When it comes to securing your first home, trust matters

Buying your first home is one of the most important decisions of your life and it’s no surprise more and more Aussies are looking to trusted mortgage brokers to help make the process simple and cost-effective.

In fact, according to a recent survey of first home buyers, nine out of 10 said they trust a mortgage broker to help them secure their first home.

Making the leap into home ownership can seem daunting at first, but the good news is that mortgage brokers can offer great support to break down and simplify the steps you need to take to get on with the most important part – enjoying your first home!

It’s good to know that mortgage brokers are bound by a duty to serve the best interests of their customers and to get the best outcome possible. For many first home buyers, this can be a huge weight off their minds.

The Genworth First Home Buyer Report 2021 surveyed 2077 prospective and 1008 recent first home buyers this year, showing the importance of having the right advice.

Almost 90 per cent said mortgage brokers provided valuable support and reliable advice during the home buying process.

The report also revealed that many buyers were taking a ‘now or never’ approach to get into the market and secure their first property, based upon their stage of life, low interest rates and a booming real estate market.

Investment properties continue to attract buyers with almost three in four first home buyers looking to enter the market with a deposit of less than 20% (73%) and the majority with less than a 15% deposit (56%).

Spurred by the pandemic, first home buyers are increasingly looking outside capital cities to find a more affordable home to enter the market, with more than a 7% rise in purchases in regional and rural areas.

WE CAN HELP YOU SECURE YOUR IDEAL FIRST HOME

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have noticed property prices across the nation are undergoing massive growth, pushing sales prices to record highs.

This can be a major source of frustration for new buyers who had their hope on buying in certain suburbs only to be now priced out of contention.

But this is not always the case and a mortgage broker can help you formulate a winning strategy that’s within your reach. 

A number of federal government schemes are available, including the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme – which enables you to buy your first home with a deposit of just 5% without paying for Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

State and territory government schemes, designed to assist first home buyers to get their foot in the property market, also may be available including first home buyer grants and stamp duty concessions.

Give us a call and talk to us today. We’d love to hear about your plans and help you secure your first home without the stress and worry.

Make the most of increased caps and move into your dream home sooner

With caps increased from July 1, more and more first home buyers are now able to make good use of the Federal Government’s 5 per cent no Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) scheme.

Since 2020, The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) has helped thousands of budding home owners get into the property market sooner.

This year, the good news is that single parents with dependent children can also look to benefit from higher price caps, which also applies to the government’s new Family Home Guarantee scheme.

Below you can see a summary of how much money you can spend while still remaining eligible to qualify for the FHLDS and Family Home Guarantee Scheme (FHGS).

  • New South Wales: $800,000 (Sydney, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Illawarra) and $600,000 (rest of the state).
  • Victoria: $700,000 (Melbourne and Geelong) and $500,000 (rest of the state).
  • Queensland: $600,000 (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast) and $450,000 (rest of the state).
  • Western Australia: $500,000 (Perth) and $400,000 (rest of the state).
  • South Australia: $500,000 (Adelaide) and $350,000 (rest of the state).
  • Tasmania: $500,000 (Hobart) and $400,000 (rest of the state).
  • ACT: $500,000.
  • Northern Territory: $500,000.

More detail about increased property price caps is available on the NHFIC website.

The First Home Deposit Scheme enables eligible first home buyers to purchase a residence with only a 5 per cent deposit and to avoid forking out for lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI). This can save buyers anywhere up to $35,000, depending on the property price and deposit amount.

Meanwhile, the new Family Home Guarantee Scheme allows eligible single parents to build or purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent without paying LMI, regardless of whether or not this is their first home.

These schemes run alongside the New Home Guarantee Scheme, a new initiative that allows both eligible first home buyers to build or purchase a new build with a 5 per cent deposit. This scheme features even higher property price caps which accounts for the extra costs that come with building a new home.

