IPSWICH is a goldmine for property investors, according to an entrepreneur who has just bought his 68th home in the city.
Todd Hunter has bagged a swag of local homes in recent months, including six in the past week, because he believes our property market is significantly undervalued.
If he's right and property prices soon start to climb, the Sydney businessman and his backers stand to make a fortune.
Mr Hunter scours Australia to find the next property hotspots, and has concentrated his purchases in the rapidly expanding suburbs of Redbank Plains and Bellbird Park, while also investing in Bundamba.
"I prefer properties that are $300,000 or less and look for areas or really high population growth, and I always buy properties when the market is dead," he said.
The majority of properties purchased through his company the Where Group are four bedroom homes, which rent out for $310 to $330 a week.
A rental property shortage in the area will force rents up, with investors eventually having a neutral cash flow investment on their hands, with yields of 5%.
Mr Hunter sources his properties from real estate agents, and with the market so slow he submits low offers, which are usually accepted.
He said he got tip-offs from agents who were aware of clients who were going through divorces and needed to sell the property quickly.
"Once they know I'm in the area they will ring me up with properties that are around in the market," he said.
On average, 20 properties come onto the market each week.
Mr Hunter sounds out each one to find the motivated sellers.
Redbank Plains is the fourth area Mr Hunter has applied his theory to, after successful ventures in Mandurah in Western Australia, Geelong and Campbelltown in Sydney.
He expects the market to begin to turn mid-year, with more inquiries from potential buyers leading to price resurgence.
By that time, Mr Hunter will be looking for his next area, which will be heavily based on the release of the latest Australian Bureau of Statics report.
Mr Hunter has purchased properties for himself and clients who are looking for an investment which will eventually offset their own home loan, once the market turns around.
REIQ Ipswich zone chairman Darren Boettcher said it was a positive for the Ipswich market to have southern investors circling for bargains.
He said it proved there was great value in the property market at the moment and he urged any investors to not hesitate.
"I think it's a positive for Ipswich and the businesses, with more growth and more money coming into the area, and I think it is a positive to have more people come into our area," he said.
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