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Welcome to our April Newsletter
As we head into the Easter long weekend, activity in the national housing market continues to ramp up. Home prices in Australia’s biggest cities have jumped 3.7 per cent since the start of the year and Melbourne and Sydney continue to lead the way, with strong property price growth and high auction clearance rates. 

Last month saw notable growth in home values in Darwin and Hobart, and while we continue to see a two-speed market across the country, there are some great investment opportunities out there.

Interest Rate News

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to keep the official cash rate on hold again at 1.5 per cent. The decision follows an announcement by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Friday 31 March that financial institutions restrict new interest-only property lending to 30 per cent of their total residential mortgage lending, in a bid to manage heightened risks in the property market.

Many lenders adjusted rates outside of RBA movements this month and raised rates on both owner-occupier and investment loans. They increased rates on both variable and fixed-rate products. That makes it more important than ever to stay on top of your home loan interest rate. Check in with us and we’ll compare hundreds of different home loan products to find the right one for you.

Property Market News

Bidders are continuing to snap up properties at auction, with high clearance rates last week in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the ACT. For the week ending April 2, Victoria had 1231 auctions, with a clearance rate of 80 per cent, while NSW held 1284 auctions, with a clearance rate of 78 per cent. South Australia and the ACT both had clearance rates of 76 per cent, while things were quieter on the auction front elsewhere.

In March, home values increased in all capital cities, with the biggest percentage changes month-on-month in Darwin (3.07%) and Hobart (3.06%). Darwin’s year-on-year home values dropped 4.41%, while Hobart’s increased 10.24%. Melbourne home values increased 1.92% month-on-month and 15.93% annually, while Sydney’s home values were up 1.41% month-on-month, and a massive 18.88% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the proportion of total housing finance commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers is at an historic low. Talk to us to see how you can take advantage of recent improvements to the First Home Buyer Grant to get into the market sooner.

With interest rates remaining low, now is a great time to buy your first home, invest or consider refinancing. We’ll find you the right home loan to suit your personal needs and goals, potentially saving you thousands in the long-run. Call us today!

Sources: CoreLogic Research, www.rba.gov.au, www.realestate.com.au, http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/

Things to consider when choosing an apartment for investment

Why it pays to refinance an unhealthy home loan

The First Home Owner Grant explained

Things to consider when choosing an apartment for investment
As Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw could tell you, there are many perks to apartment living, which can make them a fantastic investment option.

They offer people the ability to live close to work and exciting entertainment hubs, where many a social drink can be had within walking distance of home. After all, who wants to live out in the burbs when you can be in the heart of the action?

Indeed, apartments can offer attractive rental yields and an entry point into the market in locations that might otherwise be unaffordable for investors. Last May, CoreLogic anticipated there would be 231,129 new units set for completion across the combined capital cities by April 2018. And with such a large supply of apartments, price drops seem likely, so you may very well be able afford your own version of Carrie and Big’s “heaven on 5th”. Here are some tips for choosing the right investment apartment, and when you do, we would love to help you find the right loan!

Location, location, location!

Location is king when choosing an investment apartment. Proximity to amenities such as public transport, healthcare, recreational facilities, childcare and schools will impact on the rental appeal of your investment and the rent you can get away with charging tenants. Apartments and units with great tenant appeal also tend to experience more reliable capital growth, so choosing the right apartment can help you profit both ways.

Do your homework

Knowledge is power! We recommend you thoroughly research an area before buying. Consider supply and demand for apartment living in the area and find out what are other apartments are renting and selling for. That way, you’ll have a sound understanding of what a given property is worth and the potential rental yield.

Consider your future tenants

Think about who your future tenants might be and what they are looking for in a home. Will they be like Carrie, and require a massive built-in wardrobe to house their Imelda Marcos-style shoe collection? Perhaps features like a parking spot in the CBD may be in particularly high demand. If you can anticipate your tenants’ needs, your apartment is more likely to be highly sought after.

Consider the ongoing fees

As Samantha would say, sky-high strata fees are “painful and unnecessary”. Before buying, calculate your net rental yield to estimate your likely return, factoring in the strata fees, interest repayments, insurance, taxes, rates and water charges. Lastly, before you sign on the dotted line, don’t forget to organise a strata inspection report, which will raise any red flags about the accounts and records of the property.

When you do find an investment apartment that ticks all your boxes, we can help you find you a home loan that fits like a glove. As your mortgage broker, we’ll help you get a competitive rate from one of Australia’s leading lenders and structure your investment property loan so that you get the most out of it – now and in the future. Happy apartment hunting!

Source: https://www.corelogic.com.au/

Welcome to our April Newsletter

Why it pays to refinance an unhealthy home loan

The First Home Owner Grant explained

Why it pays to refinance an unhealthy home loan
Today’s mortgage market is extremely competitive. With so many new deals and loan features constantly becoming available, it makes sense financially to regularly give your home loan a health check. That way, you’ll be confident your mortgage is satisfying your needs and living up to expectations.

If you do suspect your home loan is in bad shape, don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ll perform a home loan check-up for you and find you a healthy alternative if necessary. Here’s why refinancing every 2 to 4 years may be just what the doctor ordered.