THE TIME IS NOW:

With only 10,000 spots available under each of these schemes, it’s important to get in quick as previous rounds tell us they are going to go fast. And if you’ve been thinking about looking into your options but keep putting it off, consider this the reminder you need to take action and see how you can take advantage before the opportunity has passed by.

Get in quick while First Home Loan Deposit Schemes are still available

With the latest offering of loan deposit rounds already well underway, now is the time to find out how you can take advantage of the Federal Government lending schemes before it’s too late.

And if you’d like the idea of paying no Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) and buying your first home with just a 5 per cent deposit, then you need to get in before the limited spaces have been taken.

In years previously, the 10,000 places released in each round in the The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) have been snatched up within a few months, and we’ve had more than a few hopeful applicants reach out to us only to find out the opportunity has passed them by.

And if you’re doing it solo as a parent with dependent children, a similar scheme now allows you to purchase a home with just a 2 per cent deposit and without paying LMI, regardless of whether or not you’re a first home buyer.

The three Government schemes, released on July 1, announced a fresh round of 10,000 spots. Let’s take a closer look at each.

FIRST HOME LOAN DEPOSIT SCHEME (FHLDS)

Commencing at the start of 2020, The FHDS has helped thousands of Aussies get their foot in the doors of the property market, accessible to those wanting to build or buy their first home.

The scheme allows eligible first home buyers with just a 5 per cent deposit to buy a property without having to pay LMI. The scheme is backed by government guarantees (to a participating lender) up to 15 per cent of the value of the home you’re purchasing.

While it varies based on the cost of the home itself and deposit amount, not having to dip into your pocket for LMI means potential savings of between $4000 and $35,000. Depending on the property price and deposit amount.

10,000 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme places will be available to eligible first home buyers from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

The New Home Guarantee Scheme (First Home Buyers)

This scheme allows eligible first home buyers to build or purchase a new build with a 5 per cent deposit.

While it is a similar proposition to the FHLDS detailed above, one of the key differences is that the price caps are higher, to account for the extra expenses which come with building a new home.

The Family Home Guarantee Scheme (Single Parents)

This scheme enables eligible single parents with dependents to build or purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent and without paying LMI.

But unlike the other two schemes detailed above, you don’t have to be a first home buyer to qualify for this scheme. So how does it work?

Well let’s take this as an example. Jeremy is a single parent with two young kids. Let’s say he’s found the perfect home for $460,000 but has struggled to save enough for the standard $92,000 deposit (20 per cent) required while paying rent. With the Family Home Guarantee, and pending a successful application with a lender, John could move into his dream home sooner, with just a $9,200 deposit (2 per cent).

BE QUICK, CALL US TODAY!

All schemes listed here have only 10,000 spots available for prospective homeowners for this scheme this financial year – and in previous years they’ve been allocated within a few months. So you’ve got to get in quick!

Avoid disappointment, get in touch with us today and we can help you determine which scheme is most suitable for you, and then help you apply for finance with a participating lender.

The importance of being ready for interest rate hikes

How well prepared are you for a rise in interest rates? While that may seem like an odd prospect for many of us after 18 consecutive cash rate cuts from the RBA, we always need to be prepared.

And when the big banks start showing signs, it’s time to consider what that might look like for you in a practical, month-to-month sense.

What would an interest rate rise look like for you and how much extra would a new mortgage holder expect to pay each month? 

RATE RISE PREDICTION:

While the RBA’s official position has been that it doesn’t expect to lift the lid on the cash rate until 2024, and this month held the rate at 0.10 per cent, there’s healthy speculation that the next rise in rates could arrive as early as 2022.

Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank have earmarked the period between late 2022 and early 2023 as a likely time when rates may start to spring up, with the official cash rate predicted to hit 1.25 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 and peaking in 2024.

Meanwhile, NAB increased its two, three and four-year fixed rates by up to 0.10 per cent for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest.

