Many property investors seek to buy when the market is low and sell just as it peaks — but trying to time the market can be risky and most get it wrong, new research shows.

The analysis by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia looked at every capital city market over the past 15 years to determine whether “time in the market” or “timing the market” produced the best capital growth.

It revealed the high transactional costs of buying and selling meant those who tried to profit from short-term jumps in property values rarely made as much money as those who kept their properties for longer.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos says most investors lack the s