorrect – if anybody buys property just to minimise tax, they want their head read (despite what Kerry Packer said back in 1991!)

The reality is that negative gearing is not an investment strategy, it is a tax outcome.

Plus, negative gearing applies to any income-producing asset, including shares, and has been a legal taxation deduction in Australia for nearly 100 years.

At the end of the day, gearing is simply the practice of borrowing money to purchase an income-producing asset.

Positive gearing occurs when income is greater than expenses (including interest costs) before tax.

Negative gearing occurs when income is less than expenses (including interest costs) before tax.

Negative gearing is a moment in time

Negative gearing is also a mere taxation moment in time.

What I mean by that is that most investors will become positively geared over time because their rental income should increase while generally their interest costs will decrease during their investment ownership.

In fact, according to the 2018 PIPA Investor Sentiment Survey, about 60 per cent of investors indicated they would be positively geared within five years.

When that happens, they will be making a profit, which ultimately means they will pay more – and not less ­– tax every year.

Negative gearing is more prevalent at the start of an investor’s journey because they generally have higher loan to value ratios or LVRs.

That means that their mortgage repayments will be higher, and their rental income might not be able to cover all the interest costs at the outset.

Also, there are a number of other expenses involved in holding property such as council rates, management fees, and insurances, which are also legal tax deductions for income-producing assets.

It bugs me that the fact that investors pay billions of dollars in Capital Gains Tax each year when they sell their properties never seems to get much air-time.

In fact, PIPA modelling has found that an investor who bought a $675,000 property today would receive about $23,583 in negative gearing benefits over a decade, but they would pay $104,703 in CGT if they sold the asset – leaving the Federal Government with a $81,118 net gain!

Capital growth is key

While you can’t hold an investment property for the long term without the cash flow to see you through, it is not rental income that will make you wealthy.

All the investment properties that we recommend to our clients are chosen because we believe they have strong capital growth potential.

They are generally located in desirable areas of Sydney such as the Lower North Shore, Eastern Suburbs and the Northern Beaches, which are continually in strong demand from buyers.

As we all know, demand is key to price growth over the medium- to long-term.

Labor’s plan to restrict negative gearing is slated to begin on 1 January next year, however, there are a number of things that need to happen for that to occur.

The first, of course, is that Labor needs to win the election.

The second is that the legislation needs to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which does not appear to be a sure thing at this point in time.

Thirdly, Labor wouldn’t be the first political party in the world to change its mind about a policy once it won office, especially if there are economic headwinds.

One thing that is likely to happen if Labor is victorious on 18 May is that the market could experience an upswing while savvy investors buy existing properties to beat the aforementioned 1 January deadline.

That’s because existing investors of any type of property before that date will be quarantined from the new rules.

So, given established property does have a history of higher capital growth over the long-term, it makes financial sense to get in to the market and invest in quality established properties between now and then.

If you would like to get in to the market this year and find out how you can take advantage of the current conditions, please get in touch with STRAND today and ask about our FREE Property Roadmap Meeting to help identify your next move towards buying a property. 

Why Sydney is full of opportunity for property buyers

If you’ve read a paper or real estate news website lately, you’ll have heard that Sydney’s property market is crashing. Property buyers have vanished. Prices have ‘collapsed’ up to 20 per cent or more. It’s a catastrophe!


But what’s really going on?

If you look at the full picture, you’ll see that the current state of play is really just a blip on the radar – a short-term anomaly.

And on the flipside of all the bad news, now is the perfect time to buy real estate that has good fundamentals and exceptional value prospects.


Here’s why.


This isn’t a crash


Prices are down, there’s no denying it. But where is the reduction? It’s not on the intrinsic value of quality Sydney property.

Prices skyrocketed across 2016 and 2017, with buyers in a frenzy thanks to intense competition and a scarcity of stock.

They were paying 15, 20 or 25 per cent above the guide in order to beat everyone else and get their hands on the property they wanted.