Banks have the ability to increase fixed rates as a method of heading off potential RBA rate hikes. In overall terms, this means that the shorter the length of term of the fixed rate that is increased, the sooner a bank is expecting the next increase in rates will be.

Generally, the shorter the term of the fixed-rate that’s increased (ie. if two-year fixed rates are raised), the sooner a bank may predict the next rate hike will be. And with economists at the big banks seeing that future in their crystal balls, how should you be planning to make the most of it and how much extra money should you be factoring into your monthly mortgage repayments if the official cash rate starts to rise?

THE HIP-POCKET IMPACT:

You’d have to cast your mind back to 2019 to find the last time that the RBA cash rate target was at 1.25 per cent. Although it wasn’t that long ago, it seems like a completely different world – before the global COVID pandemic appeared like an unwanted neighbour at a backyard barbeque.

So, just how much extra should the average mortgage holder expect to pay?

Modelling provided by Canstar showed that the average variable mortgage rate would jump from 3.21 to 4.36 per cent, based on the current gap between the two rates.

In plain English terms, this means that if you took out a $500,000 loan tomorrow, and the cash rate hit 1.25 per cent in 2024, the modelling estimates your monthly repayments would increase $300 to $2464 per month. Commonwealth Bank’s modelling covers a similar scenario, with repayments up $324 per month.

That’s despite shrinking your remaining loan balance to $468,770 after three years of repayments, and assuming the banks only add on the cash rate increase – and not any extra. On top of that, there’s also the possibility that even more waves of RBA cash rate increases could soon follow.

So if the average variable loan rate increased to 7.04 per cent in 2031, where it was not that long ago back in 2011, Canstar estimates that same borrower who took out a $500,000 loan would pay $900 more in monthly repayments than they do now, even after a full decade’s worth of repayments.

TAKE OUT THE GUESSWORK:

Every household is different, in unique situations and you can’t take a one-size fits all approach. Let us run you through your options and help you find the right mortgage option for you.

It may be difficult to imagine that interest rates could rise from the relaxed position of the current record low cash rate, however it’s vital to pay close attention. We had 18 cash rate reductions before the RBA increased the cash rate to 4.75 per cent back in November 2010.

It pays to look ahead, if you’re worried about what such a scenario could mean for you and your home budget in the coming years, get in touch with us today and we can run you through a number of options that include (but are not limited to) fixing your interest rate for two, three, four or five years, or just fixing part of your mortgage (but not all of it).

Australian house prices drive to record highs but are there speed bumps ahead?

Knowing when to buy in the housing game can seem a little bit like a lottery when property prices just keep going up, but it’s important to remember that old saying ‘what goes up must come down’.

And we’re starting to see some signs of a slowdown in the market, which reached record-breaking levels in 2020. In fact, you’d have to cast your mind back to 2004, a year when Shannon Noll’s version of the classic ‘What About Me?’ was dominating the airwaves to find a time when house price growth was faster than it has recently been.

The latest data is pointing to signs that the auspicious run is starting to slow down. Looking back, it’s clear to see that while sellers collected their share, it left buyers asking themselves the same question Nollsy was pondering all those years ago.

Over the past year, home values increased by 16.1% which was the fastest pace of growth since 2004, according to CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index.

SLOW MOVING TRAFFIC AHEAD:

CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said that while the market is still powering on (up 1.6% in July) there are signs of a slowdown.

“The monthly growth rate has been trending lower since March this year when the national index rose 2.8%,” Mr Lawless reported.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION:

There may be more bumps ahead, too, with the value of new housing loan commitments dropping 1.6% in June, the first decline in monthly lending figures in 2021, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

WHAT’S CAUSING THE TRAFFIC JAM?

Mr Lawless explains that dwelling values increasing greater in a month than incomes are rising in a year, the ‘Great Australian Dream’ of home ownership is simply moving out of reach for members of the community.

In addition, the winding back of some COVID-19 support payments, including JobKeeper and HomeBuilder, have been a factor. CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index report noted that the pandemic itself has been a complicating factor.

