In the first part of the this article I covered how to be prepared to buy. So this part, lets look at suitable areas for students both from a liveability and investment perspective. The University of Newcastle has limited parking facilities and often students spend more time trying to find parking at the Uni than actually attending lecture or tutorials. So it is an important consideration when you kids are relocating to Newcastle will they have access to a vehicle or are they going to rely on public transport. Newcastle Buses runs regular services to the Uni (click the to see the route map). In fact there are two bus routes which run within walking distance and another four that run through the campus itself. There is also a train station at the Eastern side of the University called Warabrook. Services are about every half an hour; the stations Hamilton & Waratah (toward the CBD) are areas where most people are looking to buy property to capitalise on capital growth/rental yields.
Traditionally suburbs such as Birmingham Gardens, Jesmond, North Lambton, Waratah West and Warabrook have been favoured for student accommodation. Large houses, often carved up into 5 or more bedrooms are rented out by the room or are converted garages. Rooms are rented from as little as $90 up to almost $300 per week. These rates should include the rent and utilities. Better accommodation (more expensive) comes with free internet, an ensuite bathroom and a double or queen sized bed. These properties are more often than not, not council approved but managed by specialist property management firms. The main benefits of these areas are the largely geographical. They are the closest suburbs to the University. While they may be a good option for a student on a budget or without transport to rent, I do not recommend investing in these types of properties. Once upon time when I used to sell properties, these were the flavour of the year. Positive cashflow (despite the much higher interest rates) and almost always 80-100% occupancy.
Times have changed and there are some better opportunities to consider. In the third part of this series I’ll cover off on why things are different and where you should consider to buy. If you have any questions about buying property in Newcastle you can always reach me via email by filling in the contact form.