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We hope you enjoyed some quality time with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year break.

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2019. As many people are still on their summer holidays, there’s not much happening in our property markets this month. Few auctions have been listed around the country and most property movements are occurring through private sales.

Property market activity

Declines in property listings are quite typical in summer, however the drop in national property listings in December 2018 was higher than expected at 9.2%. In Sydney property listings declined by a huge 17.7%, Melbourne 17.2% and Canberra 15.5%. Hobart experienced a decline in property listings of 5.8%, Adelaide 4.1%, Darwin 2.9% and Perth 9%.

Home value movements

In 2018, there was a general softening in property values, for both units and houses across the country. Sydney experienced a year on year decline of 8.88%. Melbourne experienced a year on year drop in values of 7.04%. Perth’s home value decline for the year was more moderate at 4.73%. Darwin experienced a year on year decline of 1.54% with most of this fall occurring in December when prices dropped 1.84%.

Other markets experienced year on year growth. Canberra’s yearly home values were up by 3.27%. Brisbane/Gold Coast’s prices were up 0.02% year on year, while Adelaide’s yearly growth was 1.33%. The outstanding performer was Hobart, with an annual home value increase of 8.66%.

Interest rates and lending news

Interest rates have remained stable during the holiday period and we can expect the RBA to keep the official cash rate at 1.5% for some time. The next RBA board meeting will happen on February 5. Some market analysts predict an improvement in economic conditions which may prompt an RBA cash rate rise later this year, whilst others are predicting a cash rate cut. It’s a game of wait and see!

From January 1 the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) removed its 30% limit on interest-only residential property lending. This may prove to be a big bonus for property investors, as it will likely prompt an improvement in lending conditions for them across the board.

What are your plans for 2019?

Did you overspend during Christmas? If you are experiencing a Christmas debt hangover, read our article about how we can help if you’re struggling to organise your finances. We’ve also provided some guidance for those needing to refinance an interest-only loan and ideas for achieving your property goals in 2019. Remember, we’re always happy to chat about your needs and goals so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Sincerely,
Mike & the Element Finance Team

Getting ready to buy your first home? As your mortgage broker, we’re here to help you every step of the way. It’s an exciting time and it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are 5 common mistakes that you should try to avoid!

1. Relying on advice from family and friends

Family and friends are people you can trust, so it’s understandable that you listen to their advice. However, while they may have the best of intentions, it’s always best to seek independent professional advice when buying a property. Things may have changed a lot since your mum and dad purchased their first home, and your circumstances are likely to be different. They may also have made mistakes without even realising it.

As a first-time buyer, you’ll want a team of experienced professionals in your corner. That means a reputable mortgage broker (like me), a solicitor or conveyancer, plus a building and pest inspector. A good accountant can also be invaluable, particularly if you are self-employed. If you need recommendations, please let me know and I’ll give you a referral.

2. Blowing the budget

The last thing you want is home loan repayments you can’t really afford – you might end up eating baked beans for years to come! That’s why it’s so important to have a solid grasp of your financial situation and budget.

As your mortgage broker, I can help you understand your borrowing power and create a home-buying budget. That will help save time when you start looking for your dream home. I’ll also organise pre-approval on your home loan, so that your finance is ready to go.

3. Underestimating the costs involved

Many first home buyers don’t understand the full costs involved in buying a property. There’s a lot to consider – your deposit, stamp duty, lender fees and charges, solicitors fees, and so on.

Then there are the ongoing costs associated with home ownership. These may include rates, insurance, body corporate fees, maintenance and repairs. Remember, if you need help crunching the numbers, I can assist. I’ll also let you know about any grants or concessions you may be entitled to (like the First Home Owner Grant), which could help get you into your own home sooner.

4. Getting the wrong mortgage

As a first-time buyer, getting your head around all the different home loan products out there can be overwhelming. Offset accounts and redraw facilities. Fixed versus variable rates. Split home loans and lines of credit. It’s enough to give you a head spin! It’s important to choose the mortgage that is most suitable for your needs and saves you as much money as possible.

