This article was originally published here and although a couple of years old, most information is still valid.

Northern Perth’s Joondalup region is adjusting to the moderating market of the city.

The northern beaches Joondalup region includes Burns Beach, Edgewater, Joondalup, Connolly, Heathridge, Kinross, Currambine, Iluka and Ocean Reef. The suburb of Joondalup itself acts as a hub to Perth’s outer northern suburbs.

The push to establish Joondalup as an urban centre extends back to 1970, with the Corridor Plan for Perth. A number of retail and transport infrastructure initiatives have been implemented around the area in the past 40 years to facilitate urban development and direct activity to Joondalup. Joondalup was highlighted in the West Australian state government’s Directions 2031 strategy as one of two primary centres in the Perth metropolitan area, along with Rockingham.

The area’s CBD has a strong retail focus and has seen considerable residential development in recent years, with a relatively high density of townhouses and apartments. With the presence of Edith Cowan University, a healthy retail and entertainment district, established parks and in close proximity to the beach and Lake Joondalup, the area has attracted demand from the middle class lifestyle market.

The greater region of Joondalup had a median house price of $588,750 in March, while units in the area sold for a median price of $415,000. A two bedroom Joondalup apartment in the block pictured below sold for $408,000 in February.

According to Australian Property Monitors senior economist Andrew Wilson, Joondalup’s appeal to middle income earners has lent the area some resilience against the changes seen in Perth’s market.

“Joondalup is in the middle price range area,” said Wilson.

“There’s a bit of a lifestyle market there. With all the new developments that have been established in that area, we’re seeing middle price bracket, executive type buyers.

“Because of that nature of the market, it tends to be quite resilient. The big picture is that Perth is moderating. The latest data shows that Perth’s market has plateaued.

“We’re seeing quite a significant upward shift in unemployment in Perth, which has moderated lately.”

According to data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, listings in Joondalup and the neighbouring Wanneroo jumped earlier this year, up 28% in the March quarter from December.

Despite Joondalup’s relative strength, its property market must still deal with exposure to Perth’s labour market, said Wilson.

“The Perth labour market has seen some difficulties with absorbing eastern state migration, which saw rents get pushed up quite sharply in some suburbs of Perth. Perth prices rose 10% last year, and with rising unemployment, we’re starting to see some affordability issues.

“And the lifestyle market can certainly be affected by job security and affordability issues. But as the economy does pick up and absorb that unemployment, incomes will grow.”

The slowing mining sector in Western Australia has seen a shift in focus for the region, with the city of Joondalup launching new initiatives to market the region as Perth’s “knowledge capital”. How well the region responds to the state’s shifting economy remains to be seen, but strong infrastructure investment in the area in the past and extending into the future ensures that it will remain a significant urban centre for Perth’s northern corridor.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/Creative Commons.

If you are considering buying an investment property in the Joondalup area, research should be very important to you. We have a lot of home loan and property tools available for our clients looking for their next property purchase. Some of these tools are not available to the general public. Just one small way mortgage brokers beat bank branches for investors 100% of the time.

There is still also some great data readily available to everyone via REIWA and the property websites, like the link below. Keep in touch with Element Finance Joondalup via our Facebook page where we will release some of our private tools soon.

http://www.realestate.com.au/invest/house-in-joondalup,+wa+6027

Some of you may have heard that APRA has cracked down on investment lending, influencing many lending institutions to review their investment lending policies.

But we imagine for the majority of you, it’s a case of “APRA, who?”.

In short, APRA are making some changes to investment loans, and we thought you would like to know if and how these changes impact you. In this article, we take a look at APRA and what they’re doing to keep borrowing conditions stable for you as an investor.

What is APRA?
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the Australian financial services industry. Their role is to regulate the behaviour of lenders, banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance companies, private health insurance agencies, and the superannuation industry.

APRA plays a critical role in protecting you, and the financial well-being of the Australian community, by upholding standards of trade in the financial industry. Their mission is to establish and enforce standards and practices designed to ensure that under all reasonable circumstances, financial promises made by institutions are met and that our financial industry remains stable, efficient and competitive. As a consumer, APRA’s activities ensure that you have a reliable, fair financial industry and you can go about your day to day transactions and investments with confidence.

What are APRA’s new measures regarding property investment lending?
In December 2014, APRA wrote to all deposit-taking institutions (such as banks and other lenders) setting out sound lending standards, particularly for investment lending, that included a benchmark for the 10% maximum growth of residential investment mortgages. This occurred because of concerns over the number of people entering the property investment market and the stability of lending for this market considering current economic conditions.

Their particular focus is on restricting high loan-to-value and high loan-to-income lending, which may be risky for consumers if there should be a rapid or sudden decline in housing values or the property market in general. They also perceive the rapid growth in property investment lending as risky insofar as Australian consumers may be ‘placing all their eggs in one basket’ and they would prefer to encourage investment diversity amongst consumers.

