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Property listings and prices are bouncing back

Property listings and prices are bouncing back

As property prices start to climb, listings are following suit. So if you’re hunting for a home, what does this mean for you?

If you’ve been looking at the property market over the last six to 12 months, you probably already know that while property prices have dropped, it’s been a case of slim pickings due to the drastically low number of listings.

But prices look like they are starting to bounce back, with March heralding a 0.6% increase in national property prices, according to CoreLogic. And listings are following suit.

PropTrack data for March showed new listings on realestate.com had risen by 10.5% month-on-month, making it the busiest month for new listings since May 2022.

So why has the market changed? And what does it mean if you’re looking to buy?

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What is the fixed-rate cliff and how can refinancing help?

What is the fixed-rate cliff and how can refinancing help?

You’ve probably heard the term “fixed-rate cliff” bandied about in finance news feeds. But what is it? And if you’re about to head over it, how can you prepare for a soft landing?

A staggering 880,000 fixed-rate loans are set to end this year, and when they do, many Australian households will be facing significantly higher mortgage repayments.

That’s because the variable interest rates now on offer are much higher than the fixed rates locked in years ago.

So today we look at what this so-called “cliff” might mean for your budget and how you can reduce the impact by refinancing.

But first, why is the fixed rate cliff looming in 2023?

Before 2020, fixed-rate mortgages equated to about 20% of total Australian home loans.

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Mortgage holders granted a reprieve as RBA puts interest rates on hold

Mortgage holders granted a reprieve as RBA puts interest rates on hold

And … exhale. After 10 straight rate hikes the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has today decided to put the official cash rate on hold. But for how long?

The decision to keep the official cash rate at 3.60% will be welcomed by homeowners around the country after monthly repayments increased by about $1000 per $500,000 loaned (for a 25-year loan) since 1 May 2022.

RBA Governor Philip said the RBA board took the decision to hold interest rates steady this month to provide additional time to assess the impact of the increase in interest rates to date and the economic outlook.

“The Board recognises that monetary policy operates with a lag and that the full effect of this substantial increase in interest rates is yet to be felt,” he said.

However, while the cash rate was not increased at today’s RBA meeting, Governor Lowe signalled there might be more rate hikes in the coming months.

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Money habits that may raise lenders’ eyebrows

Money habits that may raise lenders’ eyebrows

We all know being on our monetary best behaviour can help to land a home loan. But did you know there are common spending habits you may have that are red flags to lenders?

Smart money management and cutting back on expenses can help your home loan application. That’s no secret.

But a bit of measured discretionary spending can add a little spice to life. We’re human after all. And lenders will see this as normal.

However, there are certain spending habits and types of transactions that can be a red flag to lenders. And these may hinder your chances of home loan approval.

Check out our list of potentially problematic spending habits below; avoiding them just might make all the difference when you apply for your next home loan.

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Time to jump in? First home buyer deposit saving times plunge

Time to jump in? First home buyer deposit saving times plunge

Home loan headlines have been, let’s face it, a bit of a downer of late. But the good news is that first-home buyers are now reaching their 20% deposit goal faster.

First home buyers have been delivered a bit of well-deserved good news with the findings of the 2023 Domain First Home Buyer Report.

The analysis shows that first-home buyers aged between 25 to 34 are hitting their house deposit saving goal more quickly compared to April 2022 – a month before the first of ten consecutive cash rate hikes.

State-by-state breakdown

Sydney experienced the biggest decline – a whopping 17-month drop in average deposit-saving time frames, with it now taking 6 years and 8 months to save a deposit compared to 8 years and 1 month in April 2022.

Brisbane (now an average of 4 years to save a deposit) and Canberra (now 6 years) came in second, both experiencing a 14-month drop.

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Got an eagle eye on house prices? Rate rises are only part of the story

Got an eagle eye on house prices? Rate rises are only part of the story

Rate rises can affect the property market, as we’ve all seen of late. But there are other factors that appear to hold longer-term sway over national house prices.

In a bid to bust inflation, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been on a rate rise run that’s seen the official cash rate go from a record-low of 0.10% to 3.60% in just 10 short months.

Along the way, we’ve seen property prices across Australia decline.

As rates rose, Australia saw the largest and swiftest property price drop on record, with a 9.1% fall from April 2022 through to February 2023.

But a recent study by Domain, which examined 30 years of data, suggests that population and migration growth have greater and more long-lasting effects on property prices.

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Homeowners feel the pinch as RBA lifts cash rate to 3.60%

Homeowners feel the pinch as RBA lifts cash rate to 3.60%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has increased the official cash rate for a tenth straight meeting, taking it to 3.60%. How much will this rate hike increase your monthly mortgage repayments, and how many more rate rises are expected to come?

