Posts Tagged house prices

Can Sydney’s housing affordability be fixed in five steps?

Australia has ranked as one of the least affordable countries in the world for housing again – but solutions are on the way. Demographia’s 2017 report ranked Australia third behind Hong Kong and New Zealand for unaffordable housing, largely driven by price hikes in Sydney and Melbourne.

Of course, that’s nothing new. Anyone who’s tried to secure a home loan in the last five years would understand the issues with many east coast housing markets. But what about solutions?

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has come to the rescue – in a sense. It has released a five-point plan it believes can address affordability in New South Wales, if the government will adopt it.

Can you really fix the Sydney market in five steps?

Can we really fix the Sydney market in five steps?

Five points to fix it all

Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Director for the PCA, says the five-point plan has already been delivered to the Reserve Bank and the New South Wales government. She believes the following steps will go a long way to helping struggling buyers:

  1. Reform the planning system to increase land and housing supply
  2. Cut red tape, property taxes and fees
  3. Increase cooperation between Federal, State and Local Government departments
  4. Provide more support to first home buyers
  5. Increase innovation in the rental market

Now, that’s a lot of buzzwords without many tangible measures. But, as Fitzgerald notes, the PCA does have a full report outlining what the NSW Government can specifically do to make sure it achieves these goals.

Items like less stamp duty, a higher level of housing supply and more FHB support will certainly be music to the ears of buyers who are yet to get onto the ladder. CoreLogic RP Data’s monthly indices show the median house value for Sydney is still above the $1.2 million mark – something has to be done to make buying easier.

Give yourself every advantage you can

Of course, this is a proposal put to the government – it’s far from concrete. For now, anyone struggling to make a property purchase has to wait and see. That is, unless they start taking matters into their own hands.

One way to start working on affordability issues is to make sure you have access to the full spectrum of home loans. Too often, people restrict themselves to just one or two types of mortgage, thinking that’s all they have to work with.

By using a mortgage broker, you can tap into dozens of home loan products, each tailored to a different financial situation. It won’t necessarily fix the housing market – but for some people, it can help out a lot.

You can contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney on 0412 167 551  for mortgage advice.

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The Renter-Investor

Are you a renter-investor?

 

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If you are, you’re one of a savvy group of first homebuyers who have chosen to purchase an investment property instead of their first home.

The rise of the first homebuyer as ‘renter-investor’ shows borrowers are thinking outside the square to get a foothold in the property market without compromising lifestyle.

Not only do people want to live in areas that suit their lifestyles now – near beaches or cafés or in inner city lifestyle suburbs – but they’re also keen to live close to their workplace so the commute to and from work doesn’t eat into their valuable personal time.

With the cost of properties located in these ‘lifestyle areas’ out of reach for many first homebuyers, they’re taking a more creative approach.

Be vigilant and strategic

While all borrowers need to have a clear strategy and structure their lending accordingly, this is of particular importance for first-time rentor – investors

There are a number of considerations that first-time property investors need to think about. For example: What is your strategy? Are you looking to buy and sell an investment property within five years or are you planning to purchase and keep it as an investment offering growth over a long-term period of, say, 10 or 20 years?

Will you then draw equity from it to use as a deposit for a home or another Investment property in the future?

It’s important to do your homework – ask yourself why and where you’re going to buy your investment property, and what the expected capital growth rates and rental returns will be in the areas you’re looking to purchase.

The answers to these questions allow you to run projections of what sort of gains you could expect to make if you sell in the future.

Of course you would also need to consider a range of costs including buying and selling expenses, capital gains, tax implications, and fees for professional advice.

Property investors also need to consider a range of factors that are best discussed with their mortgage advisor first and then with their accountant.

For example, if you purchase an investment property with a view to selling it within, say five years, you will have to pay capital gains tax.

Conversely, if you’re going to hold the property for a longer period of time and draw on the equity to fund a home or additional investment properties, then you won’t need to pay selling costs and capital gains tax and, as such, your mortgage broker can help you to structure your lending to suit.

There are also a range of options available to minimise cash flow shortfalls when owning an investment property, such as making interest only payments, maintaining depreciation schedules, conducting regular rent reviews, and having tax adjustments paid back to you monthly.

 Borrowers should discuss this with their mortgage broker and accountant so they can structure their lending and finances to their advantage.

