As the new financial year kicks off, it’s a great time to start afresh. That could mean buying your first home, investing in property, or even refinancing your loan to a more suitable option. With the cash rate on hold and interest rates remaining low, now could be a good time to consider purchasing property.

Interest Rate News

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent, where it has been since August 2016. However, there has been plenty of movement on interest rates of late from the lenders. Last month, the big four banks announced increases in rates on interest-only loans, in response to the Australian Prudential Regulator Authority’s crackdown on interest-only borrowing earlier this year. At the same time, the big four banks announced cuts to interest rates for owner-occupiers on principal and interest loans. With so many changes happening, it’s a good idea to get in touch to review your mortgage and future plans. We’ll compare the market and make sure your loan meets your financial needs and goals.

Property Market News

Home values were back on the rise in Melbourne and Sydney last month, after the seasonally weaker month of May. In Sydney, home values increased by 2.21%, while Melbourne saw increases of 2.71%. Home values also increased in Perth (1.38%), Canberra (2.58%) and Hobart (2.77%). Darwin saw the biggest drop in home values, at -2.18%, while in Adelaide they fell -1.72%. Brisbane also saw a decrease of -0.46%.

The pace of home value growth eased over the second quarter of 2017. The quarterly data shows softer conditions in Sydney, with values gaining 0.8%, compared to 5% in the three months prior to March. Melbourne’s home values increased by 1.5% in the June quarter, slower than the 4.2% gain in the March quarter. Darwin (-5.2%), Hobart (-1.3%) Canberra (-0.4%) and Adelaide (-0.2%) saw values fall during the June quarter. In Brisbane, growth was modest at 0.5%, while Perth was up 0.1%.

Auction clearance rates remain relatively strong in the ACT, Sydney and Melbourne. For the week ending July 2, the ACT had a clearance rate of 76% for 36 scheduled auctions, while Victoria had a 72% clearance rate for 930 scheduled auctions. New South Wales saw a slowdown of auction clearance rates in June, but things appeared to be picking up last week. Of the 961 properties that went to auction in New South Wales, 71% were sold in the week ending July 2. In the Northern Territory, there was a 60% clearance rate for 13 scheduled auctions, while Tasmania only had 9 auctions and achieved a 60% clearance rate. South Australia held 89 auctions with a clearance rate of 59%. Western Australia had a 46% clearance rate on 47 scheduled auctions, while Queensland experienced a 45% clearance rate on 298 scheduled auctions.

The new financial year is providing an optimistic outlook, with interest rates likely to remain low for some time. It’s a fabulous time to talk to us about buying your dream home or an investment property. We would love to help you find a competitive home loan that meets your needs and goals, so please get in touch today!Welcome to our July Newsletter

If you’re struggling to manage your debts, or just want to save money on interest on your debts, we can help!

There are a range of solutions available to you that are worth exploring. In this article, we explain why consolidating your debts by refinancing your home may or may not be a good option for you financially, and explain what else you could do to manage your debts. Whatever you decide is best for your financial future, remember we are here to help!

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation involves combining all of your existing debts into one. Usually you take this measure to reduce interest, or simply make your debts easier to manage by spreading your repayments out over a longer period of time.

You may consolidate by taking out a new personal loan to repay your debts, or by refinancing your home loan. This is where you essentially refinance your mortgage so you can get some cash to pay-out your debts. As your mortgage broker, we can access both home and personal loans with competitive rates, so we can help you with either of these options.

How debt consolidation could help you

The key benefit of debt consolidation is that it may help to reduce the amount of interest you pay. The benefit of refinancing your home loan to consolidate debt is that home loan interest rates are generally lower than the interest on other forms of credit, especially unsecured credit like credit cards and personal loans.

Refinancing your home loan means all your debt repayments will be covered by the one mortgage repayment. If you pay extra on your new, refinanced home loan after consolidating your debts, you’ll pay off your debts sooner and save money on interest compared to the interest you might have paid – say on a credit card.

Plus, if you have multiple types of debt with different interest rates and repayment deadlines, trying to manage your cash flow can be as much fun as pulling your own teeth! But consolidating your debt means you’ll only have to remember to make one repayment.

When debt consolidation may not be right for you

For some people, consolidating is a great idea, as it can potentially reduce the fees and interest you pay, but for others, it may not be the right step forward. If your financial circumstances have generally changed for the worse, you may find it difficult to get approval to refinance your home loan from a lender, or get a personal loan at a good rate.

Depending how long it takes to pay off your debt, you could also end up paying more in interest and fees in the long-run compared to if you had just paid it off quicker at the higher rate. Talk to us and we’ll help you crunch the numbers and decide if consolidating your debts is right for you.

Call us now!

Before you decide to consolidate your debt, it’s extremely important to seek advice from professional mortgage brokers like us. We’ll crunch the numbers and let you know if consolidation makes financial sense for you. You can rest assured we’ll be completely transparent about the interest rates, fees and charges you may be up for if you do refinance your home loan, or get a personal loan to consolidate your debt.Should You Consolidate Your Debts By Refinancing Your Home?

There’s something thrilling about building your very own, brand spanking new home!