This insane activity blew up medians in almost every part of Sydney.


But if you take 2016 and 2017 out of the equation and join the dots between 2015 to 2018, to last year’s apparently horrible market, prices have actually gone up.

Yes – up. So much for that market crash.

In total, prices might’ve come off around 10 per cent across inner markets but they’ve really risen around 60 per cent if you look at the past five to seven years of activity.

For an asset like property, that’s an incredible result.

It’s something shares wouldn’t be able to deliver without wild volatility.


This isn’t a crash. It’s an adjustment. It’s a return back to realistic levels and the true intrinsic value of property.

And it’s a place where property buyers ready to move now can snap up some good deals to hold for the long-term and cash in on the renewed growth that won’t be that far away.


Where to look for value


There is a significant lack of competition in the Sydney market right now.

Selling agents have to work hard to get an offer – any offer in some cases.

But the perception that they’ll do anything and everything just to move stock is flawed.


Vendors are under pressure, for sure. Those on the market do want to get off it. But they won’t shoot themselves in the foot.

My view is the majority don’t need to sell, we’re not in a distressed market scenario.

When property does eventually sell, it’s selling at a fair value that reflects the current state of things.

And similarly, property buyers who come to the table with a stack of conditions, such as needing to sell their current place before settling, or ones without finance, aren’t attractive.


Banks are being tough, as you’ll know.

Those buyers in a position to move now – pre-approved and with no conditions – are in the most exceptional place to make a deal with a vendor who wants to move on.


So, where can you find that value?

We’re looking in the Lower North Shore locales such as Waverton, Cammeray, Cremorne and Mosman.

We’re surfing around the Northern Beaches in suburbs such as Manly, Frenchs Forest, Balgowlah and Fairlight.

And we’re always interested in blue-chip eastern suburbs with character Victorian terraces such as Paddington, Surry Hills and Bondi Junction.


How property buyers should determine value


Value is different to price. The value of a property reflects its investment fundamentals, the current state of play, future demand, and an area’s profile now and later, to name a few.

The intrinsic value of Sydney property right now means prices are about where they should be for current conditions.

For solid property investment opportunities in good areas, values are holding.

Prices are where they were in 2016 before the crazy premiums were splashed around.


As an independent buyer’s agent and property advisor, my job is to determine a property’s true current value so that my clients don’t overpay.

I find the best potential opportunities and look at what they’re really worth.

I then determine the ones that offer the best fundamentals for future growth.

Then look at comparable sales from recent months – not ones from two years ago, when the peak was at its dizzying high and overblown.

I also assess localised demand and stock on market and plot out the likely path of that property in the mid to long-term.

That’s how you find out what a property’s value is now, so you can pay the appropriate reflective price.


There are good deals to be found, for sure, but even in the current market, uninformed property buyers risk making some huge mistakes.

You need all of the information available – and the best expertise and professional advice – to avoid paying too much or investing in something that’s got little or no future potential.


Look at the bigger picture


Would-be property buyers are understandably hesitant at the moment.

They’re umming and ahhing about whether to move now or sit tight.

But really, there has never been a better opportunity to pay a fair price – in some cases to snap up a bargain – before the market bottoms out and begins its recovery.


Plus, of course, buying property should always be about the long-term, not the here and now.

Those who sit on their hands will pretty soon wish, with the glorious benefit of hindsight, that they had picked now as the time to move.

Don’t find yourself with those same regrets.


If you would like to get into the market this year and find out how you can take advantage of the current conditions, please get in touch with STRAND today and ask about our FREE Property Roadmap Meeting to help identify your next move towards buying a property. 

How to profit from a granny flat in your backyard

There are some definitively Australian structures out there – the Sydney Opera House, the Story Bridge, Federation Square and Parliament House to name a few.


Yes, our wide brown land contains quite a cache of ‘fair dinkum’ builds, but there is one Aussie-built legend that also helps property owners boost rental income – the humble granny flat.


