Finance advice

Interest rates, house prices and why we’re living through the greatest period in world history!

By Troy Gunasekera

TroyGunasekera 70x60Each week I review numerous sources from housing reports to news coverage to uncover trends within Australia’s property markets. This week I’ll be focusing on the RBA Monthly Meeting results, housing prices updates and more.

BloggerTroy Gunasekera, national manager, The Property Club

Interest Rates:
Firstly, the most common question we have received through this week at Property Club, has been about what interest rates might or might not do!

Currently, our finance broker network has the following best interest rates available:
1 Year Fixed: 4.89%
3 Year Fixed: 4.99%

So what does that tell us about what interest rates will do the next few years?

If you can get finance at 4.99% (pretty much the equivalent to most people’s current variable rate) for three years; do you think that there would be much of a chance of the variable rates going to 6% and staying there for three years?  Not likely!

Don’t just take my word for it, the Chief Economist of Westpac, Bill Evans responded to the results of the RBA meeting this week, (in part) with the following comments:
•    As expected the Reserve Bank Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.50%
•    The Bank is clearly careful to emphasise that there is no case for higher rates
•    Westpac has been anticipating an extended period of steady rates. This scenario is now confirmed in the Governor’s following statement; We do not expect rates to be lowered before the second half of 2014 when many of the apparent puzzles in today’s statement will be resolved. Our current view is for a move in august to be followed up with a further move later in the year.

There you have it, clear and logical. Now let’s see what the year brings!

Housing prices:
To begin with a positive; house prices increased over the past year - nationally, being up around 10%.

This has provoked discussions about fears that house prices could be going too high, too quickly.  Of course in pockets around the countryside, there are areas where first home buyers will struggle to get into the market. However, as you will see from the graph below, house prices nationally are only 4% above their previous peak, with PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA and Sydney the only cities to be above.

The graph is logically showing that house prices are not increasing at a crazy rate, as when put into perspective with history, they aren’t that much over the long-term rate, with the obvious exception being Sydney. 

Change in capital city home values

And then, the increase in housing loan approvals over the past six months has prompted the following comments from St George economists Hans Kunnen and Janu Chan;

“Rising house prices, low interest rates and robust population growth suggests that residential housing activity should remain elevated.”

“Residential investment should make a solid contribution towards economic growth in 2014.”

The respected commercial firm Dun & Bradstreet published the following very positive results of their quarterly survey into business conditions:

•    “The upswing in the economy continues to unfold, although the only moderate levels for expected employment and capital expenditure suggest a fully-fledged upswing may still be a few months away,” said Stephen Koukoulas, Economic Adviser to Dun & Bradstreet
•    For the RBA, the Business Expectations Survey is good news. The economy is clearly responding to an easy monetary policy and the lower Australian dollar

Business expectations Q2 2014

Increased sales expected industry

Are we living through the greatest period in world history?
An article on the internet, 50 Reasons why We’re Living Through the Greatest Period in World History, has some very applicable points for Australia, even though it’s based on America. Some summary points are below:

1.    Life expectancy at birth was 39 years in 1800, 49 years in 1900, 68 years in 1950, and 79 years today. The average newborn today can expect to live an entire generation longer than his great-grandparents could!
2.    According to the Federal Reserve, the number of lifetime years spent in leisure, i.e.: retirement plus time off during your working years, rose from 11 years in 1870 to 35 years by 1990. Given the rise in life expectancy, it's probably close to 40 years today. Therefore, the average American spends nearly half his life in leisure. If you had told this to the average American 100 years ago, that person would have considered you wealthy beyond imagination.
3.    You need an annual income of $34,000 a year to be in the richest 1% of the world, according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic's 2010 book ‘The Haves and the Have-Nots’. To be in the top half of the globe you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it's $5,000 per year and you enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000.

Pretty good points to keep in mind, wouldn’t you say? Click here to read the whole article 50 Reasons We're Living Through the Greatest Period in World History

If you have specific questions related to property markets, or want to learn more about the fundamentals of property investing, please email me directly!

Happy Investing!


About Troy Gunaskera
TroyGunasekera 340x408Troy Gunasekera is the National Manager of The Property Club, Australia’s largest independent property group guiding members of all ages to become financially independent through investing in property.

With his wife, Troy has an impressive portfolio of properties worth over $5m diversified across Australia. His own investments are the result of his continual research into the latest developments in property finance, interest rates and property markets Australia wide.

[email protected]

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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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  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:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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