“It is likely recent COVID outbreaks and associated lockdowns have contributed to some of the loss of momentum as well, particularly from a transactional perspective in Sydney which is enduring an extended period of restrictions”  – CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index report

It should be noted, however, that housing values are continuing to increase substantially faster than average. In fact, according to CoreLogic, the average pace of monthly dwelling value appreciation has been just 0.4% over the past decade.

THE ROAD AHEAD:

The rapid growth rate is predicted to slow as 2021 draws to a close and affordability plays a greater factor and housing supply gradually lifts, CoreLogic reports.

“Other potential headwinds are apparent, including the possibility of tighter credit policies”.

On the other hand, demand remains strong, assisted by record-low mortgage rates and the prospect that interest rates will remain low for some time to come.

“A lift in the cash rate is likely to be at least 18 months away,” CoreLogic adds.

“The recent spate of lockdowns is likely to see Australia’s economy once again contract through the September quarter, a factor that is likely to keep rates on hold for a while longer.”

LET’S DRIVE!

With house prices having just experienced their fastest pace of growth in almost 20 years, it’s as important as ever to purchase your new home with a finance option that’s right for you.

If you’re a prospective homebuyer who wants to explore what options are available to you – including your borrowing capacity – get in touch today. We look forward to showing how we can help!

How you can simplify debt and save at the same time

If you’re like most Aussies, you’re probably paying off more than one loan.

Whether it be a mortgage, a car loan, a credit card, a personal loan – or even all four (gulp!) – keeping track of what needs to be paid and when can be difficult. 

If you add in changing interest rates and the need to make milestone purchases, you wouldn’t be the only one to find yourself, and your finances, under quite a bit of stress.

The good news is that you don’t have to don a clown suit and keep all of those loan repayments in the air, as there are solutions available to help you manage your money, and your repayments, better.

In a nutshell it’s called debt consolidation, and it has the power to take the pressure off your finances.

Debt consolidation essentially means rolling all of your existing loans into one easy-to-manage loan. Let’s take a look at some of your options:

ROLL UP, ROLL UP!

One of the most common ways to consolidate debt is to take out a new personal loan and use that to pay off your existing debts.

Importantly, the interest rate on your new personal loan must be lower than the rate on your existing debts, such as a credit card with a 17.99% interest rate. 

This will mean you pay less interest each month and you can either use the funds you save on other things or put the money back into paying the loan principal so that you pay off what you owe faster (and save more interest again!)

Another benefit is avoiding costly late payment fees many credit cards have and with just one loan to keep track of, you’ll be able to budget a lot easier and have a clearer picture of when you’ll be debt-free.

HIT A HOME RUN

Another option is to refinance your home loan to consolidate your debts, including car loans and credit cards, into your mortgage.

Mortgages offer comparatively low interest rates, so consolidating your loans in this way will reduce your monthly repayments and cut down the time and energy spent on managing multiple loans. 

It’s important to note, however, that while this option can help ease the pressure on your finances now by reducing monthly repayments, consolidating your debt through your mortgage can extend the term of your loan, which may have previously been much shorter.

This means unless you aim to make a lot of extra repayments as soon as possible, you may wind up paying a lot more interest than you bargained for.

One way to address this is to create a loan split for the debt consolidation, which enables you to pay off short-term debts within a few years, rather than over the existing long-term home loan period, which is usually 25 or 30 years.

With mortgage rates down due to the RBA’s official cash rate being at record low levels, it’s a good time to see how you can consolidate and take back control of your debt.

That’s where we come in:

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you explore your debt consolidation and refinancing options. We’re here to make the whole process as simple and cost effective as possible.

At present, lenders are providing mortgage holders impacted by COVID-19 with a range of hardship support measures, including loan deferrals on a month-by-month basis.

Whatever your circumstances, we’re here to support you however we can through these times.