Renter-investor approach not just for first homebuyers

Our living circumstances can change for a host of reasons: You may have received a job offer that requires you to move to an inner city location or you may just want to live in a suburb that offers the lifestyle you and your family desire, now. As a result you may decide to rent out your home and make it an investment property.

Likewise, you may live in an area that is currently achieving good capital growth and yielding excellent rental returns for homes like yours, so you decide to rent a smaller property elsewhere in order to rent out your existing home.

There is a range of reasons for choosing to rent while putting your owner-occupier property on the rental market.

Regardless of your circumstances, seek the advice of a quality mortgage broker to help you structure your lending and get the most out of your investment strategy .

I hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions please contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney at kwight@smartline.com.au.

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Your Suburb’s Walk Score

Do you know about this  website that  allows you to see your Suburb’s Walk Score? 

It is a bit of fun but also helpful when you are looking into an area to move to or buy an investment property.

The US based WALK SCORE® website now allocates a score to every suburb in Australia.

A high score simply means the suburb is more convenient.

100/100 = Perfectly convenient
0/100 = Antarctica

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Don’t be fooled by the name. The WALK SCORE® is about overall convenience, not just walkability.

Interestingly, Sydney came out with the best WALK SCORE® when compared to our other large Australian cities. I suspect this is because it is faster to walk that drive in Sydney : )

Mortgage Broker Sydney

 

 

 

 

Recent overseas studies indicate that properties with above-average levels of walkability command a premium over homes with average levels of walkability. Studies have also confirmed that high walkability scores can often correlate with relatively high yields and low tenancy vacancy rates. In the United States, for example, an additional one point increase in a WALK SCORE® is associated with a potential $3,000 increase in property value.

Have a try for yourself. This system is as easy as typing in your suburb and clicking GO.

http://www.walkscore.com/

Let me know what you think.

Remember if you have any questions about how to get into the property market contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney on 0412167551 or email Kwight@smartline.com.au

 

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Beginners Guide to Home Loans Myths

 

Mortgage Broker SydneyDon’t believe everything you hear about home loans. Seek the truth from a professional. This Beginners Guide to Home Loans  Myths can help understand the home loan process and clear up some of the misinformation you might hear.

I have been involved in arranging home finance for people for many years. I have worked for a major bank and finance company and as I write this guide to home loans, I have been an independent Mortgage Broker in Sydney  for 13 years. With 25 years of experience and access to information from other highly experienced brokers and bankers I still get challenged by clients who sometimes do not like what I tell them, if only they had read this guide to home loans and not believed what their other “experts”had told them !

There is a lot of “water cooler” talk out there in the market place and people, while trying to be helpful, will offer advice on borrowing money or structuring loans. Beware, quite often this advice is based on hearsay and not lender policy or principles, that’s where this guide to home loans comes in. You may have heard people say “just get a guarantor”, or, “you need a credit card to get a credit rating before you get a loan”.  Or perhaps the old favourite “I can buy a house and consolidate all my other debt into the mortgage”. While some of this information may have some relevance in some circumstances, in a lot of cases it is just plain wrong. I hope this guide to home loans will dispel some of these myths to help people looking for a home loan get onto the right track.

Guide to home loans – Myth No 1. You Have to Shop Around for the Best Deal

While I agree you need to look at many loan options BEWARE how you do it. This part of my guide to home loans will help you choose how to research a home loan that is right for you.

Nowadays with so much information on the internet many people use it to source loan information. But what I have seen happen is people can get into a trap of applying for a loan on line with out knowing they are doing it, if only they had read this guide to home loans! Mistakenly applying for a home loan can also happen sometimes if you meet with a lending manager in a Branch. With these methods sometimes before you know it your details are entered into the lenders computer system, a credit check done and you are told your loan is approved subject to you providing the supporting income and savings evidence.  While you might be please to know the lender will give you a loan you were really only shopping around and had not made a decision on the lender of your choice but now you have this application recorded against your credit rating.

