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Winter is here and we can expect our property markets to slow down considerably over the next few months. However, May was a much busier month than expected in many property markets. As a result, home value declines have slowed down, with Melbourne and Sydney showing the smallest month-on-month falls in over a year.

Interest rate news
At its June meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to make a long-awaited cut to the official cash rate, reducing it to 1.25% – the lowest in Australian history. This was the first rate move the RBA has made since August 2016 and it was widely predicted by economists and market analysts. At least one, but possibly two, further cuts to the official cash rate are expected before the end of the year, which would be great news for homeowners and those looking to get a leg up the property ladder while homes are more affordable.

During May, many banks reduced interest rates in anticipation of today’s RBA move. Additionally, the cost of funding has fallen considerably for lenders in the past few months, which has made them more generous about reducing home loan interest rates for both homeowners and new borrowers. There are some very competitive rates available now, particularly on fixed rate loans, so call us if you’d like us to check your interest rate.

Home value movements
During May, falls in home values slowed considerably compared to recent months. Tim Lawless, Head of Research at CoreLogic, predicts that the softening in home values is likely to continue at this reduced rate until the end of 2019.

However, a renewal of confidence in the property market following the Federal Election seems likely, now that Labour’s plans to change negative gearing and capital gains tax for property investors are no longer on the table. The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA), has also relaxed its policies on loan serviceability assessments and interest-only lending, which should help to make borrowing easier for property investors and those who may have found it harder to qualify for a home loan over the past year.

Property market activity
After the Federal Election, Autumn property market activity increased considerably, with a larger number of homes sold via private sales in both Melbourne and Sydney than usual. The table below shows property market activity as at June 2, 2019.

If you’re in the market for a bargain, see us about a pre-approval!
Even though winter has arrived, there are still many homes up for sale and it may be a great opportunity for you to negotiate the price on the home you want. It pays to enter negotiations armed with a pre-approval on your home loan, so if you’re in the market to buy a home please call us today to find out more. It’s also the busy time of year for car sales and business equipment purchases, so just let us know if you need help with finance and we’ll help you get it organised quickly before the end of the financial year.

Mike & the Element Finance Team

Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing or just moving to a home in a new location, no doubt things have changed since buying your last home. This article explains the finance options available when you’re moving on to your next home. We also highlight a few other key considerations to think about.

How do you get from one home to the next?

The ideal way to do it, financially speaking, is to sell your existing home first. That way you’ll know exactly how much money you can spend on your next home and how much you’ll need to borrow. Moving on to your next home this way will also put you in a good position with potential lenders for your next home loan.

But life isn’t always that straightforward. If you can’t sell your existing home first for some reason, you might want to consider a loan product known as a ‘bridging loan’, which gives you access to funds to buy your new home before you’ve sold your current one.

What is a bridging loan?

There are generally two types of bridging loans: closed bridging loans and open bridging loans. Closed bridging loansare available to borrowers who have already locked in the sale of their existing property and know when it will settle. These are usually short-term arrangements. Open bridging loans are used when the existing property has not yet been sold and these can be arranged for up to 6 months.

How do bridging loans work?

A bridging loan requires the lender to work out the size of the total loan by adding the value of your new home to your existing mortgage, then subtracting the likely sale price of your existing home. This requires a valuation by the bank which will cost approximately $200 for each property.

Typically, you pay interest-only on the entire loan amount until the first property is sold and the principal is repaid in full. Bridging loans are sometimes structured so you only make principal and interest repayments on the loan until settlement, capitalising the interest due on the rest of the loan. Either way, once you have sold your existing property, the loan reverts to an ordinary home loan.

The pros of bridging loans

  • You won’t miss out on your ideal property.
  • If you want to build your next home, you can stay in your existing property until the new one is completed.
  • You won’t have to worry about matching up settlement and move-in dates.
  • You may achieve a better price for your existing property without the pressure of having to sell immediately, particularly in the current selling environment.
  • You can avoid the costs of renting while you’re between homes and paying the movers twice.

The cons of bridging finance

  • During the bridging period, you’ll have two loans that are accruing interest.
  • Both properties will have to be valued by the lender – which could be costly.
  • The longer it takes to sell your existing home, the more interest you’ll pay, as the interest is compounded monthly.
  • If you don’t sell your current home within the bridging period, you could be required to pay a higher interest rate to continue. .
  • You’ll need at least 20% of the total value of both properties (either in cash or equity in your existing property) to qualify for a bridging loan.

Alternative finance options

If a bridging loan isn’t right for you, there may be other options available to get you over the line with your next property purchase – so talk with us first. For example, if you have enough equity in your existing home, you may be eligible to use a line of credit.

Other considerations

Do you really need to sell your existing home? With many of our property markets experiencing a ‘correction’ at present, it could be a good idea to keep your current property as an investment and sell it on when the market recovers. Talk to us about your financial circumstances and we’ll see if you have the borrowing power to make it happen.

The ideal way to find out which loan you need and what you can afford to do with your existing home is to talk to us first. We offer tailored finance solutions, based on your individual circumstances. So, if you’re thinking about moving on to your next home, please get in touch with us today!

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