At the CBR Gals Network, our mission is to provide women with the tools they need to succeed at any stage of their lives, as such, we believe the housing market should be accessible for everyone.
Trusted Realtors is a Canberra-based firm which provides project marketing, and established sales and property management throughout ACT. When Serene is not selling custom-designed homes, she’s designing her own tapware line, perfecting her banana bread recipe, binge-watching The Local Project, or playing her guitar or piano.
With this endeavor in mind, we sat down with Serene Teoh, owner and sales director of Trusted Realtors, to gain a better snapshot of the current discussion surrounding housing affordability in the ACT community, particularly for millennials.
What is the current situation in relation to housing affordability in Canberra?
I remember 6 years ago when I first arrived in Canberra, there were townhouses in Crace going for $420,000 and today the very same models are going for $800,000.
Can you tell us more about what has changed in those mere six years?
Due to the price increases, there have been lots of new solutions that attempt to make purchasing property more affordable – like the new popularity of tiny houses – but the one that has truly taken off in Canberra, is rentvesting.
Rentvesting is the concept of renting where you want to live (but can’t afford to purchase) and investing your money where you can afford to buy a property. It suits the lifestyle of many millennials, allowing them flexibility in where they live, giving them the opportunity to travel and at the same time grow their wealth.
Traditionally, your first property would be your first home, where you actually live for a few years before considering buying your second property, which is subsequently an investment property.
However, I find increasingly younger buyers (below the age of 35) starting to purchase investment properties and building their property portfolio as a side hustle to their nine-to-five jobs, without owning a home. Some of them do it as an Airbnb business, while the others just rent them out in the traditional way.
The logic is simple — investing in Canberra makes sense as properties here have the highest national rental yield. Many millenials have three to five year contracts and don’t see themselves in Canberra in the long run, (with some even dreaming of living in Bali and becoming Instagram influencers!) — but who can say no to a slice of the Canberra pie? After all, it is giving you the best return compared to anywhere else in the country. Investors from all over Australia flock to Canberra like the Mecca of property investment.
What if you can’t rentvest because you have a tiny budget to allocate to building an investment portfolio?
Let me introduce you to co-rentvesting where two investors combine their resources to achieve their financial goals. Yes, it is possible — and it can be done easily and safely through the help of property professionals in our Trusted Realtors circle.
Curious to find out more?
If you’d like to read more about how Serene and her team are changing the housing market, you can peruse our other blog post, Women and property ownership: How Serene Teoh is building forever homes, or follow our “Ask Serene” segment on the CBR Gals Instagram.
And last but not least, if you are interested in housing accessibility and its gendered impacts, consider attending our Community Lead(her)s Series on the 6th of May.