Most lenders now use an online credit scoring system to assess loan applications. The human personal element has been removed. Here is a secret the banking industry doesn’t tell you. There are about numerous fields in an application that get a “Score”.  No one knows the exact number of fields, the lender can’t or won’t tell us.  If the score comes in outside the approval score your application is automatically declined. Have you seen Little Britain, “The computer says No”. If the computer says no it is very hard to get it overturned. It might be possible to have it overturned but it will delay your application at a time when time is of the essence. One of the main reasons loans are being declined with this credit scoring system is too many credit enquires over a short period of time on a client’s credit check report. From a lenders point of view they do not know that you have only been shopping around and did not actually proceeded with the loan applications that appear on your report. Their thinking is if the previous lenders would not approve a loan for you why should they take the risk and your loan is declined.

Guide to home loans – Myth No 2.    You can have a guarantor

So many times I have new clients coming to me and saying “my father will go guarantor” so I can get the loan. It just does not work that way, this part of my guide to home loans explains some of the ins and outs of having someone being your guarantor on a loan.

A guarantor can not be used to help you borrow more money than you can afford on your income alone. If their income is needed to help repay the loan the lender will require them to be a co borrower and their name will be on the loan. This in turn will restrict them from borrowing money in their own name as they now have a loan listed on their credit report. The only way a guarantor can be used is by offering an additional property or cash as security against a loan in order to save the cost of mortgage insurance.

When you are buying a property and you need a loan unless, in most instances, you have savings to cover not 20% of the purchase price plus stamp duty and legal costs you have to pay a once only mortgage insurance premium. This premium protects the lender in case you default on the loan. The premium can be thousands of dollars. Most lenders allow a guarantor in this instance.  The guarantor has to offer a property as security for the loan and the amount of the guarantee is limited to the mount required to have property offered as security covering up to 20% of property purchase and associated costs.

This form of guarantee is often referred to as a family guarantee or family pledge.

It is important to note that the guarantor in this instance is not being assessed in order to make repayments on behalf of the borrowers. Their guarantee is only being used to save the borrowers the cost of the mortgage insurance.  There usually has to be a family connection in order for this guarantee to be approved and the guarantor has to obtain independent financial and legal advice.

Should the borrower default on the loan both the borrowers and guarantor’s property could be sold to cover the amount owing to the bank.  In most cases should this happen it would be in the guarantors favour to try and arrange finance to cover this limited guarantee and have his property handed back to him. The problem arises then the guarantor does not have the borrowing capabilities to finance the amount of debt he has guaranteed.

Guide to home loans – Myth No 3.  I need to borrow money and get a credit rating before I can get a home loan.

I often hear clients say I have to borrow money on a credit card or personal loan to get a credit rating so I can get a home loan. Borrowing money on a high interest loan just to get a credit rating is just throwing good money away. There are other ways to build a great credit rating – these will now be explained in this guide to home loans.

What you really need to do to get a home loan is show a good savings history that will demonstrate to the lender that you have the income and lifestyle to commit to and repay a home loan.

When a lender is accessing you for a home loan they look for a savings history, stability of employment and your ability to repay the loan based on your income and other loan commitments. By having a credit card or personal loan the amount you can borrow is reduced.

If you have borrowed money in the past and missed payments or defaulted on the loan this will make it very difficult to be able to get a home loan.

Guide to home loans – Myth No 4. I can combine all my debts into my home loan.  

 Time and time again I have clients coming to me and they want to buy a property or refinance their current loan and also combine all their current debts into the new loan. This part of my guide to home loans will explain your options for debt consolidation.

This can only be done if you have enough equity in the property you are giving the lender as security for the loan. By equity I mean the difference in the loan amount to the value of the property. An example of this is you have a loan of $400,000 against a property worth $500,000 which means you have $100,000 equity or 80% equity.

When you are combining additional debts into your home loan this is seen as refinancing and the lender will only lend up to 90% of the value of the property held as security. Most first home buyers borrow between 90% to 95% of the value of the property so combining additional debts is not an option available to them.

 

No guide to home loans is complete without some tips for making the process of obtaining a home loan run smoothly.

Guide to home loans – Truth Number 1. Seek the Advice of an expert.

When you are looking for a home loan or even once you have one you will constantly have people giving advice on what can and can’t be done. Some advice will be correct, some will have once been right but now due to changes in lending policies will be obsolete and some advice will be just plain wrong. That’s where my guide to home loans, and more importantly personalised advice I can give you, comes in handy.

In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information you need to be speaking with the people who are involved on a daily basis with a variety of lenders and know their policies and procedures.

