gkfinancial | October 2016
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October 2016

Welcome to our October Newsletter

Conditions are great for home buyers and borrowers! Are you ready to tackle all the excitement of our very busy Spring property markets?

Last month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) appointed a new Governor, Dr Philip Lowe. After his very first meeting as the RBA Governor, Dr Lowe announced the RBA would be keeping the official cash rate on hold at 1.50 per cent during October. But everyone was well ahead of Dr Lowe’s announcement after he made comments to the press about the lack of effectiveness of further rate cuts in stimulating economic growth when he was first appointed in September.

The RBA last cut rates in August, bringing the official cash rate to all-time lows. However the cut did not have the desired effect of reducing the level of the Australian dollar against other currencies that the RBA intended. Analysts now appear to be undecided regarding the prospect of further rate cuts this year and the RBA is taking a wait and see attitude before indicating its next move.

Spring is traditionally the busiest time of the year in Australia’s property markets, however Grand Final Weekend slowed the market for the last week of September, particularly in Victoria where there were only 133 scheduled auctions for the week ending October 02. However these auctions did achieve a very high clearance rate of 92%. The NSW market was a bit more active with 628 auctions achieving a clearance rate of 80%.

Elsewhere around the country, the QLD market had a lot of activity with 253 auctions, but the clearance rate was very low at just 36%. SA scheduled 47 auctions with a clearance rate of 75%, ACT had 50 auctions with a clearance rate of 72%, WA had only 15 auctions with a clearance rate of 33%, NT held 14 auctions with a clearance rate of 23% and Tasmania had only 5 auctions with a clearance rate of 25%.

With increased activity in the Spring property market, home values are also on the rise in most markets. Sydney saw a rise in home values of 0.81% for the month of September, Melbourne saw a rise of 2.30%, Brisbane/Gold Coast rose 0.22%, Adelaide rose 2.11%, Canberra 2.38% and in Hobart home values also rose by 0.14%.

In the north and west of the country, home values have been trending downward during the first 10 months of 2016. Darwin’s home values fell by 2.21% and Perth’s by 2.37% during the month of September alone. It should also be noted that rental rates are also showing a downward trend in these markets.

Interest rates are currently at all-time lows and following the RBA rate cut in August, lenders are offering some great deals for all kinds of property buyers. If you’re considering purchasing a property or refinancing an existing home loan, it is a great time to see us to discuss your plans or get loan pre-approval. If also a good time to talk to us if you’ve been considering a switch to a fixed rate product to lock in a low rate for a fixed term. Whatever your financing needs we’d love to help, so please get in touch today.

We recommend that you seek independent financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this newsletter. It contains general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. Interest rates are subject to change without notice. Lenders terms, conditions, fees & charges apply. Information sources: Auction results: www.realestate.com.au. Home values: www.corelogic.com.au

Motor Vehicle And Equipment Finance. Lowest rates ever seen!

Goldkey has access to funds for the purchase of motor vehicles with rates from 4.1%. *If you are thinking of upgrading or purchasing a new vehicle, now is the time. The following conditions apply:

36-60 month term
Motor Vehicles < 3 years old
No sale and lease/hire back or private sales. Supplier must be a franchised car dealer
Amounts financed from $20,000.00
Business use
No financials are required for applicants with an ABN older than 2 years , property ownership and good credit history. This includes finance on Light Commercial Vehicles up to 4.5T GMV.

Low rates on equipment finance are also available on low doc basis.

Please contact 02 9816 1300 at any time for more information on this special or for rates applicable outside these guidelines.

*Standard fees and charges are applicable and rates are subject to change.

What you need to know about interest-only home loans

An interest-only home loan is a product that allows you to obtain a loan and only pay the interest for a set period of time, without paying off any of the loan principal.

Many people think that interest-only home loans are only for serious property investors with aggressive purchasing strategies. However, all kinds of property buyers can apply for an interest-only loan and there are a lot of clever ways you can use them to your advantage.