The RBA’s latest move takes the cash rate to its highest level since May 2012.

However, in somewhat hopeful news for mortgage holders, RBA Governor Philip Lowe has softened his language around the timing of future rate hikes.

While last month he said “further increases in interest rates will be needed over the months ahead”, no such statement was included in this month’s rate hike announcement.

In assessing when and how much further interest rates need to increase, Governor Lowe said the RBA board will be “paying close attention to developments in the global economy, trends in household spending and the outlook for inflation and the labour market”.

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The latest twist in the tale of national property prices: explained

The latest twist in the tale of national property prices: explained

The property market has had more plot twists than a daytime soap opera in recent years. So getting the skinny on current trends is helpful when you’re planning to buy. Here’s the lowdown on the latest surprising bit of data.

Despite all the media doom and gloom predicting that the Australian housing market would tank in 2023, national property prices actually rose ever-so-slightly in February.

So what the heck is going on?

Property price trends

You may have heard it’s been a bit of a buyer’s market in recent times. Over the past 12 months, property prices were down 7.2%, the biggest annual drop since May 2019.

With rising interest rates, buyer demand slowed. This saw properties sitting on the market for longer.

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Take the heat off rate hike fears with these 4 tips for buyers

Take the heat off rate hike fears with these 4 tips for buyers

Have recent rate hikes made you nervous about taking the plunge into the property market? You’re not alone; it’s a buyer’s market for a reason. Here’s how to stay cool and calm when buying your next property. 

As you’ve probably seen in the news, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has increased the official cash rate from 0.10% to 3.35% in just nine months.

It’s now the highest it’s been since September 2012 – so it’s only natural to feel a bit hesitant about buying property right now.

But rest assured with the right buying strategies in place, you can navigate rate hikes and mitigate potential financial stress.

1. Know your borrowing capacity

Get to know your borrowing capacity, and consider leaving yourself a bit of a buffer by purchasing under the maximum amount.

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How to prepare for a fixed-rate mortgage cliff

How to prepare for a fixed-rate mortgage cliff

Do you have a fixed-rate mortgage contract that’s coming to an end soon? It can be a stressful time, particularly with rate rise news dominating the headlines. So today we’ve got some tips for a smooth transition.

Like many Australians, you may have taken advantage of the interest rate good times by locking in a cracking rate.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Indeed, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has estimated that 800,000 fixed-rate loans will end this year.

If that includes your loan, below are some tips to help you navigate the transition to higher repayments smoothly.

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RBA hikes the cash rate for the ninth time in a row, to 3.35%

RBA hikes the cash rate for the ninth time in a row, to 3.35%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kicked off 2023 by increasing the cash rate a further 25 basis points to 3.35%. How much will this rate hike increase your mortgage repayments in 2023, and how high is the cash rate expected to go?

This is the ninth rate hike by the RBA in as many meetings (since May 2022), and it takes the cash rate to its highest level since September 2012.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that the RBA board expects that further increases in interest rates will be needed over the months ahead to ensure that inflation returns to target and that this period of high inflation is only temporary.

“In assessing how much further interest rates need to increase, the Board will be paying close attention to developments in the global economy, trends in household spending and the outlook for inflation and the labour market,” said Governor Lowe.

How much are your mortgage repayments expected to increase in 2023?

Unless you’re on a fixed-rate mortgage, the banks will likely follow the RBA’s lead and increase the interest rate on your variable home loan soon.

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Considering refinancing your mortgage? Here are some questions to ask

Considering refinancing your mortgage? Here are some questions to ask

Home loan not up to scratch? Looking for a better rate? Or do you want to unlock equity? Then refinancing could be for you. But there are some important questions to ask first.

If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, you’re not alone.

With the rising cost of living and interest rates hitting the hip pockets of many Australians, it’s a popular move.

According to ABS data, November 2022 saw refinancing values reach a record high of $13.4 billion.

Refinancing may offer you opportunities to unlock equity, land a better rate and avoid what’s known as “loyalty tax”. Sticking to the same loan could see you missing out on favourable rates and features lenders like to use to woo new customers.

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Can a job switch affect your mortgage application?

Can a job switch affect your mortgage application?

Changing jobs may offer more perks – higher income, greater fulfilment, and the opportunity for growth are often things people look for in a new gig. But could it also impact your mortgage application?

January and February each year is typically prime time for people considering switching jobs – the Christmas holiday period is in the rearview mirror and a new year of possibilities lies ahead.

In fact new LinkedIn research shows 59% of workers are thinking about leaving their job in 2023, with more than half saying they’re confident of finding something better.

Coincidentally, 2023 could also be a good time to start considering your next property purchase, with house prices reaching a record decline of -8.40% in January from the May 2022 peak.

