With the US economy and commodity prices impacting on the Australian dollar and RBA warnings about an over heated capital city real estate market, the recent cut in the cash rate to 2.25% caught some by surprise. In the RBA February meeting minutes, it appears to have been a line ball decision. That, some say, leaves the door open for even further cuts.
The RBA said “It would be important to assess the effects of the measures designed to reinforce sound residential mortgage lending practices announced the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in December”.
APRA is keeping a close eye on lenders after a 2014 end of year surge in loans. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) lending figures for December show a marked increase in lending with a 4.1% increase in owner occupier refinanced loans, a 3.6% increase in owner occupier news loans and a 6.0% increase in investor loans.
Alan Madden from Mortgage Choice says the local market is already feeling the effects of the rate cut. “The recent rate cuts by the Reserve Bank to its lowest level in recent history, has seen a spike in loan applications from people entering the local market”.
And it’s not just buyers who are motivated by the low rates. Alan says local homeowners with a mortgage “are increasingly looking to fix their interest rate longer term to take full advantage of the low rates on offer”.
The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and a number of other lenders have passed on the cut in full (and more, in Westpac’s case) and with no sign of a rates rise on the horizon, right now is the cheapest time in decades to get into the local real estate market.
If you’re thinking about buying a property this winter then be brave and don’t let the herd mentality hold you back, says the boss of one of the country’s leading real estate agencies, warning investors that they’ll only look back on this year with regret if they fail to take action.
These are the thoughts of McGrath chief executive John McGrath, who has stated that “this is exactly the type of market they will look back on and say ‘I wish I’d bought in 2012’”.
Writing in his Market Review – Winter 2012, McGrath has claimed that, while following the crowd gives people a much needed sense of security in this time of economic volatility, “the best time to buy is when others aren’t”. The flipside to a market downturn is the exceptional opportunity it presents to buyers. Affordability has grown significantly with the recently released HIA-Commonwealth Bank Affordability Index showing an improvement across the capital cities for the fifth consecutive quarter in March.”
All of Australia’s big four banks have now announced their interest rate cuts following last week’s official cash rate drop by the RBA, and second tier lenders have followed suit.
A Loan Market online poll has found 88% of respondents intended to invest in property within the next 12 months. Fifty-one per cent said they were looking seriously at property, while 37% said they were interested, but wanted to ensure their employment was secure.
Only 5% of the survey’s respondents said they had no plans to invest in property, while 7% said they would sooner invest in shares.
A Loan Market spokesperson said consumer confidence was finally receiving a boost after successive RBA cuts.
“These rate cuts have also taken the variable interest rates offered by most lenders down below the 6.0 per cent mark. Homeowners are seeing significant reductions in their mortgage repayments while there are very competitive rates on offer for those looking to enter the property market,” he said. Source “Your Investment Property”
If you are considering investing in property, have you considered investing in property in Merimbula? This coastal town on the Far South Coast of NSW presents a very good opportunity for property investors, for both permanent rentals and holiday accommodation. There are good opportunities for investing in rights managed holiday rental accommodation and homes that can be let as permanent accommodation. With many families in the area and being a popular holiday destination Merimbula offers the best of both worlds when it comes to investment. And the indicators are that now is a good time to purchase a house, unit or townhouse. As local Real Estate Agent David Dwyer from Fisk & Nagle First Choice in Merimbula says “We have several houses on the market offering fantastic value. Now may be the perfect time to act and lock in low interest rates”. You can call David on 1800 For Sale.