I have been advising people on home loans for over 25 years and have not only the knowledge and experience that comes with working in the home loan field but I also have the latest information at my fingertips due to the technology I have available to me.

My best advice to you is before you believe any of the “water cooler” talk about home loans you contact me to confirm what you have heard is true of false.

Guide to home loans – Truth Number 2. Know what is on your credit report.

Everyone should be aware of what is on their credit report. My guide to home loans will help you sort this out.

You can get a copy of your report at www.vedaadvantage.com.au.  You will wait 10 days for a free report or for about $60 dollars it can be emailed back to you in an hour. I provide these free for my clients if we think there may be a problem. So how can you shop around safely, investigate your options and not have your enquiries recorded on your credit report? The best way is by meeting with a reputable mortgage broker who is a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia.  A  member of this organization has a standard of ethic and education they must meet and you can feel confident you are dealing with a professional.

Guide to home loans – Truth Number 3. Get the best advice and information.

A mortgage broker will be able to show you various interest rates and loan products from a number of lenders. They can also discuss your personal situation and advise you on what loan product best suits your needs. Each lender has different criteria when they assess your loan application and some lenders will offer you a bigger loan than another lender. A mortgage broker can sort through all the options and you get to pick the loan that you want.  They know the policies and procedures of the lenders and can save you a lot of time and effort by talking through any loan characteristics that may or may not suite your situation.

A Mortgage Broker really is a one stop shop for your home loan needs.

I hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions please contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney at kwight@smartline.com.au.

 

 

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Buying At Auction – What You Need To Know

Mortgage Broker SydneyBuying property at auction can be a daunting task, and with more and more properties being sold by auction these days it is important that you understand the process and have your finance in place before you bid.

When you are buying property at auction there is no cooling off period, which means once the hammer is down you have bought the property and have to proceed to pay for it. Unlike a property that is sold by private treaty you do not get 5 days to arrange finance and do property searches all this must be done before the auction.

The most often asked questions people have when buying property at auction are:

1. Can I have the loan approved before I bid?

I advise all my clients to have their loan application assessed before starting negotiation on any property purchase but if you are buying property at auction you need to know in advance that you will be able to get a loan for the amount of money you need.

We can arrange to have your loan pre approved which means that the lender will look at your credit report, income, savings, assets and any other debts you may have and then pre approve you for a loan based on this information.  As you cannot be sure how much you will have pay when buying property at auction, the loan cannot be formally approved.

When buying property at auction, I suggest to all my clients that we get the loan approved for the maximum amount your income can service and that you feel comfortable with and then lower the loan amount once you have successfully purchased the property and we know exactly how much loan money is required.

The loan preapproval with be subject to a valuation on the property and if you are borrowing more than 80% of the property value acceptance by the mortgage insurance company.

There is always an element of risk buying property at auction with no cooling off period but with the right pre work the risk is greatly diminished.

2. Can I have the lender value the property before the auction?

This question is always a tricky one.

When buying property at auction and there is a contract of sale with an amount on it a valuer will base their valuation on the sale amount plus comparative sales in the area. Because someone was prepared to pay the amount on the contract as long as the amount is not unrealistic based on other sales in the majority of cases the valuation will come in at the sale price.

When there is no contract of sale the valuer will base their valuation on comparative sales and the property may value at less than you are prepared to pay. If the Bank has done the valuation before the auction they will accept the valuation amount not the purchase price when accessing the LVR (loan to valuation ratio) which may result in a reduced loan amount or an increase in the cost of mortgage insurance.

Again, when buying property at auction there is an element of risk that the property may not value at the purchase price but if you have done your research  and keep your cool at the auction and do not exceed the maximum amount you believe the property to be worth the risk is extremely low.

In my 25 years of lending I have not had a property purchased at auction come in lower than the amount paid. This gives you confidence to use my service when buying property at auction.

3. How do I know how much to pay?

You need to research property prices in the areas you are looking at prior to buying property at auction. You can do this by attending open houses and gauging the value of the property by the asking price and what the property has to offer in way of size, location, quality of fittings, décor.

You can look on the various real estate sites at the sold properties which often list the sale price.

The easiest way is to ask me to provide a free RP Data property report on any property you are considering buying property at auction, or indeed any property at all.  This will give an estimate of the current value and list comparative sales in the area. This report is one of the tools the valuers use when assessing the value of properties and I can give you free access to it.