My role as your mortgage broker is to: 1) understand where you’re at financially and where you want to be; 2) compare the home loan market; 3) find you the right home loan, based on your specific financial circumstances; and 4) walk you through the home loan application process.

5. Being blindsided by emotion

When you’re new to the property hunt, it can be easy to let emotions cloud your judgement. However, try not to let your daydreams get in the way of the facts. Do your research to ensure you’re buying the right property for the right price. If you need help, we can give you some guidance about how to research a property properly to make an informed decision.

With careful planning and support, buying your first home will be a positive experience. As your mortgage broker, I’ll help you every step of the way and can refer you to other professionals whom you can rely on. Please call us at Element Finance Fremantle – let’s make your home ownership dream a reality!

Buying an investment property can be a clever way to build wealth for your future. There are government incentives that make this form of investment great for mum and dad investors – such as the potential to claim back losses as a tax deduction.

So, how do you go about finding the right property for your needs, particularly if you’re not an experienced property investor? In this article, you’ll find some insights about what to look for in an investment property. And remember, when you need the right finance for your investment, we are here to help!

Capital growth potential 

Capital growth is the increase in value of a property over a period of time. Investors use a range of strategies to build wealth, and looking for the properties that are most likely to experience significant capital growth, is often high on their radar.

So, how do you find an investment property with solid capital growth potential? Look for locations and suburbs experiencing economic growth. Economic growth creates jobs, which brings more people to an area, which may flow through to the property market via increased demand for housing. Greater demand means more chance of capital growth.

Next, be sure to choose an investment property that is close to amenities such as schools, shopping centres and public transport – when an area is experiencing economic growth, these properties will be in the most demand.

Rental returns

Some investors choose to focus on properties with a high rental yield, rather than just looking at capital growth potential. The rental yield is the rate of income return compared to the costs associated with the investment property. It’s typically expressed as a percentage, and may be calculated as a gross or net figure.

Investors who are following a rental yield strategy will typically look for areas where rents are high compared to the property value. Talk to us as we have access to have access to exclusive property tools to help you locate a suitable area.

Low maintenance costs

As an investor, it’s wise to opt for a low-maintenance property. They not only cost less to keep, but they’re less hassle too. Units can be easier and cheaper to maintain than old houses for example, but keep in mind you’ll most likely have to pay body corporate fees.

Ways to add value 

When choosing an investment property, ask yourself whether there is room for improvement, or ways to add value. You might not renovate it right away, but when you do, be sure to do plenty of research to find out what’s in high demand. Ask your local real estate agents what kinds of property features resonate well with tenants and future buyers in the area.

Choosing the right investment property requires careful research and planning. Luckily, one area you don’t have to worry about is finding the right investment loan for your specific needs. We can take care of finding you a loan product that matches your financial circumstances, while working with your investment goals. Please call us today!What to look for in an investment property

Christmas is such a special time of year! You can feel the magic in the air at shopping centres as the decorations come out, or when you’re driving around and notice people transforming their homes into a wonderland of lights.

If you’re also looking to fill your home with holiday cheer, here are some unusual festive home décor ideas you’re going to love. And remember, if you need finance for a really big gift (like the kind that’s just too large to wrap), please give us a call!

Create an unconventional tree

If you feel like a change this Christmas, why not invent your own tree? Pinterest has plenty of great ideas, like dressing up a ladder as a Christmas tree or using driftwood to create a rustic-looking tree display. Check out the effect here.

Go big with your light display

Instead of spending a fortune on the electricity bill with miles of rope lights, why not turn your pad into a light show spectacular the easy and inexpensive way, with cool options like Target’s Snow Flurry Lightshow Projector, which blasts a bright swirling display of snowflakes onto your home. Otherwise, you could opt for something more subtle. For example, you could line walkways with luminary bags or lanterns to create an ambient effect. Here’s some inspiration.

