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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where The Smart Money Will Go in 2008

With so much happening around both Australia and the world – wars, sub-prime financial crisis, changing governments, assassinations and very unforgiving stock market investors, where is the hot money tipped to go?

On the domestic front we have just come through to our 17th year of consecutive growth. We defied the Asian economic crisis and continued building and growing as demand for our natural resources reached record highs. The resilience of the Australian economy will again be tested to some extent if predictions of a recession in the United States come to bear. Decreased US demand will affect Asian manufacturers including China however their domestic demand for Australian resources and products has every chance of shielding our economy and seeing yet another year of continued growth.

So the big question is where will the HOT (or smart) money go in 2008?

Typically we would be asking – shares or property? We have seen some of the property trusts like Centro take major hits on the stock market which is now extremely watchful and cautious.

We’d expect a flow of money into property with any stock market wobble and I am hoping that will occur in 2008. Prior to the Federal election I predicted that interest rates would continue to increase regardless of which party won and with inflation at current levels The Reserve Bank is likely to increase rates further.

The last property cycle came to an end in 2003 and historically property has doubled in price every 7-10 years depending on location, so we can reasonably expect that Sydney prices would have doubled by around 2013 as compared to prices in 2003. With that in mind property yet again looks like being a winner for those fortunate enough to capitalize on the current situation. Mortgage foreclosures in 2008 will create opportunities for investors with rental demand outstripping supply, increased yields and an excellent outlook for long term growth. Our population has now reached over 21,000,000 and people will inevitably continue to invest in Sydney.

The hot suburbs for me are those in the typical hot spots like Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point and now Redfern. Rental demand in these suburbs is enormous and there are still some great buys for those willing to look and wait. And of course, sydney luxury homes continue to do well.

The surprise suburbs for 2008 will be those that have an inherent cultural need like Lakemba and its surrounds. The Muslim Mosque creates a natural need for accommodation around the area and the Eastern Distributor and M5 have now made it very easy to reach the city from that area.

Suburbs like Penrith, Glenmore Park and Kellyville are much further from the city and will hurt as interest rates increase.

My tip for 2008 is to invest in property where you know that demand will be constant – especially where a cultural need exists. Many of these suburbs are undervalued and provide enormous opportunity for those willing and able to look outside the square.



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