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Bank Valuation: Why do I need one? What can I do if it comes back low?

If you’re looking to buy a home or currently exploring your refinance options, it's likely that the lender will want to order a valuation on the property. Here we explain what a valuation is, why it's necessary and what options you might have should one come back lower than you expect it to.   What is a valuation? A valuation is an assessment of a property's value - for mortgage purposes only. Valuations are used to determine the Loan To Value Ratio in a loan application and can … [Read more...]

Australian property price growth fastest in 17 years

All signs point to the notion that Australia’s housing market is in the midst of a broad-based boom with the national home value surging 2.1% higher in February; the largest month-on-month increase since 2003. The February surge, as reported by CoreLogic’s national home value index, was spurred on by record low interest rates, improving economic conditions, government incentives and low stock levels.   What areas experienced growth? Maybe the correct question is, 'What areas didn't … [Read more...]

2021: Off to a flying start with record house prices

If 2020 taught us anything, it's that things can change. And quickly we might add. Not too long ago, many highly-regarded economists predicted property prices could plummet 30% due to COVID-19. Instead, now we’re seeing official RBA documents predict that house prices could increase as much as 30% over the next three years, providing the official cash rate remains near record low levels (at or below 0.5%). Suffice to say, market sentiment is soaring with 2021 already re-writing the … [Read more...]

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Property listings to pick up soon

While you were having some down time over the festive season, did you find yourself scrolling through real estate listings? If so, you might’ve noticed there were fewer properties available for sale than usual. There's a reason for that.  If you couldn’t find the home you're looking for over the break, don’t stress - it’s actually much harder to find ‘the one’ at this time of year. That’s because property listings traditionally drop in December, with 2020 no exception. In fact, … [Read more...]

How is 2021 shaping up from a lending perspective? What does that mean for you as a borrower?

There’s no doubt that 2020 created challenges for many of us. Entire industries struggled, financial markets were significantly impacted and there’s still a great deal of uncertainty on the horizon. But lenders are still lending, right? Yes. And Canberrans are still buying property, right? Yes! (Double yes!) We helped record numbers of Canberrans buy homes and/or prepare to buy in 2020 and 2021 is shaping up to be no different. With a large portion of Canberra’s population in secure, … [Read more...]

3 quick and easy finance resolutions

Whenever we think of New Year’s resolutions, the first thing that comes to mind is a health kick. (Or is that just us?!) Here are three (easy) New Year’s resolutions that’ll help improve your financial wellbeing in 2021.   1. Book in for a home loan review Quick question (no judgement): do you know the interest rate on your home loan? Don’t stress if you don’t, studies show that about half of homeowners don't actually know the interest they're paying on their home loan. But … [Read more...]

Will stamp duty be stamped out? Stamp duty reforms on the horizon

NSW and Victoria have recently unveiled some big changes to the inefficient tax, and there’s hope it’ll inspire other states to review their own stamp duty arrangements.   What is stamp duty? If you haven't purchased property, you may be unfamiliar with stamp duty. It's essentially a state/territory government tax you pay when you purchase real estate. How much it costs depends on what state you’re buying in, the value of the property you’re buying, and whether you’re eligible for … [Read more...]

Responsible lending laws to be axed. What does this actually mean for you?

You may have heard of the federal government's plans to scrap responsible lending laws from 1 March 2021. It's one of the key initiatives designed to boost economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession by simplifying the regulatory landscape and freeing up access to credit for home buyers and small businesses. What does it actually mean though? And how will it affect you as a borrower? Let’s break it all down in a little more detail, and how it might affect you come 1 March … [Read more...]

Australia’s homes are some of the biggest in the world

In 2019/20, the average new house built in Australia measured a massive 236m2. This represents 2.9% growth on the year before, and represents the biggest increase in home size in 11 years. CommSec's recent report into home size trends shows Australian houses are now being built bigger than anywhere else in the world. In fact, we just reclaimed the number one spot from the US. Apartment sizes in Australia have grown too, with the average new apartment increasing 6% in the last year to … [Read more...]

RBA cuts cash rate to new record low – 3 Nov 2020

At its meeting today, the RBA decided to lower the cash rate by 15 basis points to 0.10 per cent. “Given the outlook for both employment and inflation, monetary and fiscal support will be required for some time,” Governor Lowe said in his statement. Governor Lowe added the low cash rate is likely here to stay until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3% target range. “Given the outlook, the board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least three years,” Governor … [Read more...]