4. How can I buy before I sell my current place?

This is the problem existing home owners find themselves in and causes the most stress when buying property at auction or otherwise.

If you sell before you buy what if you cannot find a property you like, but if you buy before you sell how can you afford to pay for the new property?

I always advise my clients who are in this situation to ask for an extended settlement time. Most contracts of sale have a completion date of 42 days (6 weeks) after the signing of the contract.  If you can extend this time to 10 or more weeks to allow you to sell your property you do not have to consider bridging finance.

With a bridging loan, the lender will loan you the money to cover the gap between settlement and buying a property at auction or otherwise. Effectively, the lender agrees to take on both mortgages. Bridging finance typically covers a period from a few days to a few months.

This form of finance is expensive because in most cases your existing loan and the full amount of the new purchase are combined and interest accrues on the new total loan balance. The lender will access your ability to repay the loan based on the amount you will owe after the sale of your existing property. There are additional fees due to the lender having to value two properties plus other associated costs.

There are strict criteria for bridging finance before approval is given which will include the unconditional sale of a borrower’s existing property and restrictions on proposed settlement terms. Other conditions may be imposed on a case-by-case basis. The finance is usually only available for 6 months after which penalties may apply.

My advice is to allow me to fully access your personal situation and together work on the best strategy for you when buying property at auction.  I have always bought before I sold so I understand the stress involved in purchasing this way but with careful planning the stress can be reduced.

5. I haven’t sold my place yet so how can I get the money to pay the 10% deposit.

Once you find the perfect house and you have the thrill of buying property at auction, you sign the contract of sale and will be required to pay the 5% or 10% deposit which ever amount has been agreed upon. If you do not have the money and cannot borrow it short term from family we will need to arrange a deposit bond for you.

A deposit bond is basically an insurance policy. The deposit bond is the policy document that tells the vendor that the insurance company will pay the 10% deposit to the vendor if you for some reason do not proceed with the purchase. The insurance company will then endeavour by all legal means at their disposal to get the bond money back from you.

There is a once only premium paid for the bond. When purchasing at auction the premium is calculated on the maximum amount you are prepared to pay. If you are unsuccessful at auction the bond can be returned and a portion of the premium refunded.

In the normal course of events settlement takes place, the purchase price is paid in full and the deposit bond simply lapses

6. Other than the loan what else should I organise?

Buying property at auction can be an expensive exercise as you have to do all your due diligence even though you may not be the successful bidder but it could be even more expensive if you do not.

  • Have a solicitor review the contract of sale. They can address any conditions of the contract that may not be in your best interest and can also ask for an extended settlement if required. They will also arrange any searches that they feel would be in your best interest to undertake such as strata reports or building surveys.
  •  Get a pest & building inspection done. It is important to find out if there are any building or pest problems before you buy.
  • If you are buying before you sell have the contract for sale for your existing property ready. If you are the successful bidder and you need to sell your existing property time will be of the essence and you need to move quickly to list your property for sale. By law a real estate agent cannot show a property unless they hold a contract of sale. By having your solicitor prepare the contract you will lose no time it getting your place to the market.
  • Have a Real Estate Agent lined up ready to put your property in the market. Again as time is of the essence to sell your current property by having already decided upon the real estate agent you want to sell your property you will save time. A good agent will be able to arrange photos and have your property listed in a day or two. They may already have people to show through which will give you confidence for a sale.
  • Have your house prepared for sale. I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared to list your current property as soon as you have purchase. Now is not the time to think about decluttering, fixing the gutter, cleaning the carpet etc. you want your house to be ready to show to potential buyers immediately. Have all the jobs that needed to be completed done so you can attract that potential buyer.

As you can see they are many things to consider when buying property at auction. I hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions that I may not have covered please contact me Kim Wight, Mortgage Broker Sydney at this web page or at kwight@smartline.com.au.

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Don’t Believe The Hype.

Maybe it is just my imagination but it seems that Australia’s media has become more sensationalist over the last decade. My advice is Don’t believe the hype.

Take for example the Australian residential property market. Had you listened to many of the media’s “talking heads”, you would have jumped out of the market 10 years ago. That may not have been good advice.

