Posts Tagged where to buy a property

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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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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What to Expect In The 2016 Property Market

Whilst it is a little early in the year to predict what to expect in the 2016 property market   I do have some interesting information that could shape your view.

Current residential property sale volumes are well above the doldrum years between 2004 and 2012, however, it is worth pointing out that our last boom (between 1998 and 2003) saw monthly volumes near the current 19,444 mark. Given our population has grown by almost 1,000,000 people since 2004, one could conclude that current volumes might be the new normal.

What to expect in the 2016 property market

Whilst the NSW unemployment rate remains relatively low and our interest rates continue to sit at levels near 4.00% p.a., it is difficult to see a significant decline in demand for property. As you can see from the chart below, variable interest rates are actually predicted to fall by around April this year.

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In terms of Smartline’s recent experience in the NSW market, our 90 mortgage brokers, as a group, saw a 20% increase in December loan submissions compared to 2014. Many of these submissions were seeking pre-approved finance, which indicates a reasonable increase in buyer demand.

As always, should you need any advice, please give me a call, Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney , I am here to help.

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Pain & Gain Report

The CoreLogic quarterly “Pain & Gain Report” does not get the attention it should.

This report shows us what percentage of residential dwellings sell at a loss or a profit. As you can see for this terrific table below, only 1.8% of Sydney units sold at a loss throughout the June quarter. An amazing success rate.

There are two clear messages in this data.

1. Capital city dwellings are far less likely to sell at a loss.
2. Houses are generally more likely to sell for a profit than units.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to these two messages but at this point in time the results are striking.

Please download this full report. It is well worth the read. Get your free report now.

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“Pain & Gain Report”

 

Please give me a call Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney if you are looking to buy or sell a property. I can provide a free second opinion and plenty of independent property information (including valuations).

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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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Are property vendors experiencing PAIN?

“Core Logic – RP Data” publish a terrific quarterly report (Pain and Gain) that almost every property owner should take heart from.

This report shows the percentage of people that made a profit (or loss) from their actual property sales.

As you can see below, 32.3% of vendors doubled their money but 8.6% of people lost money.

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The above graphic represents the entire nation but the full report digs down to more localised data.

The table below demonstrates the performance of “capital cities” vs “the rest of a state or territory”. In every State the risk of loss was greater in regional areas compared to their respective capital cities.

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Are property vendors experiencing Pain

Sydney is in a purple patch with only 2.4% of people experiencing vendor pain and almost 60% of people making more than 50% on their initial purchase price.

The full report digs down even further by looking at council areas and major regional groupings. Well worth a read.

If you would like a free copy of this report please contact me Kim Wight Mortgage  Broker Sydney.

 

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NSW Property Versus Queensland Property

We first started looking at interstate migration levels (between QLD and NSW) about 9 years ago because they demonstrated a very important house price relationship.

At that point in time, NSW was losing about 30,000 people (net) to QLD every year. The reasons for this exodus centred around house prices and jobs. The QLD economy was booming and housing was relatively cheap. The NSW economy was a basket case and Sydney’s house prices were almost 40% more expensive than Brisbane.

At the end of the QLD house price boom (around 2010), the gap between Sydney house prices and Brisbane house prices was only around 15%. There was no longer a compelling reason to move north for most Sydney siders.

Now we have a very interesting situation. Sydney’s median house price is again 39% higher than Brisbane. However, the unemployment rate in NSW is 6.3% vs 6.7% in QLD. The sluggish QLD economy is holding the “would be” NSW migrants at bay.

As you can see below, the NSW net interstate migration level is at its lowest for 30 years (-6,305). The pressure cooker valve is blocked and this is undoubtedly having some impact on the NSW median house price as supply is dominated by demand.

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On the other hand, if the QLD economy picks up, and jobs are created, the mass NSW exodus could be on again. As you can see, QLD interstate migration is very subdued.

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We are convinced that the great Australian dream of owning our own home is just as strong as ever. Those affordable QLD homes are certainly a tempting carrot. Our tip is to watch the QLD unemployment rate. If jobs are created, NSW people will fill them.

If you are looking to invest in property call me Kim Wight Mortgage Broker Sydney and let me  help you into your next property.

 

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