Make your own snow globes

If you have small children, they are going to love this one! DIY snow globes are easy to make and a great way to create festive cheer. All you need is a small glass jar, a plastic figurine of something Christmassy, glycerin, glitter, water and glue. Simply glue the figurine to the inside of the jar lid, fill it with water and glycerin, add a couple of teaspoons of glitter, screw the lid back on and glue it down if necessary. There you have it, Christmas cheer in a jar! You can even make a winter wonderland terrarium by adding small twigs, pinecones, and cotton wool to the jar and leaving out the water.

Make merry in the throne-room

Why not dress up your toilet with Christmas cheer and give your guests something to talk about? You could make a Santa toilet lid cover and toilet mat, or if you really want to impress them with your Christmas cheer, invest in an LED toilet bathroom night light like this one, available on eBay. It’s motion activated, so your guests won’t have to stumble around in the dark looking for the light switch.

Jazz up your front door

Have you heard of Christmas front door covers? We hadn’t either, but apparently you can give your house a Christmas facelift with a front door mural. There are some really high-quality designs available, and what’s great is that they are removable and reusable. Banners come in all different colours and feature everything from the big man in red to Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Click here to check them out.

What else would be fun for Christmas?

How about a new family car, boat or a jet-ski? Buying that dream home or investment property you’ve always wanted would also be a great reason to celebrate with your family.

We are here to help you have yourself a merry little Christmas indeed, with a loan for a new home or investment, or tailored finance to fit your other purchasing needs. Please give us a call today!Unique Home Decoration Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and isn’t it a wonderful time of year? It’s a time for family and friends, a little self-indulgence, of recognising how hard you’ve worked all year and rewarding yourself for your efforts. If you’ve been contemplating a property purchase, why not make that dream a reality? We can help you secure the finance you need, so please get in touch!

Interest Rate News

Thankfully, there was no pre-Christmas surprise this month from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The board decided to leave the cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent. The central bank’s board will next meet in February 2018.

Property Market News

On the whole, national dwelling values were largely steady in November. Again, Melbourne seems to be proving more resilient than Sydney, with dwelling values up 0.52%. In contrast, Sydney’s housing market saw prices fall -0.72% in November. Canberra’s dwelling values rose by 0.86%, while Hobart experienced 0.64% growth. Things are looking up for property owners in Perth, where values rose by 0.21% in November. The city recorded the first rolling quarterly capital gain since late 2014 (up 0.3% in the three months to November). In Brisbane and Adelaide, there was less fluctuation (0.07% and 0.01% growth respectively). Darwin, like Sydney, experienced a fall in property values – the month-on-month change was -0.42%.

In the week ending December 3, there were 3,276 auctions held across the combined capital cities. According to CoreLogic, the preliminary clearance rate was 63.5% – up from the previous week’s clearance rate of 61.6%. Auction volumes remain in line with last year’s figures, but this time last year the clearance rate was much higher, at 72.3%.

Melbourne and Sydney’s clearance rates picked up compared to previous weeks. In Victoria, there were 1,800 scheduled auctions and a clearance rate of 67%. New South Wales held 1344 scheduled actions and cleared 62% of the stock. Meanwhile, the ACT had the highest clearance rate – 76% on 105 scheduled auctions. Tasmania only held 11 auctions and cleared 67% of stock, while South Australia had 148 scheduled auctions and 65% of properties sold. In Western Australia, 61 properties went to auction and 46% went under the hammer. Queensland held 395 auctions and the Northern Territory had 17. Both had clearance rates of 36%.

As the sun sets on 2017, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a safe and happy festive season. Remember, now is a great time to purchase a new property for the New Year, or to re-evaluate your mortgage. If you’d like advice about finding a mortgage that suits your financial circumstances and plans, we’d love to help! We’ll do the hard yards for you, so that you can concentrate on the fun stuff this summer, like playing beach cricket and being with the family. Here’s to an exciting 2018 – hopefully one that includes an exciting new property purchase! Welcome to our December Newsletter


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