As your mortgage and finance broker, we’re here to make sure you understand the different uses of loan products and how they may apply to your personal financial strategy and purchasing goals. In this article we talk about the pros and cons of interest-only products to help you decide if it’s time to say hello to interest-only.

The Pros

Smaller loan payments.

During the interest-only period of the home loan, your monthly loan payments would be lower than with a principal and interest loan. This is because your payments only need to cover the interest on the loan. Great if you want to reduce your expenses!

Free up cash.

Lower loan payments mean you could use your available cash for other purposes that may be financially beneficial. You could use the money to pay off debts to help save money on interest, make other investments to build wealth for your future, fund a loan to purchase another property or to make home renovations to increase your property value and equity position.

Tax deductible for property investors.

Want to save money on tax? The interest on an investment property debt is usually tax deductible for property investors, as long as you follow the ATO rules. That means an interest-only loan could very beneficial if you are a property investor because it could help you to maximise your tax deductions and cash-flow. Unfortunately, if you are using an interest-only loan product to purchase a home as an owner-occupier, you will not receive any tax deduction for interest.

Benefits are ongoing for the life of the interest-only term.

With an interest-only home loan, you can often choose an interest-only term from 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. This can be very beneficial for tax minimisation strategies and financial planning purposes. It could also be very beneficial for people buying a home on a tight budget as it can help you to plan your finances for the first few years you own the property as well as keep your loan payments lower.

Make payments on the principal when you have extra cash.

Many interest-only home loans allow you to make payments on the principal of your loan if you want to. This means that you can still build equity in your property by making a repayment on the principal of the loan when you have the extra cash.

The Cons

It’s possible that you may not build any equity.

Interest-only loan payments do not help you to build equity in your property because your loan payments do not pay down the loan principal. That means you will be relying on property prices to rise to gain equity (unless you make extra payments as mentioned above).

When the interest-only period ends, the loan will revert to a principal and interest loan and your loan payments will increase unless you make other plans.

If you decide to take out an interest-only loan, you should be careful to plan ahead for what you will do at the end of your interest-only period. At that time, you will have to decide whether to renegotiate another interest-only term, allow the loan to revert to a principal and interest loan, refinance the loan, or sell the property to pay off your debt.

An interest-only loan will cost more in interest over the life of the loan than a principal and interest loan.

Very few people keep a loan for the full 25 years, but you should be aware that the cost differentials between an interest-only loan and a principal and interest loan can be quite significant when calculated over the entire life of the loan. For example:

With a normal principal and interest loan for $500,000 at 4.78% p.a. based on an LVR of 80% over 25 years, the total cost of interest on the loan would be $357,766 over the 25 year period.
On an interest-only loan for $500,000 at 4.78% p.a. based on an LVR of 80% over 25 years with an interest-only period of 10 years, the total cost of interest on the loan would be $440,443 over the 25 year period. This means that the interest-only loan could cost you an additional $82,676 in interest compared to a 25 year principal and interest loan.
You may miss out on a golden opportunity to pay down the principal while interest rates are low.

Is a principal and interest the right loan for you considering that interest-rates are now at all time lows? Sometimes it can be worth paying more now to save money later. Paying down as much as you can off the loan principal now could mean that when interest rates do rise, you will be paying those higher interest rates on a reduced loan amount. Of course, a reduced loan size could mean lower loan repayments and/or paying less interest in the long-term.

Ask us if an interest-only home loan could help you to achieve your goals.

As your professional mortgage and finance brokers, we know about the pros and cons of all home loan and finance products. We’re here to help you understand the different financing options available and give you expert advice on how you can be clever about applying them to help you achieve your goals. Everyone’s personal financial circumstances and goals are different and you can be sure we’ll take the time to listen and understand what you want to achieve. If you’re considering using an interest-only home loan, please get in touch. We’ll help you decide if it’s the right option for you.

Are you better off buying an established home or a new one?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first home buyer, next home buyer or a property investor, deciding between a brand new home and an established one is an important choice that every property buyer needs to make.