By taking these measures, APRA is looking to make property market conditions safer for you as a consumer. By slowing down investment lending, APRA is also looking to slow down the rapid growth in property prices, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney where property prices are considered to be overheated by many property market analysts.

What does this mean for property investment borrowing?
Many lenders and financial institutions are changing their criteria for property investment lending in order to meet APRA’s requirements. Most major banks have announced that they will be cutting the discounts available on investment loans, which means that interest rates on new investment loans could be slightly higher than interest rates on owner-occupied home loans.

Additionally, most lenders have tightened up their criteria for investment borrowing. Many are focusing on loan-to-value ratios, meaning you may require a larger deposit than previously and may find it more difficult to leverage properties or access equity to invest further if you are already an investor.

Can I still get a property investment loan?
As your professional mortgage broker, your financial well-being has always been our number one concern. One of our primary responsibilities has always been to assess your personal financial situation and goals, and ensure that any loan we offer to you suits you, your financial goals, and your expenses.

Before applying for a loan for you, we always take into consideration whether or not you would be able to service your loan in the event that interest rates should rise and recommend insurance products such as mortgage protection insurance and income protection insurance to mitigate the risk of you not being able to meet your loan repayments if faced with a hardship situation.

Plenty of lenders are still offering property investment loans to borrowers who qualify under their new property investment lending criteria. It is likely that you will still be eligible for a loan and if you are looking to use property investment as a means to build wealth for your future, you should talk to us about your plans and investment goals sooner rather than later.

We’re here to help you work out if property investment is right for you. We have access to a wide variety of lenders and we’ll shop around amongst them to find you the most favourable loan considering your personal financial circumstances and investment goals. Call us today.

For more information on APRA, please visit their website, or speak to us.

With interest rates at historical lows, property investment is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to build wealth to secure your financial future. But how do you find a property in a location that will give you good capital growth and help to ensure the investment is a success? In this article, we take a look at what makes a good investment location – both for residential and commercial properties – and how to find one.

Location, location, location!
Choosing the right location is one of the most important factors in the success of a property investment. The right location can differ according to the kind of property investment you choose – commercial or residential. However, in both cases, the principal is to find a property that will be popular with tenants both now and into the future, as this will support your requirement both for a steady rental income and future capital growth.

What to look for in a commercial property location
With commercial property, you will need to assess the purpose of the property and if the location will be good for that particular business. Retail commercial property should be in a location that provides a steady stream of passing trade and is easy to reach via public transport or car. There should be plenty of car parking available and if possible, the location should already be enjoying good trade. Locations that are busy will create competition amongst potential tenants and this will always be good for capital growth.

For more industrial commercial properties, good road links and parking, ample space and excellent facilities are more important than passing foot traffic. You’ll need to ensure that the purpose or possible uses of the building are acceptable under local council zoning laws so that there is no restrictions on the type of tenants who may use it. Importantly, you’ll want to make sure the property is not too far away from a city or port – particularly if it is a warehouse or manufacturing building.

What to look for in a residential property location
You may think that it will be easier to find a suitable location for a residential property investment, however competition for good locations is on the rise. With residential property, you’ll also need to find a location that provides all the attributes a tenant will be looking for – just like with commercial properties, however their requirements will differ.

Apartment living is rising in popularity, particularly for working people with no families. If you’re choosing an apartment, make sure it has good public transport facilities, is close to amenities such as restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Houses are more popular with families, and for an investment like this facilities such as parks, schools, and easy access to public transport are important. Suburbs that are already popular with tenants because of the quality and easy access to such facilities may be in short supply and therefore expensive, so look at adjoining locations that may be up and coming.

For both apartments and houses, the availability of work nearby for tenants will help to ensure its popularity with tenants and this adds up to capital growth potential. Properties that are a long way from employment may be less expensive and easier to secure, however rental returns may be much lower and the potential for capital growth reduced.

How to find the right location
All property investment requires careful research to find the best locations with optimal capital growth potential. Most people start with online research and by making contacts within reliable real estate agencies so they are alerted when investments with potential become available.

The first step is to look for areas where income levels are high and occupancy rates are good. Real estate agents and reputable buyer’s agents are a reliable source of this information, but it’s also a good idea to subscribe to a property market data service that will give you the information you need at your fingertips. (We can put you in touch with a reliable service, so just ask us.)

Try to avoid areas where future oversupply of properties may become an issue. This is particularly important when considering investment in an apartment – to avoid mistakes, check with the local council to find out how many developments are in the pipeline for the area as this may have a significant effect on values.

Houses appeal more to families and may carry better capital growth potential. Look for areas where infrastructure development is either good or planned for the near future.

Popular schools always attract competition for houses, so you may want to research which are the best schools in the areas you are considering and look for property nearby. University locations also create a reliable source of tenants and income, and often offer good entry level investment opportunities.

Remember, before you consider any property investment, it’s a good idea to set your budget and get your financing pre-approved. We’re here to help you get on the right track with your property investment plans, so give us a call today.


Copyright 2016