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The key is choosing a highly desirable property in an area with good amenity and economic vibrancy (therefore with growing population). Purchasing a home that everyone wants to live in will help ensure that you get good capital growth and/or rental returns.
Timing can be important to obtain some early gains even if you are buying with a long term view, so you need to consider where the target investment destination sits in the property cycle eg. choosing a state that is in the upswing stage of its property cycle rather than the peak.
This depends on your investment objectives and preferences. Whereas many clients like to invest in houses because of the land content, others prefer medium density dwellings – apartments and townhouses. These are now the favored type of dwelling and often outperform houses at the same pricepoint because they can be purchased nearer the city and water. See Front Page "Recommending Property...."
A new investment is likely to be more tax effective due to higher depreciation allowances. These 'non cash' deductions reduce income tax payable. You can also maximize deductible allowances and add value, by refurbishing or redeveloping older investment properties.