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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.

“The decision to hold interest rates steady this month provides the Board with more time to assess the state of the economy and the outlook, in an environment of considerable uncertainty,” he said.

“In assessing when and 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.”

How much have your repayments increased since 1 May 2022?

Let’s say you’re an owner-occupier with a 25-year loan of $500,000 paying principal and interest.

The wave of 10 successive rate rises means the repayments on your mortgage have increased by about $985 a month compared to 1 May 2022.

If you have a $750,000 loan, repayments will likely have increased $1,478 from 1 May 2022.

Meanwhile, a $1 million loan is up about $1,980 from 1 May 2022.

What happens if the cash rate increases further in future months?

Economists at the big four banks have forecast that the cash rate will peak at either 3.85% or 4.10% in the months to come (so, just one or two more cash rate hikes to go).

Assuming you’re an owner-occupier with a 25-year loan, here’s how much more you could be paying each month if the cash rate reaches 4.10%:

Worried about your mortgage? Get in touch

Despite today’s reprieve, there’s no denying that a lot of households around the country are feeling the pain after 10 successive rate rises.

There are also lots of people on fixed-rate home loans wondering what options will be available to them once their fixed-rate period ends.

Some options we can help you explore include refinancing (which could involve increasing the length of your loan and decreasing monthly repayments), debt consolidation, or building up a bit of a buffer in an offset account ahead of more rate hikes.

So if you’re worried about how you might meet your repayments going forward, give us a call today. The earlier we sit down with you and help you make a plan, the better we can help you manage any further rate hikes.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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.

PayPal transactions

There’s nothing inherently wrong with using PayPal. It’s often a convenient and safe way to make online purchases.

But many expenses that lenders may scrutinise, such as online gambling, and other unmentionable vices, use PayPal with vague descriptors.

This makes it easier to hide spending habits some may not want the world to know about.

And even if your PayPal spending is mundane, if the descriptions are vague, lenders may still raise an eyebrow.

Purchases through bank accounts on the other hand make it easier for lenders to see your spending habits when assessing your application.

Buy now, pay later

It can be tempting to use a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service to splurge on a new outfit and leave future you to stump up the cash.

However, even though BNPL services aren’t traditional credit products, they can still affect your credit score.

That’s because when you apply for a BNPL service, there’s a chance it may be recorded as an enquiry on your credit report – and these enquiries may impact your credit score.

Worse still, a few missed payments later and that purchase may not seem like such a hot idea – BNPL services can notify credit reporting agencies that you’ve defaulted on a payment, leaving you with a blemish on your credit report.

Last but not least, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently amended its framework to include BNPL debts in the reporting of debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.

And a high DTI can lessen your home loan borrowing capacity, or even lead to rejection.

Dipping into savings too often

Having regular savings locked away, untouched, and accruing interest … well, that can make lenders smile when assessing your mortgage application.

But as we all know, life happens. Unexpected expenses may crop up that require you to dip into your savings.

This isn’t the end of the world when applying for a mortgage, but pinching too much from your piggy bank might get lenders thinking that you’re unable to put money aside and budget.

This could lead lenders to believe that you will struggle to make regular repayments.

Store credit cards

Many stores will entice you with swanky perks in return for signing up for their credit card. But often, when you look past the interest-free period sparkle, the interest rates are rubbish.

One or two forgotten payments can really end up costing you.

Also, lenders may view having a multitude of store cards as “fishing for credit” – sourcing credit from different places may make it look like you’re scrambling for money.

And every time you apply for a store credit card, your credit report is pinged, which as mentioned previously, can harm your overall score.

Frequent large ATM withdrawals

Some people still prefer to use cash, which is fine. But keep in mind that in the eyes of lenders it may make your spending habits hard to track.

Lenders may question your withdrawals. If you have a fair explanation, and possibly some supporting documentation, then cash withdrawals likely won’t have a negative effect on your application.

However, keep in mind that withdrawing a few hundred dollars every Friday night at the local service station or bottleo ATM isn’t a great look.

Get your ducks in a row

Nobody likes the sting of rejection.

But fear not because we’re experts in helping people shape up their finances for a schmick mortgage application.

So if you’re thinking about buying but are worried about how some of your recent transactions or money habits might look to a lender, get in touch today and we can help you start to smooth things out.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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.

