Modern Australians are used to firing up their smartphones when they have questions about anything from Hollywood blockbusters to the best methods for cooking dinner. However, financial experts have warned investors and homebuyers against relying only on apps and other digital platforms when purchasing property.
Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) issued the warning after a US-based start-up released an app claiming to provide real-time advice on the property market. Rich Harvey, the president of REBAA, said the app is the latest in a long line of digital sources which could potentially lead buyers to make the wrong property purchase decisions.
“There is a plethora of free information available on the internet and via mobile apps but the serious danger we see for buyers and investors is how this information is interpreted and acted upon,” he explained to Your Investment Property. “Take the investor who sees a report promising high capital growth and yield based on two years figures, then buys a property but has major regrets two years later when developers flood the market or the mining boom subsides.”
Mr Harvey admitted that the information age has some benefits for investors and homebuyers. He noted digital sources allow consumers to access information about the real estate market quickly and at the times most convenient for them. However, he said property purchasers should understand online sources only offer a broad “one size fits all” overview of the market. As such, they can fail to consider factors like renovation works and aspect.
“It’s alarming to think that people are basing the biggest financial investment decision they’re likely to make in a lifetime on some free online tools,” Mr Harvey said. “It might seem like you’re saving money in the house hunt by relying on property apps and free online reports. However it could be far more costly in the long run if you buy an unsuitable property.”
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