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Review your existing loans: How would you spend the money?

We've all played that game where you work out how you'd spend the money if you won lotto. A holiday perhaps (although maybe not right now)? A cleaner to make your life easier? Maybe you'd purchase a new car?! It's a fun game to play, but generally ends in disappointment when your numbers don't come up. Whilst it's not as exciting as the anticipation of a lotto win, there's something else you can do to increase the amount of your bank balance. Plus, if you say yes, you've got a much … [Read more...]

What’s the Latest on Housing Prices? Do you know what your home is worth?

Whilst we haven't seen house prices grow this fast in the last 17 years, the latest data from CoreLogic suggests the growth cycle may be tampering.  It’s no secret that house prices have reached record-breaking highs this past year. We've seen it every day when yet another home sells for higher than auction reserve, and a client comes back to us wanting to increase their pre-approval limit. CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index reveals that home values grew by 16.1% over the past 12 … [Read more...]

COVID hardship arrangements that may help

As the effects of COVID and rolling lockdowns are felt across the country (this time with no JobKeeper), here we look at the grants, schemes and hardship arrangements available to small businesses and individuals, should you need some support. Home loans and business loans If you're a small businesses impacted by COVID with a good conduct on your business loans, you may be eligible for a repayment deferrals of up to three months. For individual borrowers, lenders are providing a range of … [Read more...]

Buying established vs off-plan vs land & build: the different ways to buy property and things to keep in mind

You were thinking about buying an established property, but now you’re thinking an off-plan purchase might be the way to go. You’re buying a house either way, so it’s pretty much going to be the same thing, right?! Actually, not quite… The requirements for finance (and the loan structure) can vary depending on the type of property transaction. Here we outline the different types of property transactions you might be considering.   Buying an established property via private … [Read more...]

Can I increase my pre-approval amount? (& all your other questions about pre-approvals answered) – Part 2

If you’re thinking about purchasing property soon, it pays to have a pre-approval in place. Not only does it provide comfort that a lender is likely to lend you the funds you need to buy a house, but it can also speed up the assessment process once you’ve had an offer accepted, as outlined here in our recent blog post “What you need to know about a pre-approval.’ Here, we provide some more information about pre-approvals and cover the additional things you want to know - like ‘Can I increase … [Read more...]

What you need to know about a pre-approval – Part 1

What is a pre-approval? A pre-approval (or Approval-in-Principle) is when a lender has assessed your application and conditionally approved you to borrow a specific loan amount, based on a max property purchase. Whilst a pre-approval doesn't guarantee funding and is subject to terms and conditions, it can give you the confidence to start seriously looking for a property to buy.   If a pre-approval doesn't guarantee funding and is subject to terms and conditions, should I bother getting … [Read more...]

Tool to help calculate median price per square metre

Perhaps it's an effect of COVID-19, or maybe buyers are just wanting to get more bang for their buck. We're seeing a shift in property preferences, with first home buyers having a stronger preference for larger properties - ideally with a backyard or courtyard. To help with your search in finding such a property, we've found a tool which may be helpful. This tool by realestate.com.au, calculates the median estimated price per square metre (based on block size) of various suburbs around … [Read more...]

What is a discounted interest rate and how do you get one?

There's so much information online about the latest home loan offers, interest rates or special deals. Which is great for borrowers, because it means we all have access to information which can help us make better financial decisions. BUT... the information borrowers can access online doesn't always tell us the whole story....   What is 'discretionary pricing' in relation to home loan interest rates? Discretionary pricing is when a lender offers a discounted interest rates to an … [Read more...]

Tips to buy property in a hot market

If you’re trying to buy a house right now, we know it’s tough. We know it’s disheartening when you turn up to an open home with 100 other couples. Or when you turn up to an auction thinking you have a chance, only to see the property snapped up for $80,000 more than the price guide. Given the current state of the property market, should you just give up on finding your home altogether? We don’t think so. However, there are a few things we think you can do, to give yourself the best chance … [Read more...]

Fixed Rate home loans – May 2021

With some attractive fixed rates available at the moment, it's likely you've thought about fixing in some (or all) of your existing variable rate loan. Which then raises questions like, "But what are variable rates likely to do over the short-medium term?" Let's take a look at that question a little closer. Please note analysis and commentary on interest rates provided here is based on data available as at 28 May 2021.   Cash Rate Futures Yield Curve The Cash Rate Futures Yield … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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