Remember Dr Steve Keen in 2008? He predicted a 40% price drop for residential dwellings. The media loved him. Thankfully, someone held the Dr to account and bet against him. Having lost the bet, Dr Keen had to walk from Canberra to Mt Kosciusko. This was a rare occasion where a doomsayer actually had something to lose. Most media “experts” are never held to account.

In response to all of the negative news about our economy,  I  have decided to run a positive facts stock-take.

 Don't believe the hype.

 

The next time you are watching TV or reading a news article that is predicting a collapse in property prices, spare a quick thought back to the support our media gave Dr Keen’s predictions. Fear sells.

If you would like to chat about this you you are looking to enter the property market or maybe looking to upgrade please contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney at kwight@smartline.com.au 

 

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Investment Property Gurus- I Don’t Trust Them.

If I had a dollar for all the “investment property gurus”, that contact me on a regular basis with the offer to assist my clients in making the right property investment decision I could retire and not live long enough to spend all my money.

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But the problem I have with 99.9% of the people who contact me is I don’t trust them and I do not believe they have my client’s best interest at heart. These people offer the “get rich quick”  “guarantee return on investment” which is all too often too good to be true. In my experience these property spruikers target people who are looking for a quick fix and do not understand the property market.

Property investing and creating wealth is a long term strategy and takes time.  My advice to people who attend these property investment seminars is to go with an open mind but be sceptical and if it sounds too good to be true it is probably a con and beware.

Say, “No!” to bad property investment advice!

Some things to look out for when dealing with these property spruikers

1.    They are trying to sell you a property rather than provide you with advice to your specific situation.

What I often see is that they are more interested in getting the sale without finding out about your personal situation and even if you can afford it. I had a new client come to me who had contracted to buy a property off the plan but with their income and other commitments had no hope of getting the finance. Even if we were had been able to get the finance the completed properties were not worth the price originally paid due to a turn down in the market.

2.    They offer a One Stop Shop.

Most often they will not only sell you the property but  encourage you to use their recommended solicitor/ conveyance, accountant, ,mortgage broker, real estate property management agent all of who are most likely  being paid a commission from the sales agent. You must use your own independent legal and finance people to ensure you get the best advice for your interest.

3.    They offer “dodgy” loan structures.

If have heard all too often the sales line of pay $150,000 off your home loan in two years. They then set up loans where the rent and your income pays down to your home loan while the loan repayments and living expenses are taken from a line of credit. Sure you may have paid off your home loan but you have only moved the debt to another loan product. Get independent finance advice.

4.    The properties are interstate.

The problem of buying interstate is if you do not know the area and prices you may be paying well over the market price. You need to do your own research. I had one client who flew interstate to buy a property only to find he could get a better property closer to the regional centre he was looking at a much cheaper price. Needless to say he did not proceed.

Avoid being ripped off.

Do your own research. Get property reports which show comparative sales. I even had clients who rang the local police station to see what the crime rate in the area they were looking to buy in.  If you do not know the area I thought this was a great idea.

Arrange your own finance through an independent broker or your own bank.

Have your own solicitor or conveyancer look over the contract and handle the settlement for you.

And remember “buyer beware” and if it sound too good to be true it probably is too good to be true.

I hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions please contact me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney at kwight@smartline.com.au.

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Fascinating Property Information On House Prices In Australia

Here is some some fascinating property information supplied to us from RP Data.

We have constructed the following two tables from this data so you can quickly see how the entire country is performing.

fascinating property information on houses prices in AustraliaInteresting points:

  1. Melbourne has more dwellings than Sydney (NSW has a more decentralised population).
  2. Melbourne residents hold on to their houses for the longest term (11.8 years), Darwin has the shortest term (7.1 years).
  3. Perth and Brisbane have the highest percentage of their dwellings on the market whilst Canberra has the lowest.
  4. Houses in Sydney sell the quickest with just 49 days as the average “on market” period.
  5. Melbourne had more house sales than Sydney over the last 12 months.

