Tag Archives: Interest Rate

More space for home owner-occupiers in the market

More space for home owner-occupiers in the marketStruggling to buy a home in Australia? It can be frustrating, especially when you have to compete with investors snatching up houses for sale on every corner.

Housing values in the country have been on the up, driven mainly by prices of real estate in Sydney and Melbourne. This is partially thanks to the 2 per cent cash rate that has pushed interest rates on home loans to record lows.

To combat the risk of a market crash, the Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has put countermeasures in place, including a ten per cent limit on investment credit yearly growth. While not technically enforced, this suggested target aims to restrict lending to investors to help cool rising prices.

So the big question is, is this solution working?

A look at the numbers will seem to suggest – yes.

Owner occupation on the rise

According to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), home loans for owner-occupier housing increased in August by 2.5 per cent. HIA Economist Diwa Hopkins also notes that “lending to investors seeking to construct housing fell away sharply during the month”. This means that more financing is being shifted away from investors and put toward owner-occupiers.

Furthermore the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the dwelling commitment values for this type of property increased by 6.1 per cent (seasonally-adjusted estimate) from July to August. Meanwhile, it decreased by 0.4 per cent for investment housing.

As the APRA continues to crack down on banks exceeding the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’, you can expect to see the real estate market be less and less heated in the months to come. If you’re looking to buy a home you can settle in, it’s important to be ready to snatch up a property for sale that suits your needs.

Burnie Property Outlook 2012

The Burnie property market will be bolstered by renewed interest in 2012, as home buyers stop marking time, after waiting through 2011 for prime buying conditions to arrive.

In the last six months, the market has been falling due to a lack of confidence in the economy and with state government policies, but this is expected to steady in 2012.

With current economic uncertainty, state budget cuts and rising unemployment dampening confidence, house sales and new housing construction will remain slow, with prices generally remaining flat.

It is expected that extended selling periods will be seen and that values will remain under pressure until the region’s economic prospects improve.

The key challenges facing the region’s property market in 2012 will be ongoing low consumer confidence due to State Government budget cuts to health, education and police.  Stamp duty concessions for first homebuyers ceased in the middle of 2011 and this will continue to impact on first homebuyers entering the market, as they will need to save a larger deposit.

The government also announced in the budget, that spikes in property land taxes will be smoothed out with a reduction in the valuation cycle from 6 years to 3 years.  Cost of living increases, such as rising water/sewerage charges and electricity prices, will continue to negate any gains made from high affordability levels.

Market Conditions

Buyer confidence will improve in 2012 on the back of decreasing sentiment in the last half of 2011.  Confidence has been at the mercy of local market conditions and into 2012, interest rates will be more of a key influencing factor.

Residential Market

Property Prices

Property prices in Burnie are expected to remain relatively flat across all sectors although there is potential for some upward movement of below 1 per cent, depending on what happens with interest rates.

A large choice of available properties for purchase in the local Burnie area will continue to ease pressure on prices.

Land prices may be sensitive to any decline in building approvals and an oversupply of land in some areas.

Rental Market

2012 could see an easing in rental vacancies, of up to 1 per cent, and moderating rental growth.

Rental markets in areas where job losses are being experienced may experience further easing of rental prices and some price drops in weekly rents will be due to people leaving areas in search of employment. This could lead to an oversupply of rental properties.

So, weekly rental prices will remain relatively flat in those regions, with the potential of some decreases of up to 1 per cent. 

Growth

Any increases in investor activity are expected to be up to 5 per cent in the main, as economic uncertainty continues to play a role in investment behaviour and purchase decisions.  Any potential increases will only be if investors are able to purchase positively geared properties.

The upgrader segment is expected to produce the strongest growth in 2012, as buyers seize the opportunity to capitalise on greater affordability and the possibility of lower interest rates, which are expected to further decrease by between 0.5 and 0.75 per cent.

While interest rate cuts may increase activity slightly in Burnie, the real benefit will be any relief it provides to home owners who are facing large increases in their day-to-day living expenses.

Changing Market Conditions

The introduction of the carbon tax is expected to further reduce confidence in the state economy and the government that runs it.

Commercial Property Market

Tasmania is currently outperforming all other major office markets and it will continue to set the pace until at least the first half of 2012.

Bank on leaders working together for affordable homes

Recent interest rate hikes demonstrate the increasing need for Governments and the Big Four Banks to work together to address the key issues of supply and demand and housing affordability.

The endless rounds of ongoing debates need to stop and the banks and government need to start communication if they hope to stop the spiraling downward cycle.  They are the ones with the power to fix up the property market problems and they need to stop taking with one hand while giving with the other, and start talking with each other.

The Property Market is suffering from an undersupply of stock which is making housing affordability even more elusive.  They need to look at influencing affordability and supply by reducing or abolishing stamp duties, abolishing exit fees, introducing more competition into the banking sector and looking at policies that will stimulate the construction industry.

Not even the prospect of a Senate enquiry into banking competition, the abolishment of exit fees, portable bank account numbers, or Parliamentary debate on legislation forcing banks to lift rates by no more than the RBA, is enough.

Any moves, or new policies must be done in light of the property sector, because ultimately it is the “mum and dad” property owners who will suffer the most.

Political leaders need to have the fortitude and imagination to reform property taxes and the banking sector if there is any hope of addressing affordability issues.