Behind every great investment property there is a great neighbourhood just waiting to be discovered.

Finding the right suburb to invest your money in may seem like an arduous task, and perhaps sometimes you take a gamble, but we’ve gathered a few proven tips and ideas to make your decision a whole lot easier. Look at sales data

Many online organisations offer property sales reports, either free or for purchase. These property reports can show suburb price growth using monthly, yearly and 10-year comparisons. Take the time to obtain and analyse this data – it will help you identify market peaks and troughs, as well as dormant suburbs that are on the verge of a property price boom.

Other online tools and sources from which you can collect sales data include PriceFinder, local newspapers, known property experts or your local real estate agent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also provides analytical articles; a QuickStats tool that gives you access to summaries on an area’s people, families and dwellings and lets you compare it with state and national data; community profiles; and more. Go for second best

Often, the most popular suburbs have already experienced a price peak and boom, and it could be another seven to 10 years before they achieve a similar cycle. If you invest in these suburbs, you could be paying top dollar for a slow return compared with a less popular suburb.

So, when looking for a suburb to invest in, go for the next best option – one that’s similarly priced. Chances are, you’ll be buying into a suburb that has yet to boom and will provide you with the fruits of that return. Supply and demand

If you’re looking to invest in a house or unit, consider the market impact of surrounding developments, such as new housing estates and high-rise constructions. Generally, the more properties available for sale in a suburb, the more diluted the return on your investment. Think outside the box

Try not to mentally restrict yourself to the suburb you’ve grown up in or by the type of asset you want. Many investment opportunities exist within the property market, including off-the-plan, rural and commercial property. Be open to the possibilities. Jump in your car, hail a bus or catch a train to a section of your city or area you’ve never explored and get to know it a little better. Keep an eye out for planned infrastructure

Properties located near train stations, schools, shopping centres and other amenities bode well for investment growth. This is a result of their increased rentability and lifestyle appeal for renters and buyers.

When spotting a good investment suburb, look for any planned infrastructure, which may positively impact the future sales price of the property. You can get this information from local council websites and government transport organisations.

Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be well on your way to finding the right investment.

Posted by Belinda Gadd – Domain (The Age) on 3rd September, 2014