The window of opportunity for jumping in to the northern Perth suburb of Balga is closing fast. Property prices have risen steeply over the past 12 months, driven by high demand from investors and homebuyer-investors searching for reasonably priced homes and development sites.

Property Wizards Director, Liz Sterzel, contributed to SPI Magazine’s profile on Balga in their June 2014 issue. Read some highlights below, and pick up SPI Magazine to get the complete picture.

For someone unfamiliar with Balga, could you provide an overview?

Although it underwent a government-funded upgrade about 14 years ago, Balga still has a way to go before it can be considered gentrified and, as such, is still an affordable suburb in which to snap up an older property with development potential. As an added bonus, its location less than half an hour from the CBD and situated on a direct and easy travel route to the city along Wanneroo Road or the Mitchell Freeway, means Balga has accessibility on its side for commuting workers.

Can you describe the mix of housing stock in Balga?

While a growing number of newer strata-title homes have been built in recent years, Balga still features many older brick/brick-veneer and fibro homes that were built at a low cost. These are mostly three bed, one bath homes constructed in the 1960’s and 70’s and many sit on development blocks suited to building two to three new homes on. In time, as more new development occurs and most of the sites with development potential are bought, prices will go up even further.

Do you think the area has anything to offer investors?

The area offers opportunities for buy-and-hold investments and the potential to give an older home a cosmetic upgrade that will boost rental returns but – a word of warning – not all the cheaper, older properties are worth renovating. While Balga is already zoned to allow development, investors should make sure they check for all the possible hidden issues a development site can have – and be sure the property they want isn’t already overpriced because there is a limit to the true value a home in the area can have, compared to many other opportunities.

For more information on the suburb of Balga, read the June 2014 issue of SPI Magazine or visit our Media Page.

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