Both choices give you a huge range of options, but it’s a decision that could be very important to your future prosperity. So will you choose a brand new property – perhaps buy one off the plan or build the home of your dreams? Or would you prefer an established home in a location you love? To help you decide which one is the right choice for you, in this article we’ve provided you with five good reasons to consider buying a new build and five good reasons to think about buying an established home.

Why buy a new build?

Lower maintenance costs.
One of the most attractive things about a newly constructed property is that they are brand new. You don’t have to worry that the hot water heater is about to wear out or you’ll have to come up with the money for a new roof next year.

Of course, a property with no maintenance issues means no maintenance costs – at least for the first few years – which will be very appealing to landlords everywhere. It’s also a big bonus for first home buyers and anyone who can expect cash-flow to be tight in the first few years of home ownership.

First home buyer grants and other incentives.
In most states of Australia, there are grants and other government incentives to assist first home buyers when they buy a new build home. These incentives may include the first home buyer’s grant and/or stamp duty savings. It should be noted that these benefits do vary from state to state so to find out more, please visit the government website here.

Tax benefits for investors.
If you’re a property investor there could be some tax benefits whether it is a new build or an established home. One of the things you may be able to claim on your tax is depreciation on certain aspects of your property and its contents. These tax benefits tend to be greater and easier to claim on a new build property where the building, fixtures and fittings are all new than with an established property where they may be a number of years old.

For more information about how to claim depreciation tax benefits on your investment property and find out exactly what you can claim, please talk to an accountant or visit the ATO website here. If you don’t have an accountant who knows about property investment, just ask us for a referral.

Higher rental yield potential.
People love to live in a brand new property where no one has ever lived before. New build properties make attractive homes because they usually come with all the latest mod-cons, great insulation and the latest energy efficient appliances. You may even find that tenants are willing to pay more rent for a new build property than they would for a similar established home, simply because they know the actual costs of living there will be less.

Build the home you really want.
Building your own home, buying off the plan or purchasing a newly completed home may allow you to obtain a home that better suits your needs and lifestyle. It’s a great way to get that dream home you’ve always wanted! Whilst it is often possible to renovate an established home to meet your family’s unique requirements, designing a new one specifically for your purposes may provide better value for money and may be a much more attractive idea to some.

Why buy an established home?

Renovate or extend to add value.
Unlike a new build property, an established home may give you the opportunity to renovate or extend which could help you to instantly add value and increase your equity. This can be a very effective wealth-building strategy if you do it well.

Be sure you’re not paying too much.
One of the problems with buying a new property off the plan or building your own home is that it is difficult to know exactly what the value of the property will be when construction is completed. This represents a risk because it is possible that you may end up paying more for the property than it is actually worth.

With an established home, it is much easier to obtain an accurate valuation at the time of purchase, so you can be more confident that you are paying the right price. You also get the peace of mind of inspecting the finished property before you buy it.

Location.
Building a new property depends on the availability of vacant land for the development. This is most often found on the outskirts of cities. Established homes are more likely to be easier to rent and easier to sell because they are usually located in areas where people actually want to live, which tends to make them more popular with both tenants and property buyers.

Historical charm and outside space.
There are people who love a character home and would quite simply prefer to purchase an older, established home rather than a new build. It can be argued that these homes could have better capital gain potential because they are each a piece of history that is unique and becoming increasingly rare. It is also true that land allotment sizes used to be much larger, providing buyers of older established homes with bigger gardens designed to accommodate families with children and pets.

Move in sooner.
You never know for sure how long it will take to build a new home. Unforeseeable circumstances can often cause frustrating delays and even something as simple as bad weather can add months to the project. On the other hand, you can buy an established home very quickly. The entire process of locating the right property, buying it and moving in could take as little as three months, maybe even less.

Whether you’re considering buying a new build or an established home, we’re happy to help you weigh up the merits of your choice of property. We’ve helped many first home buyers, next home buyers and property investors to make wiser property purchasing decisions and of course, choose the right home loan to help them make the most of their personal financial circumstances and achieve their goals. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you make the right choices, just give us a call today.