 

fascinating property information on houses prices in Australia

More interesting points:

  1. The gap between the highest Median house price (Sydney $800,000) and the lowest (Hobart $350,000) is a whopping $550,000.
  2. Rental yields for Sydney and Melbourne are now well below 4%.
  3. The difference between Sydney’s average annual growth rate over 10 years (4.9%) and Melbourne’s result (5.8%) is surprising given Sydney’s recent boom.
  4. Despite extremely solid growth over 10 years, Darwin’s rental yield of 5.8% is very high.
  5. Although Perth’s 12 month median price growth is low, the rental yield is still reasonably strong at 4.3%.
  6. Brisbane’s rental yield is a full 1% p.a. higher than Sydney whilst the median house price is 39.4% lower.

As always , if you are interested in buying an investment property, please contact me Kim Wight, Mortgage Broker Sydney . It is more important than ever that mortgage advice is the first step in the process. 

 

 

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Changes to Investment Lending You Need to Know About.

The federal regulator is currently implementing major and unprecedented changes to the Australian mortgage industry. This means there are changes to investment lending you need to know about.

Given governmental concerns over the booming property market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, a range of rules are being introduced that specifically target investment loans

APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) is the department that is implementing these changes.

APRA has mandated that Financial Institutions must not grow their Investment Loan portfolio by more than 10% this year. This change seems harmless but current demand is running much higher than 10%.

Many of our banks and other financial institutions are already very close to, or over, this 10% growth limit.

Some lenders have recently reached and exceeded this 10% threshold and one lender in particular has just announced that they will not be able to offer investment loans until they get back under the threshold.

 How does this impact you?

If you have an owner occupied home loan that is set up with principle reducing repayments, you will not be impacted by these current changes.  You may even benefit as banks try to attract more owner occupied loans, with greater competition potentially leading to reduced interest rates.

However, if you have an existing variable rate investment loan, you may receive notification from your lender that your interest rate has increased.

If you have a variable home loan or investment loan with “interest only” repayments, you may also receive notification from your lender that your rate has increased.

Exactly why some lenders are lifting rates for existing clients is hard to confirm, however, the major lenders have been asked to set aside approximately 50% more capital by the end of this financial year. This new policy is going to make our financial institutions significantly stronger but it will increase their costs. The cost of this additional capital will be passed on to borrowers. This current rate hike may be the first step in this process.

 What should you do?

Seek advice. That is what I am here for.

The mortgage market has just become far more complex. We are currently attending multiple training sessions with our 30+ lenders and Smartline’s Lending Services team are working overtime to systemise the multitude of changes.

Every mortgage holding client has a unique set of circumstances that may require a unique strategy.

If you are looking to buy an investment property, contact me early.  While many lenders are getting more restrictive on investment loans, there are others who are well below the APRA cap and are stepping up to plug the gap in the market.

Please give me a call , Kim Wight , Mortgage Broker Sydney, if  you want to discuss any of the above in relation to your current loans or future plans.

 

Posted in: Blog, First Home Buyers, Latest Mortgage News, Mortgage Broker Sydney

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RBA Decision – The Need to Plan

Since Tuesday’s RBA decision to keep rates on hold, we have heard that the Australian economy has grown quite strongly over the first quarter of 2015.

Strong economic growth, if sustained, could lead to an increase in rates. However, the ASX futures market, armed with these positive economic growth numbers, are still predicting stable interest rates for a while to come (see below).

What I  find disappointing is the almost universal belief (in the media) that borrowers will be in deep trouble if interest rates begin to rise.

I have a contrary view. Although there will always be individual circumstances where people unfortunately find themselves in mortgage stress, the majority of borrowers are prepared to handle a modest increase in interest rates. This view is based on two key points:

  1. When banks assess a clients ability to repay a loan they use a “test” interest rate that is almost always above 7.00% p.a..

This means that most variable rates would have to increase by around 2.50% before clients could potentially struggle. In fact some lenders assess repayment capacity at 8.00% p.a., which is nearly double the current interest rate.

  1. The average monthly variable interest rate over the last 10 years is approximately 6.71% p.a. (see below). So the “test” rate is approximately 0.30% p.a. above the long term variable interest rate.
Interest rates

RTBA Decision

As you can see, our banks have and are adopting quite conservative lending practices. Australian banks are arguably some of the most prudent financial institutions in the world. This conservative lending approach underpins the current price growth that we are seeing in some of our Capital cities. Far from contributing to house price growth, we feel that current lending policy is keeping a lid on the market.

As always  if you would like any advice around your mortgage, please do not hesitate to give me a call, Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney. 

 

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