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Great news for homeowners and property buyers this month. Home loan interest rates have fallen again. If you’re in the market for a home or want to invest in property, now is a good time get pre-approval on a competitive home loan.

Interest rate news
At its July meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to cut the official cash rate for the second month in a row, bringing it to just 1% p.a. – a new historical low. Many analysts agree there will likely be at least one more RBA rate cut this year, which would bring the official cash rate to just 0.75% p.a. and some are predicting it may even fall as low as 0.5% p.a.

Most lenders passed on the RBA rate cut to home owners last month, bringing interest rates on many standard variable rate home loans to just 3.6% p.a. or lower.

Home value movements
During June, Melbourne and Sydney both recorded slight home value increases for the first time since 2017 and Hobart also showed an increase. However, national property values dipped by 0.2% on average across the month, and there were sharp falls in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, which could be an indicator that the property market correction is not quite over yet.

It seems likely that the re-entry of property investors to the market was responsible for the rise in home values in our biggest markets, last month. Tim Lawless, a market analyst from CoreLogic, said that “the removal of uncertainty surrounding changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts [following the Federal Election] has boosted confidence.”

Property market activity

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 to negotiate on price. It pays to enter negotiations armed with a pre-approval on your home loan. If you’re in the market give us a call, we’d be happy to help.

Sincerely,
Mike & the Element Finance Team

If you’re looking to rent out or sell your home, identifying the right market for your property and making it appeal to them, will help you to maximise your profits. So how do you go about it? Use these tips for identifying the most profitable target market for your property and ways to spruce it up to increase its appeal.

Find out who wants to live in your area

The first step is to research who is currently living in the area and who may want to move there in future. Is the area popular with families, or does it appeal more to young professionals or retirees?

A simple way to find out is to touch base with a few real estate agents, to see what kind of customers they have looking for property in your area. Real estate agents often have waiting lists of buyers and renters, so it can be useful to get to know them and form a good working relationship with them if you want to buy or rent out property.

Investigate what kind of properties are in high demand

Next, find out which properties are moving fastest in your area. Are they apartments, two or three-bedroom homes, or new developments? Is the demand highest from high or low budget purchasers and renters?

Finding out the kind of customers moving into your area will also fuel ideas about how to make your property more appealing, so you can maximise your sale price or rental return

An easy way to find out is to browse local real estate agent websites to check prices and how long similar properties to yours stay on the market. Again, if you have a good relationship with your local real estate agents, you can simply give them a call and ask them.

Consider making some changes

Once you’ve discovered the kind of buyers or renters who want a property in your area, you can focus on making yours more appealing to them. Renovations can add value to a property in more ways than one!

If you decide to do some renovations, be sure to talk to us about finance before you start. Here are some ideas of the kind of features that may be popular with different demographics. It should be noted that these days, people prefer clean, recently renovated bathrooms and kitchens. Most of the ideas below can be improved or added cost-effectively and can make a big difference to a sale price or rental return.

DemographicFeatures they may desire
FamiliesEasy clean flooringGood cooking facilities/dishwasher

Plenty of storage/laundry space

Child-friendly yard

Secure outdoor facilities for pets

Sizeable garage

Independent young people (under 35)Trendy décorWi-fi and the latest gadgets

Dishwasher

Low-maintenance courtyard or garden

Renovated bathroom/kitchen

Off-street parking

Mature independent (over 35)Energy-efficient featuresEasy clean décor/flooring

Plenty of storage spaces

Pet amenities/garden

Security features

Off-street parking

Elderly couples (downsizers)Entertaining areas for family and friendsSecurity features

Low-maintenance property

Pet amenities

 

Don’t over capitialise!

When renovating, it’s important to budget carefully and spend wisely to ensure you don’t spend too much and you get the outcome you’re looking for.

For example, if you purchase a house for $400,000 and spend $100,000 doing it up, you’ll want to ensure the end value of the property is worth more than $500,000. You’ll also want to ensure the renovations make the property much easier to rent out or sell – for example, there’s no point putting in a swimming pool if renters and buyers in your area are not interested in having one.

Get a professional on your team.

If you need property market data about prices or rental returns, just ask us. We often have great information to share or can point you in the right direction to find what you need to make informed decisions.

Targeting the right market is often the key to maximising your returns and profits. And if you’d like to renovate, we can help you create a budget and explore your finance options. Please get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.

EOFY is fast approaching and the car sales are on. But buyers beware! It’s easy to get so caught up with grabbing a bargain, that you forget to look for a great deal on your car finance. There’s no need to run the risk of being caught out with the wrong finance choice.

We’re here to help you get fast, competitive finance for your car and other lifestyle purchases, as well as your home and property investment loans. But what if you’ve already been caught out? What if you’ve been stuck with a whopping car finance interest rate for quite a while? The good news is that you can refinance an existing car loan, with our support.

Here’s some of the benefits of talking to us about your car finance.

Lower interest rates

This is one of the most popular reasons why people want to refinance a car loan. Interest rates on car finance can vary widely depending on where you get it. For example, car dealership finance is often a one-size-fits-all package and since their activities are not regulated, they can set their rates higher than the rest of the market if they want. Similarly, there are specialist lenders you may not know about, who often offer better car finance deals than those offered by the big banks.

When someone offers you a car loan, it pays to ask us to see if you could be getting a better deal elsewhere – one that’s tailored to your personal financial circumstances and goals. Our service for a market comparison is free and if we think the deal you are being offered is a good one, we’ll tell you to take it.

More manageable repayments

If your car loan repayments are sky-high and you’re struggling to meet them, you may want to consider refinancing. By changing terms from three years to five for example, your regular repayments will reduce and become more manageable. It’s important to know this may mean you pay a bit more interest overall, but that may be better than suffering financial hardship or selling your car.

Access different features

Refinancing has the potential to get you better features on your car loan. For example, you may be interested in a loan with a redraw facility. It lets you make extra repayments to reduce the interest you pay, but still access those funds if needed. Different lenders offer different packages, so ask us to shop around and find one that’s suitable for your needs.

Finance the balloon payment

You can get a car lease or loan that gives you the option to make lower repayments and pay a balloon payment at the end of the loan term. If you need help with that, we can potentially arrange a refinance that lets you pay off the balloon payment, instead of having to come up with a lump sum.

To ensure your loan suits your current situation

Life happens and things may have changed since you originally took out your car loan.  For example, you may have started your own business and you now use your vehicle primarily for business purposes. If that’s the case, we can potentially do a refinance so that you can take advantage of any tax breaks available. We’ll even work with your accountant to help you maximise any tax benefits if necessary.

Why choose us?

You can rely on us to put your interests first. We offer tailored finance solutions for both new and second-hand vehicles and have access to a large panel of lending specialists, including some you may not be able to access through other outlets. We’re also happy to check any car finance you’ve been offered, just so you can be sure you’re getting a good deal. So, don’t wait to speak to us about your car finance, call us for a chat today.

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.

Sincerely,
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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