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When east coast conditions come to bite us

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

25 March 2017

Market and economic conditions beyond our control on the west coast are now set to have an impact on Western Australians. And the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIWA) and the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA Division (UDIA WA) are not happy about it.

Both REIWA and UDIA WA have called the prospect of tightening home lending conditions across the country a “knee-jerk reaction” to over-inflated market conditions on the east coast, especially the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. REIWA President Hayden Groves said it did not take into account the varied market conditions within Australia, such as WA where the property market has softened considerably over the last two years.

“If lending conditions are made tougher for existing home owners, new home buyers and investors in WA, this will have a detrimental effect on our local housing market which is just starting to show signs of stabilisation,” said Mr Groves.

UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes agreed saying that imposing further lending restrictions would “do more harm than good” on the west coast.

Affordability continues to be a significant issue for Western Australians due to the recent downturn in the mining sector and challenging economic conditions. However Mr Groves said tightening lending conditions in WA will only make this worse.

35% of lending finance in WA is attributed to investors. “Even if this regulation is only applied to investors, increasing borrowing costs would mean investors have no choice but to pass this down to tenants and would also limit the number of investors entering the market,” said Mr Groves.

REIWA and UDIA WA have joined forces to call on State Treasurer Ben Wyatt to address the issue at a national level.

Brace yourselves for rising interest rates

To rub further salt into the wound, two of the Big 4 banks – NAB and Westpac – announced a decision to lift interest rates out of cycle with the Reserve Bank for both owner occupiers and investors earlier this month. And now there’s talk that the other two banks in the Big 4 – CBA and ANZ – are about to follow suit.

In the last couple of days we have seen news reports suggesting that CBA and ANZ customers should brace themselves for interest rate hikes of more than 20 basis points for investment loans and up to 10 basis points for owner occupier loans.

The rate hike has arrived at a critical time for the banks with many speculating that APRA (the chief banking regulator) is set to introduce a series of measures to slow property growth. As for the motive of the banks, their decision to lift rates is in a bid to keep a lid on growth in loans to property investors and (not surprisingly) to protect their own profit margins. Again the decision has been fuelled by over-inflated growth in Sydney and Melbourne.

After eight years of what economists are calling “subnormal, artificially low interest rates”, it would appear we have now entered a new stage with rising interest rates expected to run for the next five to eight years.


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The future of housing in WA

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

17 March 2017

While the year 2050 may seem a lifetime away right now, the WA Planning Commission must look that far ahead in order to set in motion plans to accommodate our anticipated population growth and demographic changes.

The forecasts for 2050

• WA’s population growth will have increased from 2.5 million (where we currently stand) to between 4.4 and 5.6 million (so potentially more than double).
• The number of people aged 65 and over will increase from 13% (where we currently stand) to 22%.

What will be needed to accommodate this growth & change in demographics?

The State Planning Strategy 2050 forecasts 700,000 new dwellings will need to be built and that most of those dwellings (500,000 to 550,000) will have to be built in the Perth metropolitan region. That’s a massive number of homes.

When you consider both the increase in population and the fact that our population is aging over the next 40 years, it’s clear that there will be a need for more suitable, diverse and affordable housing across WA, and in particular, in and around Perth.

Right now 80% of the state’s housing is standalone houses. A more diverse balance of housing has therefore been recommended with the suggested breakdown as follows:

• Separate houses – 56%
• Semi-detached houses – 35%
• Apartments – 9%

The Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) has been working with the Planning Institute of WA for the last 6 months to help address WA’s housing stock imbalance.

Planning Institute of WA Executive Officer, Emma de Jager said, “Although density creates some tensions, the reality is that we need to provide a variety of housing forms across WA to cater for our changing society. Planning needs to consider the community of the future, and affordability is about access and services as much as price.”

It is vital that we plan ahead now to figure out how we will evolve to accommodate our growing population. There’s no point burying our heads in the sand about something we know we will have to face, if not for ourselves, then for future generations.


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Am I too old to buy an investment property?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

11 March 2017

We sometimes speak to people in their 50s (some even older) who are beginning to wonder if they’ve left it too late to invest in property. As the prospect of their retirement years draws closer they begin to wish they’d invested sooner.

The good news is, according to independent property investment expert, Ken Raiss, it’s not too late. Encouragingly he said, I certainly don’t believe anyone should ever think that generating income from real estate is out of their reach.”

That being said however, he does admit that if you’re a Baby Boomer, your options are more limited and your strategy will have to be different the later you start.

Investors in their 30s have around three decades before they will need to sell. Mr Raiss said people over 50 would need to invest in high growth properties that generally have a negative cash flow because they don’t have a lot of time up their sleeves to “see the wonders of compounding growth work its magic”.

Mr Raiss said this normally requires extra discipline in terms of the need to budget and make some sacrifices now, adding that the sacrifices made now should be viewed positively as they should lead to a more comfortable retirement.

The key questions to ask yourself are:

  • When do I want to retire and how many years do I have left in the workforce?
  • How much money do I need to sustain my lifestyle in retirement?
  • What is my family situation and how will that impact my finances in retirement?

What about getting a loan?

Because most property loans are based on 30-year terms, Mr Raiss said a shorter loan term could mitigate your risk enough to satisfy a lender. Naturally this means you’ll be up for higher repayments, so it’s important to weigh up if this is within your means.

Mr Raiss said another option is to consider purchasing through a Self Managed Super Fund, which is becoming increasingly popular.

Encouragingly, Mr Raiss said, “The real estate market is a bottomless well of dwelling values, yields and growth potential – and there’s a multitude of strategy options for you to create a wealthy retirement, even at an advanced age.”

To read the full article, click on the link.

 


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