Circumstances change

Over time, your financial situation may change and a mortgage that was a healthy choice several years ago, may be ailing today. It might lack the features and flexibility you need, or you may be paying for features you’re not using. Perhaps you’d like to access the equity in your property to renovate or invest, or could benefit from refinancing to consolidate multiple debts into your home loan to save on interest. You may have changed jobs and have more or less disposable income. Refinancing at least every 2 to 4 years gives you the peace of mind of knowing your finances are on track and your home loan marries with your current financial circumstances and goals. Allow us to remedy this situation by prescribing a tailored home loan that works for you in the long-run!

New opportunities

The finance and mortgage industry is constantly evolving, with new deals, packages and home loan features continually becoming available. By shopping around every 2 to 4 years, you may find a more competitive interest rate that cuts your repayments and potentially saves you thousands – money that would otherwise have been lost in an inefficient loan. As your mortgage and finance broker, we’ll take a holistic approach to your home loan needs, and advise you about features such as offset accounts or redraw facilities that could help keep your finances in tip-top shape.

To grow your wealth

It pays to keep a healthy attitude toward your finances. Reviewing your mortgage regularly keeps you focused about where you’re at financially and where you’d like to be. It may open your eyes to new strategies to proactively build your wealth and expand your investment portfolio. Refinancing can also allow you to access the equity in your home to invest, renovate, go on holiday or use as you see fit.

If you suspect it might be time for your current home loan to meet its maker, please get in touch! We’ll give your home loan a thorough check-up – minus the stethoscope – and find you a healthier alternative if necessary. While we are specialists at what we do, there are no hefty consultation fees involved – your home loan health check is a free service. Call us, your helpful “mortgage medics”!

Welcome to our April Newsletter

Things to consider when choosing an apartment for investment

The First Home Owner Grant explained

The First Home Owner Grant explained
You’re almost there! You’ve spent years budgeting to buy your own home and now you just need that final cash injection to break into the property market.

Pop quiz time, hands on your buzzers, first-timers. Do you: 1) Continue living off two-minute noodles for another five years and hoard your pennies? 2) Cash-in your grandpa’s beloved stamp collection? Or 3) Ask your mortgage and finance broker about this mystery thing they call the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)? That’s right, Option 3 is the winning answer and the good news we have for you is that the First Home Owner Grant has recently increased in many states of Australia!

What is the first home owner grant (FHOG)?

The FHOG is a national initiative designed to help young go-getters like yourself to swing a leg onto the property ladder. You can use the one-off grant as part of your deposit, or put it towards other purchasing costs. There are some major provisos: it must be used to buy or construct a brand new home that has not been previously occupied or sold, and it must be used as your place of residence. In some instances, substantially renovated properties that have undergone major structural changes may qualify.

Who is eligible?

Naturally, the Australian Government isn’t going to give away money to everyone who asks for it. The eligibility conditions for the FHOG are quite strict.

To be eligible for the FHOG, you or your spouse must:

  • Intend to live in the home as your principal place of residence (PPR) for six to 12 continuous months, depending on the state or territory, within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

You don’t qualify if you or your spouse have previously:

  • Received a FHOG in Australia already.
  • Owned a home in Australia, either jointly or separately, prior to July 1, 2000.
  • Occupied, for a continuous period of at least six months, a home in which either of you acquired a relevant interest on or after July 1, 2000, in Australia.
  • Depending on the state or territory in which you purchase your home, other conditions may apply. So please talk to us if you’re unsure if you’re eligible for the FHOG.

Could there be more good news?

Yes! The FHOG is currently under review, so it’s worth visiting your state’s office of revenue website from time to time to see what’s on offer. You may even want to consider moving interstate. How much you can get or save as a first home buyer, often depends on where you want to live.

It’s definitely worth checking out, because you may find you’re eligible for other big savings, like on stamp duty fees in some states. For example, from July 1, the Victorian Government is going to be scrapping stamp duty for first homebuyers for properties up to $600,000, with further discounts for new or existing homes between $600,000 and $750,000. Stamp duty is usually one of the biggest expenses if you’re buying a home, so this may make all the difference to your ability to climb onto the property ladder sooner rather than later.

What’s available around the nation?

The winner of the "most generous" award goes to the Northern Territory. Those wonderful peeps who call the Red Centre home are offering $26,000 to eligible first-home buyers, regardless of the value of the property. In Queensland, first home buyers can receive $20,000 until June 30 (then its $15,000) for properties valued up to $750,000. If you can live with the weather, Tasmania may be the place to buy, with no value cap and a $20,000 FHOG until June 30, when it reverts to $10,000.

In South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA), the FHOG is $15,000. In SA, the value cap is $575,000, while in WA, it depends on geographic location (for Perth, its $750,000). Victoria and NSW offer a $10,000 FHOG for new homes valued up to $750,000, but from July 1 the FHOG will double to $20,000 for new homes built in regional Victoria. Lastly, the ACT offer $7,000 for properties up to $750,000. (Data current March 2017).

We’re here for you.

Talking to a mortgage broker about purchasing your first home is always a great idea. We’re happy to give you the benefit of our knowledge, even if you’re not quite ready to buy. You can ask us to help you create a budget, establish a plan to clear off your credit card and other debts, and save a deposit. When you’re ready, we are here to help you secure a loan and choose a home that you can realistically afford, given your income and personal financial circumstances. Get an expert on your team by calling us today!

Welcome to our April Newsletter

Things to consider when choosing an apartment for investment

Why it pays to refinance an unhealthy home loan