Boost your home loan deposit: you may have cash lying around the house

If you're looking for a way to boost your house deposit, or could do with a few thousand dollars to make additional payments into your mortgage, maybe a Spring clean is the answer.  According to the 2020 Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report,the average Aussie household could make nearly $6,000 from selling pre-loved items. Apparently as a nation we like to hoard items, with more than 85% of us having unwanted items that are just collecting dust around our homes. The Report found that the … [Read more...]

Is property a still good investment? The ‘experts’ think so

You've probably heard the the saying ‘safe as houses’? Well, it appears that tightly-held belief of many Australians is still tightly-held, with some of Australia's economic experts saying they'd be putting their money into property right now. A Finder Study surveyed 28 leading experts and economists and asked for their opinion on future cash rate movements, as well as other issues related to the Australian economy. When these experts were asked: “Where do you think is the best place … [Read more...]

Homeowners are refinancing in record-high numbers. Is it time to explore your options?

Homeowners in record-high numbers are taking advantage of reduced interest rates and competitive refinancing offers. Are you ready to take the leap?  When times are tough, the belt gets tightened. And we’ve seen that play out across the country in a big way recently, with the number of Australian families who refinanced their mortgage in May the highest on record, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). In fact, 33,712 Australians refinanced a … [Read more...]

Loan deferrals can be extended for certain borrowers

Home owners struggling financially due to COVID-19 may be given another four months to resume paying back their loans. Extended loan deferrals will be provided to those who genuinely need more than the current six-month timeframe, says the Australian Banking Association (ABA), however, extensions won’t be automatic. While each bank’s deferral policy differs, it’s important to note that deferring repayments on your loan generally doesn’t stop interest from accruing. As such, customers … [Read more...]

So you want to buy your first home?

So, life in isolation in your rental property (or your family home with the parents!), has cemented your goal to get out on your own and buy your first home. You’ve been fortunate enough to retain employment over the last few months and actually have more cash saved than you’d anticipated saving at the start of 2020. After all, you haven’t spent money on petrol. You haven’t spent money on dinners out with friends. You’ve maybe saved on childcare costs. And maybe you’re even considering … [Read more...]

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme: spots open back up from 1 July 2020

The dream of buying your first home with a small deposit amount, without needing to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) will soon be an option again for some first home buyers, with the Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme releasing another 10,000 spots from 1 July 2020. Many first home buyers have the capacity to meet loan repayments on a new proposed mortgage. However, it’s the deposit many find challenging because it’s no easy feat to save a large amount of cash, with increasing … [Read more...]

Are you eligible for the $25,000 HomeBuilder scheme?

Earlier this month, the Federal Government announced they'll give eligible Australians $25,000 to build (or substantially renovate) a home, as part of the HomeBuilder scheme. Here we examine who qualifies for the initiative and provide a little more detail about how it may work. The HomeBuilder scheme is a $680 million program and aims to support more than 1 million builders, painters, plumbers and electricians across the country. It’s also going to help many Australians build a new home … [Read more...]

If you’re planning to purchase property, you need to talk to us sooner than you think you do

It’s human nature to put things off until the last minute, especially if it involves some effort on your part. However, if you want to buy a property sometime this year, please make sure you talk to us sooner rather than later. There are some particular reasons for this –not only for the sake of your own stress levels! - which we outline here.   Lenders are taking longer to assess applications COVID-19 has caused wide-spread processing delays across a whole host of lenders - with one … [Read more...]

Is now a good time to lock in a fixed rate?

With interest rates at record low levels, we’re going to look at a question that many of you are asking: 'Should I lock in a fixed rate home loan?' If you've read any of our blog posts lately, you would know that fixed rates are very attractive right now. Following the RBA's emergency rate cut in March, lenders slashed their 1, 2 & 3 year fixed rate offerings. Lenders are competing with each another to lock-in borrowers right now and one of the ways they're doing this is via fixed … [Read more...]

Cash rate likely to remain low until 2023

The cash rate cut announced by the  Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in March, capped off an action-packed year for the cash rate, making it the fifth rate cut since May 2019. But what's in store for the cash rate over the coming months/ years? And what does this mean for you and your home loan?   What the experts say According to AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver, “the next few years are likely to be pretty boring” with regard to cash rate movements. Property researchers … [Read more...]

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