Southern suburbs the way to go in Syd?

I’ve been prompted to my first post by information overload! I'm trying to 'limit the scope of inquiry'.

Because I work for a church I currently live in a parish provided house but in 20 years time my wife and I will need to buy a place of our own for retirement somewhere in ‘middle suburbia’ (if we were retiring today and had the money we’d probably argue about living Picnic Point vs Ramsgate – no doubt the wife would win).

We have some money invested in shares and want to add an investment property that will gain some capital growth but have a decent enough yield that we don’t have to pour every last penny of savings into it for ages or will be stressed if we’re without tenant for a couple of months at some point.
Let’s say we have $350K – $370K to invest towards that goal. Options seem to be:

a) Modest house out Penrith way or somewhere else
b) Townhouse a little closer (say Liverpool way)
c) 2 bedroom apartment in the middle ring suburbs
d) 1 bedder in the inner west.

I’m not looking for ‘the next hot suburb’ or the ‘most fantastic yield’ but am trying to balance my observations that:

1) Yields out west seem generally higher (so easier to service) but growth can be limited if you pick the wrong area.
2) Generally people seem to think ‘closer in’ offers better cap gain than ‘further out’
3) BUT closer in means for our budget means ‘only 1 bedroom’ and that might limit capital gain (?)
4) Close to transport is important
5) Houses seem to appreciate faster than units

I’m currently leaning towards a 1 bedroom unit somewhere like Marrickville or 2 bedroom unit somewhere like Arncliffe or a bit further down the line at Mortdale as offering reliable growth over time for a price we can afford to service without stress.

Does that sound like a reasonable direction to head in or are there way better options?
 
Let’s say we have $350K – $370K to invest towards that goal. ......but am trying to balance my observations that:

1) Yields out west seem generally higher (so easier to service) but growth can be limited if you pick the wrong area.
Yes, true

2) Generally people seem to think ‘closer in’ offers better cap gain than ‘further out’
Yes they do think that but it ain't necessarily so (as the song goes). There have been good CG in outer suburbs

3) BUT closer in means for our budget means ‘only 1 bedroom’ and that might limit capital gain (?)
No, it won't limit CG but make sure it is over 50m2 in floor size or you'll have difficulty getting a lender to finance it at a decent LVR.

4) Close to transport is important
Yes

5) Houses seem to appreciate faster than units
That used to be the case, but recently CG of units outstripped houses on land for the first time. Probably no real difference now.

I’m currently leaning towards a 1 bedroom unit somewhere like Marrickville or 2 bedroom unit somewhere like Arncliffe or a bit further down the line at Mortdale as offering reliable growth over time for a price we can afford to service without stress.

Does that sound like a reasonable direction to head in or are there way better options?
Yep, sounds reasonable. In 15 years with the benefit of hindsight I can definitely pick which one would have been better. :)

Also, if it were me, I'd pick a 1brm Art Deco unit for:
- rental demand
- sales demand
- uniqueness - these have stood the test of time and can outperform.
 
When you calculate the size of a one bedroom place to ensure that it is more than 50m2 for the bank, does that include the carspace if there is one? (Some listings seem to include it)
 
When you calculate the size of a one bedroom place to ensure that it is more than 50m2 for the bank, does that include the carspace if there is one? (Some listings seem to include it)

peastman is right. In these tightened credit conditions the lenders seem to want to account for inside measurements only....no car spaces, no balconies - and yes, the advertisements mostly do include these areas.
 
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