Perhaps it’s the knowledge that everything will be fresh and new, or the freedom that comes with being able to design the property to suit your own tastes and lifestyle needs. Always dreamed of having a lap pool? Why not! Like the idea of a home studio? Let’s make it happen!

When building your own home, there’s a new chapter to begin, new adventures to be had and new memories to make. So, whether you’re planning on doing the building yourself, or you’re purchasing off-the-plan, talk with us now about securing the right finance!

Building your own home

When you build a new home, the right loan could potentially help you save a lot of money on interest. For example, a construction loan allows you to borrow in stages, while your home is being built. Rather than providing the full loan amount at once, the lender breaks the loan down into “progress draws”, and pays these to the builder in stages throughout the construction process. This arrangement means you only have to pay interest on the loan amount you have actually used.

Your lender will usually require council-approved plans and a fixed-price building contract before they will approve a construction loan. The lender’s valuation expert will use these to help estimate the on-completion value of the property, and the lender will then assess the final loan application on whatever is less – the land price and cost of construction, or the on-completion value.

The advantages of construction loans

With construction loans, you only pay interest on what you’ve actually drawn down, not the maximum loan amount you’ve signed up for. What’s more, loan repayments are usually interest-only during construction.

As each phase of construction is completed, the lender’s valuation expert usually inspects the building progress on behalf of the lender and then authorises the next draw down on your loan to pay to the builder. Then at the end of the construction process, you can choose the type of loan you’d like to use moving forward – this could be a fixed rate loan, a variable rate loan, or another type of loan, depending on your circumstances and objectives. (So do talk to us about your options before you decide.)

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a construction loan is the way your builder is paid. Construction loans help to give you a level of protection, because cash is not paid to the builder until the work is completed and inspected at each stage. This can often help to prevent construction falling behind schedule, or potentially aid in early detection if there are any issues with the build or the quality of work.

Some lenders charge a slightly higher interest rate for construction loans, so it pays to ask us to shop around amongst lenders. Talk to us and we’ll ensure you have the right kind of construction loan for your particular needs and are fully aware of exactly how much it will cost. If necessary, we may advise you to use another loan alternative, like setting up a line of credit facility, for example.

Buying off-the-plan

Buying off-the-plan is a term used to describe buying a home from a developer before it has been built. If you’re buying property off-the-plan, you’ll only have to pay the deposit up front. However, organising your finances may not be quite as straight forward as with purchasing an established home, as there is usually a considerable period of time between paying your deposit and final loan settlement. You will also need to get advice from a solicitor regarding the details in the contract for your off-the-plan home purchase, to make sure you and the developer are on the same page regarding what the price includes before you sign the contract.

As your mortgage broker, we are here to explain the process of buying off-the-plan, help you line up your professional team, and help you find the most suitable loan for your needs and objectives. We can also help you arrange your deposit, whether it’s in the form of a bank guarantee, deposit bond or cash, and oversee the payment process for you. It’s also very important to organise conditional loan approval (finance in principle) with your chosen lender before construction of your off-the-plan property begins, so do give us a call before you sign on the dotted line.

Talk with us about finance before you get started!

There are many important things to consider when buying off-the-plan, or building your own home. For example, once the property is built, most lenders will require a valuation on the finished product before approving your final loan and proceeding to settlement. If a problem arises, such as the value of the completed home is less than you anticipated, construction is delayed, or the build costs more than you expected, having a finance professional on your team could make all the difference to the outcome.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you may also be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) when building your own home or buying off-the-plan. You may qualify for stamp duty concessions or exemptions in some circumstances, even if it’s not your first home. Speak to us and we’ll help you check what concessions you may be eligible to receive.

It pays to get professional advice about your finances when building your own home, and planning ahead is the key to success. Construction loans can be complicated and the timing can be tight with off-the-plan mortgages, which is why it’s a good idea to call us for help. We’re here to give you support throughout the process and help you secure a suitable finance solution for your needs and goals, so if you’re ready to stop dreaming and make building your own home a reality, please call us today.Building a new home? How to finance it

You know when you decide to go on holidays and you start researching all of the fun things you’re in store for?

The excitement begins to consume you. You may find yourself sneakily looking up extreme adventure activities when you’re meant to be working, Googling accommodation options on your commute home or browsing Instagram travel photos at midnight. Well, buying property requires that same level of enthusiasm and commitment towards research – after all, it is an adventure you’ll never forget. And guess what – the eventual purchase will feel even better than the holiday. In this article, we’ve put together your essential property research checklist so you have the perfect home adventure!

Research your borrowing power

For this first point, you don’t actually have to do too much. All that’s required of you is to pick up the phone and chat with us! As your mortgage broker, we’ll determine your borrowing power and give you a clear understanding of how much you can realistically afford to spend. We’ll ask you about your income, expenses and get to know you financially, so we can give you an accurate indication of your borrowing power and ensure you’re looking in the right price range from the very start.

Research the suburb

Now that you’ve got an idea of how much you can borrow, it’s time to start researching where to buy. Whether you’re a homebuyer or an investor, the aim is to purchase in a suburb with solid capital growth potential, and to buy at the early stages of an upturn, not at the peak of a growth cycle.

