How can investors win in a slowing market?

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There are still sectors and groups of Aussies can benefit from the property downturn, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Small cities and property stylists were considered two of the winners in the current property slump, according to Bloomberg. This provides opportunities to rise above the weakening market. Investors may direct their funds to smaller cities. While Sydney and Melbourne are currently leading the decline in home prices, smaller towns are performing well.

Hobart, for instance, was the only state capital whose prices rose last month and whose values were up 7.2% in the past year.

“The Tasmanian city is benefiting from mainlanders cashing out and moving to the island state for a more relaxed lifestyle, and investors chasing capital growth in a tight market. Plus, the median house price there is a more affordable $457, 186,” Bloomberg said.

Prices in regional cities, meanwhile, are down only 0.8% in the three months through February, compared to a 3.3% drop in the combined capitals.

Investors may also opt to hire property stylists. Bloomberg found that there is a rising understanding among sellers that property styling helps sell homes at the best possible price, as well as reduce properties’ time on the market.

A professionally styled property can cut nearly four weeks from marketing and add about 12.5% on average to the sale price, according to David McLean, general manager of Furnish&Finish. Setting two identical studio apartments in North Sydney in the same unit block as examples, McLean said that the styled one was sold for $100,000 more.

In addition, Steve Remington, co-founder of residential styling firm Valiant Hire, said service inquiries were higher in the first month of this year than a usual January.

"People who previously wouldn't have considered going down the styling path are looking at it a lot harder now. They know that in this market, they really need to present the property in the best possible light," he said.

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