A granny by any other name


The granny flat goes by many labels – Fonzie flat, secondary dwelling, auxiliary home… but all refer to a self-contained second dwelling unit on a single residential allotment.

Granny flats were traditionally built to provide accommodation for older family members.

When a retiree needed some assistance from their family, but didn’t want to lose their independence entirely, a granny flat was the solution.

For homeowners, the flats were also a chance to give young adult children a sense of freedom without them having to wander too far from the nest and all its perks.

But for investors, secondary dwellings have evolved to become an income booster, with many landlords taking the chance to increase their returns.

Their rise in popularity as an investment strategy is easy to understand.

There’s increasing demand for accommodation in major population centres, but land has become progressively less available.

Granny flats have been among the town planning solutions offered by councils trying to address rising densities while avoiding new-unit over-construction.

And granny flats are generally viewed as a ‘win-win’.


Tenants have access to well-presented accommodation at a reasonable price in a desirable location, while owners boost their returns through the extra lease arrangement.

Not all local authorities have jumped on the bandwagon of course – and there are building guidelines that must be complied with – but the option has certainly gained popularity in recent years.


So, if you decide the granny flat path is for you, what’s the financial upside?

Well, the income boost is a potential cracker.


I’ve seen stunning, modern granny flats built for $150,000 that achieve rental returns of $600 per week – that translates to a gross yield of 21 per cent on costs!

Not bad – particularly if it helps with servicing loan repayments so you can hold a property long-term and enjoy the capital gain upside.

Grannies help find a balance between high-growth, low-return houses and high-return, low-growth units.


The challenges


Granny flat construction works well on the cash flow side of the equation but isn’t a smart strategy for capital gains in the short-term.

The added value of the granny flat to a property rarely exceeds the cost of its build.

In my experience, a granny flat costing $150,000 to build might only add $75,000 in value.

It’s an equation that doesn’t add up if you’re hoping to sell soon after construction.

In addition, adding a granny flat to an existing property does impact its utility due to factors such as lost yard space and increased property density.

You may need to reduce the rent on the existing dwelling to compensate for the granny flat’s impact on things like privacy, open space, and parking.

That said, the numbers often stack up for the right investor.

Here’s an example of one I’ve seen recently:


Pre-granny flat

  • House purchase price: $1.5 million
  • Typical rent: $900 per week
  • Yield without granny flat: 3.1%


Post-granny flat 

  • House purchase plus granny flat: $1.65 million
  • Rent house: $800 per week
  • Rent granny flat: $600 per week
  • Total rent: $1400 per week
  • Yield with granny flat: 4.4%


When it comes time to sell your property, however, there is a more restricted buyer pool.

Expect to see mostly investors, or larger families with adult children or elderly relatives among your purchasers.


Maxing the outcome


I have a couple of tips for getting the best result out of a granny flat venture.

First up – think about renter demand in the area.

Granny flats appeal to a small section of the rental market such as single people in public sector jobs, single parents, students or single downsizers.

Students will need a designated quiet space for privacy while commuters may require covered car accommodation.

Make sure you design a flat to meet tenant requirement in your area of interest.

Also, ensure you can comply with council construction guidelines on elements such as floor space restrictions and boundary setbacks while still building a functional and liveable space.

Make sure you’re also within reasonable proximity of lifestyle factors, public transport and employment nodes as well.

These fundamentals guarantee strong tenant demand and maximum rent.


Finally, ­use an experienced property professional to help you locate a prospective site and run a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the project.

Choosing the wrong type of property in the wrong location for a granny flat can be a disaster.


Granny flats can be a profitable option for savvy investors, just make sure the venture fits your long-term strategy.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out how to take the next step towards buying property, please get in touch on:

(02) 8324 7438


Suite 20, 8/92a Mona Vale Road, Warriewood, NSW 2102

PO Box 461, Frenchs Forest, NSW 1640

Strategic property buying for busy professionals.