Finance advice

The real impact of the interest rate war

By Lisa Montgomery

Borrowers will be the innocent casualties rather than the winners in the current mortgage price war, writes Lisa Montgomery

 

In case you haven’t already noticed, Australia is experiencing its own war at the moment – and it’s taking place on the mortgage battlefield. It’s a price war between lenders, with the weapon of choice being interest rates.

But what some may not be prepared for is that there will be some innocent casualties in this war in the form of unsuspecting borrowers not aware of the potential pitfalls of getting involved in such a battle – where there is only one thing being fought over.

These days, with so many innovative products on the market, it’s not enough to side with someone over one aspect of a loan when there is so much more to the financial equation.

On a daily basis we are now seeing one, two and three year fixed rates changing alongside very low variable rates as well. And the lowest of them are coming from those companies predominantly operating in the online market – who are able to offer limited to zero support with a low rate product.

The biggest concern about this current war is that borrowers who are the beneficiaries of these low interest rates might think they are financially healthy when, in fact, they are not.

In many areas of finance, while there are borrowers who do have enough home loan experience to understand and manage their financial commitments, there are many more, without the additional support of financial education and wider lending provisions, who do not.

In the absence of experienced, professional direction and the backup service of a dedicated lending representative, many of those borrowers who take up deals purely on one single low rate feature are throwing out the quality service-driven aspects of their home loan arrangements.

This is because they’re drawing the incorrect conclusion that a low interest rate equals the best deal. And this is simply not the case.

The harsh reality is that if they don’t have some level of specialist guidance and expertise to take them on the journey, they don’t have access to a healthy financial platform.

So, how exactly did this rate war come about, resulting in people having such extreme tunnel vision?

It started soon after the global financial crisis, when consumer confidence was tested by a shaky economy and has since continued to the point that it’s now being fuelled by overall inactivity among borrowers, who seem to have lost confidence in their personal financial health.

To move out of this battlefield and re-group, borrowers now have to be reminded about the entire value proposition of any mortgage package.  

They need to think about what they don’t know in the scheme of things, how they can go about getting that information and support so they can become more empowered regarding their mortgage, and to understand as well the vital role that loan features and service play.

If you understand the role a good service provider can play in supporting your financial goals, you will understand why rate alone should not dictate your final decision.
Great service includes education about how to maximise your loan and its features, and this can potentially save you more than a low rate can – even in the first year.

Structuring your loan so that you have the flexibility you may need to accommodate changes to your personal circumstances should be a collaborative, yet empowering process with the right lending representative.

Investigating the merits of switching to a fixed rate; changing your repayment frequency; opting for interest only repayments; undergoing a loan conversion; or extending your loan length can all be options available to you if you know how and when to use them. But they are of no use without the right person to talk you through them and to help determine if they are appropriate for you.

So, when you’re next thinking about your property and your mortgage, don’t get caught up in a war which could leave you financially battle scarred. Ensure you’re well prepared for navigating yourself through the journey ahead.

Lisa Montgomery is CEO of Resi Mortgage Corp
[email protected]

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  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
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If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment
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  ["introtext"]=>
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Jillian Stewart's investment journey began in 2009 with a property loan being used for anything but - and the purchase of half a house. And while she claims to have done everything wrong along the way, her current portfolio boasting 15 (and a half) properties, suggests otherwise.

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On this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Jillian joins host Phil Tarrant to unpack her portfolio and explain the reasoning behind her investment decisions. She discusses her plan to purchase through the company and reveals the link between her properties, earth moving and cotton farming.

One of Jillian's daughters joins in briefly to discuss the value in educating children about money, and how another is just about ready to purchase her first property - while still at school! They also reveal how Jillian encourages her children to grow wealth in a move that many kids might not be too happy about.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Slowing rents show rental properties need clear differentiation
Where are listings seeing the biggest rises and falls?
Country v city and how to beat the assumptions


AREAS MENTIONED:

Moree
Inverell
Walgett
Come By Chance
Sydney
Stuarts Point
Kempsey
Northam
H
exham
Hervey Bay
Craignish
Nurrumba
Dysart
Inverell
Tannum Sands
Mackay
B
oomi
Goondiwindi
Deception Bay

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Half a house to more than 15 in 8 years
object(stdClass)#1213 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18251"
  ["title"]=>
  string(58) "Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(58) "where-the-major-off-the-plan-hotspots-are-around-australia"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(231) "

Buying off-the-plan can be lucrative in the long run, if you can get over the risk factor. If you want to minimise the risk and maximise your chances at profitability, these suburbs might be just what you’re looking for.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(3007) "

Outlined in The Australian Off The Plan Sentiment Report, published by Investorist, Domain’s data scientist Dr Nicola Powell has outlined where in major markets investors should focus their efforts when purchasing property off-the-plan:

Sydney

The south-west region of Sydney has seen an increase of interest in new developments, with Leppington, Austral and Edmondson Park, as well as Marsden Park, which all offer the widest variety of developments available to buy into, according to Domain data.

Sydney was also the most popular capital city for off-the-plan interest, with Domain recording over 2 million views for the property type.

Brisbane

The increased number of new developments has impacted on price growth in the unit market with supply stronger than demand, yet off-the-plan listing prices remain higher than listing prices for all new developments.

The full extent of the market however is yet to be seen, as it is adjusting with the fall of new development commencements and completed developments slide from the peak. Boutique developments in the inner city, targeted towards owner-occupiers, have the potential to show signs of improvement amid underperforming inner city Brisbane units.

Canberra

The key area in all of Canberra is Gungahlin, which according to Dr Powell contains numerous opportunities for buyers, as the area has seen a “significant transformation”.

Gungahlin currently is Canberra’s fastest growing area, seeing its population double in the last 10 years, there is a light rail project under construction and the first commonwealth government agency is scheduled to relocate to the area. Moncrieff is the most popular Gungahlin suburb, with the most development listings and views according to Domain data and has continued to remain popular even with other developments undergoing construction in Throsby, Taylor and Kenny.

Melbourne

Out of all the property types, new house and land packages topped Domain’s list for Victoria in 2017 with 1.8 million views, showing there is high demand for them due to employment opportunities getting stronger and affordability hurdles getting lower. There is also a solid chance for growth, as the strong demand saw prices for new house and land packages rise over 2017.

West Melbourne was the most popular region for off-the-plan supply and demand with the most listings and views, with popular suburbs including Tarneit, Werribee and Rockbank.

Perth

Demand for new house and land packages were proportionally high, making up 87.5 per cent of all listing views, with the majority of listings stemming from south-west and south-east regions of Perth, with the suburbs Baldivis, Piara Waters, Wellard and Hilbert ranking at the top.

There was also strong demand for listings in the north, which include the north-east suburb of Morley and the north west suburb of Doubleview.

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Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia

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