Melbourne (now 5 years 7 months) and Darwin (3 years 6 months) came next, both with an 11-month decrease in saving periods.

Hobart (5 years 8 months), Perth (3 years 7 months) and Adelaide (4 years 9 months) all saw smaller drops of 5 months, 2 months and 1 month respectively.

Why is it quicker to save a deposit now?

Well, 2022 saw a steady decline in national house prices in response to increasing interest rates. In January 2023, CoreLogic reported a record national home value decline of 8.40%.

And as property prices fall, so too does the cost of your 20% deposit.

Also contributing to the shorter savings periods is ABS data showing that wages have grown in both public and private sectors, while the unemployment rate is hovering at a low 3.5%. Rate hikes meanwhile have seen savings accounts accrue more interest.

Overcoming potential challenges

Despite the promising new CoreLogic findings, saving a 20% deposit can still be a stretch for many.

The increased cost of living means just paying for essentials takes a big chunk of the paycheck, leaving less for savings.

And with home loan interest rates on the up, borrowing capacity has dropped and mortgage serviceability can be difficult.

Also, CoreLogic has reported that house prices have begun to stabilise.

So, as a first-home buyer, how can you speed up the buying process?

Get in on government incentives

Taking advantage of government schemes can speed up your home-buying journey by 4 to 4.5 years, on average.

For example, the First Home Guarantee could see you paying a deposit of just 5% while avoiding an eye-watering lenders’ mortgage insurance fee.

But you’ll have to be quick because spots are limited and can disappear quickly. The next allocation period in July is creeping up, so getting on board with a mortgage broker (like us!) ASAP is a good idea.

We’ve got the know-how to get your First Home Guarantee application on track.

And, we can see if you’re eligible to maximise your savings by combining other government incentives.

Find out more

If you’re ready to take the plunge and buy your first home we can help get a plan in place to make it happen.

We’ll calculate your borrowing power, assess your finance options, and assist in taking advantage of government incentives.

Call us today.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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.

The study shows that a 1% mortgage rate increase may result in Australian house prices falling by 1.34%, on average.

But in comparison, national house prices could jump by 8.18% with a population increase of only 1%.

So let’s examine the effects of mortgage rate rises and population growth so you can navigate the market.

Mortgage rate rise effects

When interest rates rise, your borrowing power can dip. And the rise in the cost of living can hit the hip pocket.

So, under these conditions, fewer people may be willing to buy property.

With less demand, vendors may need to lower prices in order to sell homes. And if you’re ready to buy you may be able to negotiate a great price.

But the RBA can’t keep raising the cash rate forever (surely!).

In fact, economists at each of the big 4 banks have forecast that the RBA will announce just one or two more rate rises by 2 May 2023, with a peak cash rate of 4.10% predicted.

Corelogic stated in their recent three-year post-pandemic market report that once we get a rate hike reprieve, property sale and price volatility may lessen.

Population and migration effects

While mortgage rate rises do affect property prices, other factors appear to have more long-term effects.

Doman’s findings outlined that property prices are reactive to rate rises within the same quarter, whereas movement in population and migration numbers is cumulative and the effects are longer lasting.

So as migration numbers continue to rebound following COVID-19 lockdowns (and lockouts), it’s likely we’ll see an increase in property demand, which could cause prices to rise.

For example, Domain says Melbourne has “made a quick population recovery” since the COVID-19 lockdowns and is slated to nab the title of Australia’s most populated city by 2031-2032.

Melbourne had an 8.1% property price drop in 2022, while Sydney experienced a heftier reduction of 12.1%.

Domain’s study suggests that Melbourne’s population boom, and the resulting increase in housing demand, are behind the more moderate price drop.

And so, while it’s worth considering mortgage rates when surveying the property market, other factors like population and migration – which feed directly into supply and demand – are certainly worth considering too.

If you’d like to dig into the modelling further, the Australian government’s Centre for Population website has a great interactive tool that you can use to check out migration forecasts for each state and territory.

Get in touch with us today

Keeping an eagle eye on property prices is a great idea if you’ve got home ownership in your sights.

And while you’re busy researching the market, we can get cracking on helping to find the right loan for you.

We can also help you get financially savvy with tips to boost your borrowing power. That way you’ll be ready to pounce when the time is right.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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