Investors keep market afloat

WHEN most of her classmates were saving for their end-of-year schoolies trip, Diana Ninos, 20, of Hurstville, was thinking about real estate.Instead of spending her savings on a big holiday when she finished school in 2009, Miss Ninos and her brother Stephen, 22, shopped around for a property.

“We each saved more than $20,000 for a deposit,” Miss Ninos said.

“We found a one-bedroom unit around the corner from where we live.”

The real estate sales assistant and her brother, a construction management university student and project co-ordinator, both live with their parents and recently settled on their second investment property — a two-bedroom unit at Hurstville.

They hope to have a third property by the end of the year.

“Both of us are pretty smart with our money, ” Miss Ninos said.

“I didn’t go to university after I finished school so I didn’t want to waste my money on a holiday.

“I worked weekends at a real estate agency during school and moved to full time when I graduated.”

The latest findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed investment buyers across NSW had steadily increased since January.

McGrath chief executive John McGrath said NSW investors represented 44 per cent of the market, as softer prices and strong yields lured many investors away from shares and into property.

First home buyers commitments picked up in April by 0.4 per cent, after a 50 per cent fall between January and March.

Stewart Maloney, director of Century 21 Realty One at Caringbah, said he believed the decrease in first home buyer activity was mainly because the stamp duty concession finished last year.

“Investors were tipped to pick up the slack, which they did in activity,” Mr Maloney said.

“Right now the majority of investors have the mentality of highest capital growth versus highest yield. Arguably financial circumstances dictate which way an investor goes.”

Matthew King, principal of McGrath Real Estate Brighton-Le-Sands and South Hurstville, said he had seen a lot more opportunity for investors in the first quarter.

“We saw a fair bit of strength in the lead-up to Easter,” Mr King said.

“A lot of them saw an opportunity to buy and have gone into the market.

“The rental market has been steady and they think that there’s good value in the market.”

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.