So could a job change impact your mortgage application? The short answer is it could.

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Planning a reno in 2023? Here are 4 tips for smooth sailing

Planning a reno in 2023? Here are 4 tips for smooth sailing

Having a spruced-up home feels great. And it can also boost your home’s value. But, as exciting as the prospect of rolling up your sleeves and getting on with a reno can be, there are certainly pitfalls to avoid.

New year, new you, new reno?

Renovating is exciting. Having aesthetics and function on point can make your home feel new again. And possibly add to its value should you want to sell or refinance.

But we’ve all heard reno horror stories: shonky tradies, budget blowouts and permit nightmares, not to mention the recent supply chain disruptions.

So we’ve compiled some tips to help you avoid these perils (and associated headaches!).

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Get a financial head start on the school year

Get a financial head start on the school year

Finding the time to delve into your finances can be a struggle. But the school holidays can offer the perfect time, especially for teachers. Get cracking on your financial to-do list these holidays by looking into refinancing your mortgage.

Planning on giving your finances a boost by refinancing your mortgage?

Well, you’re not alone. Following a string of rate rises last year, borrowers are refinancing in record numbers, according to PEXA research.

And ABS finance and wealth spokesperson, Katherine Keenan, says recent data shows owner-occupier refinancing with different lenders remained at record levels in 2022, above $12 billion.

For many, mortgage repayments take the biggest chunk of the household budget which has become increasingly stretched by the rising cost of living.

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What you should know about buying a tenanted investment property

What you should know about buying a tenanted investment property

Buying a rental property is a popular way to invest. But where do you stand if the property you’re eyeing off already has a tenant? We’ll fill you in on what you need to know.

So you’re primed to expand your financial horizons and want to buy an investment property?

2023 may provide promise, with double-digit percentage gains for rental returns predicted in 11 out of the 14 major Australian residential markets.

But what happens if the property you want to buy already has tenants?

Depending on your plans, this could be a major boon. With tenants in place, the rental income can roll in from day dot!

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4 New Year’s resolutions for financial fitness

4 New Year’s resolutions for financial fitness

As the sun rises on January 1, many Australians will be getting started on their new year’s pacts. The gym will be full of determined resolution keepers; the pavement pounded by brand-new sneakers. But what about shaping up your finances?

There’s no denying 2022 was a tough year for many mortgage holders – with eight rate rises since the start of May – and unfortunately 2023 is tipped to bring more rate increases.

But by kicking off the year with a few tweaks to your budget and habits you could be in a much better position to ride out future hikes.

Here are 4 simple new year’s resolutions that can help keep your finances fighting fit.

1. Time to ditch unnecessary expenses?

The 2022 rate rises had a lot of us trimming back our budgets. But expenses can creep back in. Before you know it, those “free trials” you forgot to cancel become paid monthly subscriptions.

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Seasons greetings! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2023

Seasons greetings! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2023

End-of-year festivities have snuck up on us! Wishing you and yours a swell Noel and a wonderful new year.

It’s time to dust off that kitsch Christmas t-shirt, deck the halls, and give Bing Crosby a spin.

We hope you have the happiest of holidays and a cracking 2023.

As we all bid adieu to 2022, it’s a great time to reflect on the year past. And to dream up plans for the year ahead.

This year had a few challenges for us all (hello rate rises). So we hope you get to enjoy some well-earned rest, and all the merriment the season has to offer.

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First home buyer numbers have halved: is it time to swoop in?

First home buyer numbers have halved: is it time to swoop in?

Repeated cash rate hikes have put many first home buyer plans on hold. So could you swoop in and reap the benefits with less competition in the market?

In case you missed it, from May to December the RBA lifted the cash rate from 0.10% to 3.10%.

This has no doubt hit many mortgage holders hard, but it’s also pumped the brakes on the number of first home buyers looking to enter the property market.

In fact, current Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of first-home buyers fell 3.2% to 8,576 in October alone.

That’s almost half the 16,187 first home buyers who entered the market during the January 2021 peak.

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Are we there yet? RBA hikes cash rate for eighth straight month to 3.10%

Are we there yet? RBA hikes cash rate for eighth straight month to 3.10%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has driven the cash rate up by another 25 basis points to 3.10%. Find out how much this final cash rate hike of the year has increased your mortgage repayments in 2022, and what you can expect in 2023.

The good news? This is it. You can head into the summer holidays knowing this is the last rate rise until at least February when the RBA board will meet again (thankfully they take January off!).

The cash rate now sits at 3.10% following eight months of consecutive rate hikes.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement the RBA board expects to increase interest rates further over the period ahead, but it is not on a pre-set course.

“Inflation in Australia is too high, at 6.9% over the year to October,” said Governor Lowe.

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