The National Property Clock: Which market should you buy in?

The Herron Todd White’s National Property Clock is an interesting thing. It tries to show where in the property cycle each property market is, and it’s a great tool for developers – but more importantly, it’s fantastic for investors and buyers.

If you look at the March 2018 Property Clock, you’ll see that the Sydney unit market is now starting to decline, where it sits with Canberra, South East NSW and Bendigo. More importantly for our readers, however, Brisbane (and Perth) remain in the declining market, where it’s been since February.

The regions sitting at the peak of their market are the likes of Gold Coast, North Sydney, and Newcastle.

Rural areas in Queensland dominate the bottom of the market.

The question, of course, is how do you take advantage of a property clock such as these. Property should always be looked at as a long-term investment, and one ideally that you hold over at least one property cycle (traditionally 7 – 8 years). However often you make the most money in any transaction when you buy – so you need to buy well. So the best time to sell, at the top of the clock, and the best time to buy, across the bottom of the clock. It is almost impossible to pick the bottom or top of the market, so a property clock can be used as a good general guide on when to act.

Written: 21 March 2018, Updated: 6 April 2020

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[…] Useful as the property clock can be, nobody can 100% predict the future, and unforeseen factors can put gum up the clockwork. Becoming too much of a clock-watcher can also distract investors from the long game, in which properties are ideally held for 7 to 8 years. […]