Finance advice
Warren Dworcan

Variable or fixed loan: What's best for you?

By Warren Dworcan

One of the most important decisions when acquiring a loan is whether you should go with a variable or fixed rate. Both have their pros and cons but one may suit your financial goals better. It is essential that you know the differences and how each can benefit you.

Blogger: Warren Dworcan, managing director, Rate Detective Finance

Fixed Rate
A fixed interest rate is where your rate is locked in and stays the same for a specific period during the term of your loan. The fixed rate period can range from 1 year up to 10 years, depending on each bank’s offerings. The obvious advantage is you avoid the risk of rising interest rates and higher repayments, however you also miss out on potential savings if it falls. A major benefit of this type of loan is that it allows you to accurately budget as you know exactly what your repayments are going to be. The cons to having a fixed rate are that penalties will be payable if you wish to pay off or refinance the loan during the fixed rate period and most have none or limited additional repayments, which can be a source of frustration if you want to pay off your loan early.

Variable Rate
Variable rate loans, as the name suggests means that the interest rate can change at any time. However most of the changes to variable rate at the lenders are triggered by the cash rate changes from the Reserve Bank of Australia. As a general rule of thumb, if the cash rate drops so should your repayments (as a result of interest rate falling), however if they rise your repayments will increase. This can make it difficult to budget as repayments can become unpredictable. A bonus is that additional repayments are allowed so you can pay off your loan quicker if you wish to. If possible try and plan ahead for any expected rate rises by paying extra into the loan.

Combination Rate
Combination loans allow you to have a part of your loan on fixed and the remainder variable. Most lenders will offer this option. Your loan is basically hedged so regardless of the economic situation your loan will be partially suited to it. The catch is that you won’t get to experience the full benefits of either.

Which loan is best for you?
As a general guide, if you expect the cash rate to be higher than the offered fixed rate for a majority of your term then go with a fixed rate loan but if you predict it will be lower, then choose a variable rate loan. It is important to realise that interest rates cannot be controlled and are always changing as it is affected not only by events in Australia but globally which makes them impossible to predict accurately. There will always be risk for both but the decisive factor should be which option is best suited your financial needs. It’s vital you keep your own financial goals in mind, and take into account your income stream and the need for security or flexibility.

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About the Blogger

Warren Dworcan

Warren Dworcan

Warren Dworcan is the Managing Director of Rate Detective Finance, which provides information to consumers about home loans, credit cards, personal loans and personal insurance.

Successfully assisting thousands of Australians with loan enquiries in excess of more than $1 billion, Warren alongside his highly qualified and dedicated staff are equipped to deal with all aspects and complexities associated with the mortgage market.

Over the last two years Warren has been dedicated to growing the business into becoming one of the leading independent brokerages in Australia.

Recently recognised as one of the top brokers in Australia, Warren was awarded the coveted Australian Broker of the Year award in both 2012 and 2013 at the Australian Broking Awards in Sydney.

Email:
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podcast

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

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:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

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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