There are plenty of great online resources to access market reports on specific areas. These contain details about everything from median prices and growth rates to rental yields and demographic trends. RP Data CoreLogic, realestate.com.au, Residex and domain.com.au are just a few examples, and you can also ask us for a property report.

It’s a good idea to consider the average rental yield of the area and of a particular property. The rental yield is the rental income expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. If there is strong demand in an area, the rental yields may be higher, but if there is a high vacancy rate, the rental yields may stagnate or decline.

Research the property

During inspections, you should go through the property with a fine-toothed comb. Inside the property, check the ceilings for water stains and the cornices for waviness, which may indicate water leaks in the roof. If the property is carpeted and you want to pull it up, find out whether there’s cement or floorboards underneath. As you stroll through the property, be mindful about the evenness of the floor. Before you buy, it’s always a good idea to get building and pest inspections. The peace of mind of knowing your property won’t collapse or be eaten up by termites is worth the fees.

Outside, look at the condition of the gutters, check for cracks in the brickwork and for mildew in the eaves, which may indicate issues with run-off. Keep an eye out for cracks in the driveway, which may mean there’s a lot of ground movement on the property.

Research the price

The best way to research the price you may end up paying is to compare other recent sales prices for similar properties in the same location. You can find recent sales via websites like realestate.com.au. Make sure the land size is similar and the condition of the property is comparable. Regularly attending inspections will also help you to formulate a clearer picture of the going rate for similar properties. Lastly, it’s important to research additional ongoing costs such as the council rates, strata fees, and water costs. Most of these outgoings should be included in the contract of sale.

Research the professionals you’ll need

During the buying process, you’ll need professional support you can depend on, including us as your mortgage broker, a solicitor, and building and pest inspectors. When researching who to use, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family for recommendations. Also, check each service provider’s online reviews. And if you do need a referral to a professional we can vouch for, please don’t hesitate to ask!

We can’t stress enough the importance of doing plenty of research before buying property, but we guarantee the effort will be well worth it in the long-run. You may even find it becomes as addictive as planning a holiday! And remember, we are here to help you with everything from calculating your borrowing capacity, to organising pre-approval and finding you a home loan that works. Please get in touch.Property Research Checklist

What a whirlwind month it’s been in the property world! The Federal Budget provided some exciting new opportunities for first-home buyers and downsizers.

Housing market conditions cooled slightly last month, while auction activity remained strong in Melbourne and Sydney, but quieter elsewhere. The good news is that there may be some fantastic bargains around the corner for buyers if dwelling values continue to drop!

Interest Rate News

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent. Interest rates have been edging higher in recent months, particularly for investors, but there are still some very competitive deals available! The introduction of the new bank levy from July 1 could cause interest rates to rise further, so speak to us and we’ll explain your interest rate options and whether it might be a good idea to lock in a fixed rate.

Federal Budget News

Last month’s Federal Budget introduced new measures to make it easier for first-home buyers to save a deposit, by allowing them to salary-sacrifice up to $30,000 into super and benefit from a reduced tax rate of 15 per cent. If you are a first-home buyer, talk to us about other changes that could affect you, such as NSW’s recent changes to stamp duty.

The government is tightening some of the rules relating to negative gearing claims. From July 1, all travel deductions to inspect, maintain or collect rent for an investment property will be disallowed. Plant and equipment depreciation deductions will be limited to outlays actually incurred by investors. The government introduced measures to increase housing supply, such as releasing Commonwealth land for housing development. New financial incentives were also announced to encourage over 65s to downsize, with the government making it easier for them to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale of their family home into super. If you’d like to know more about property-related announcements in the Federal Budget, please give us a call!

Property Market News

Dwelling values fell by -1.1% across the combined capital cities in May. The biggest drops were in Hobart (-4.8%) and Darwin (-3.5%), while Melbourne and Sydney also saw prices fall by -1.7% and -1.3% respectively. Perth’s housing values fell by -0.4% and Canberra’s dropped -0.1%. In contrast, Brisbane’s prices increased by 0.3%, while Adelaide’s rose by 0.8%. While there has been speculation we could be starting to see a property market correction, it’s important to note that May is seasonally weaker than other months – values have fallen during May in four of the past five years.

Auction activity remains strong in Sydney and Melbourne, but softer elsewhere. For the week ending June 4, there were 1145 scheduled auctions in New South Wales (76% clearance rate), while Victoria cleared 75% of the stock at the 1269 auctions. The ACT had 78 scheduled auctions and cleared 72% of the stock, while in South Australia there were 114 scheduled auctions (61% clearance rate). Things were quieter in Western Australia (34 scheduled auctions with a clearance rate of 47%), Queensland (43% clearance rate on 306 scheduled auctions) and the Northern Territory (33% clearance rate on 8 auctions). In Tassie, none of the 4 scheduled auctions resulted in a sale.

With so many changes happening in the property market, it’s important to seek expert advice about your home loan. We are on top of all the latest developments and can find the right home loan to suit your current and future financial needs. Please call us today!Welcome to our June Newsletter


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