Finance advice

Rate rises not all bad news

By Jack Needham

The major banks have made their move, but will rising interest rates and reduced market activity provide new opportunities for property investors?

ANZ has this afternoon confirmed that it will be raising its variable home loan product interest rates by 18 basis points for investors and owner-occupiers.

The news means that all four major banks have now upped their variable home loan rates within the past two weeks, leading to speculation that Australia’s largest property markets will take a further hit to prices in the coming weeks.

CBA announced a 15 basis point rise to both its standard variable home loan and investor loan products yesterday, while NAB announced a 17 basis point increase for the same products this morning.

Westpac was the first bank to make a move, shifting rates up by 20 basis points last Tuesday. 

All banks cited recent capital raising requirements imposed by APRA as the reason behind the change.

Victor Kumar, director of Right Property Group, believes that the changes will have a psychological impact on potential buyers and dampen their confidence, leading to increased opportunities for savvy investors.

“Certainly it does have an impact on buyer confidence, where it does play on people’s mind in terms of affordability, but one of the things we need to remember is that it wasn’t too long ago that we were paying the same rates, so essentially all they’ve done is wind back one interest rate decrease or thereabouts.

“It’s either a glass half-full, or a glass half-empty approach. If you’ve got a glass half-empty approach, then you’d run. From a property investor’s point of view, it comes back to how much negative cash flow you’re already holding in your portfolio and whether you have pre-planned for any interest rises. Now if you’re not really able to afford any rate increases, now would be the ideal time to fix your loan providing you have long-term holding plans for the property," he said.

“If you’re looking at it in terms of half-full, what it means from an investor’s point of view is that there will be less buyers, potentially, in the market, which means that the vendors will be a lot more negotiable.”

Andrew Wilson, Domain Group’s chief economist, expects that the decision will have a negative impact on consumer sentiment over the coming weekends, as the spring auction market kicks into full swing.

“Nothing will halt a property market faster than rising interest rates, and we saw the impact of higher rates, or even just the thought of higher rates, last week from that Westpac announcement where we had a sharp fall in the clearance rate in Sydney and a fall in Melbourne. This is now obviously going to add more impetus to that trepidation of buyers," Mr Wilson said.

“We’ve got super Saturday in Melbourne coming up and it’ll be the highest weekend of the year and probably go close to the record number of auctions, so again it’s a hit to the Melbourne market.”

Rates rising while the market enters a downturn is an unprecedented event, according to Mr Wilson, meaning that true extent of the negative impact is difficult to pinpoint.

Jason Back, managing director at The Australian Lending and Investment Centre, disagreed and said even with the recent rises, rates remain at near-historic lows.

“The reality is that we’re still at record-low interest rates. If you look back to 2012, we were still looking at seven-plus per cent interest rates. So I think that, for some people, it will get them thinking a little bit more, but the reality is that it’s still a really positive environment. I think people just need to be better educated about what it means for their overall position; I don’t think it’ll make a big difference at this stage.”

Cate Bakos, buyer’s agent and director of Cate Bakos Property, believes that changed serviceability requirements and LVR restrictions for investors, introduced by banks earlier this year in response to APRA directives, are having far more impact on the market than any rate shifts.

“I would argue that the actual interest rate increase has not hurt investors as much as the stricter borrowing constraints that have been enforced by the bank […] that’s been more detrimental to investors moving forward, in my view, than the additional costs of the borrowings because a lot of investors are smart enough to realise that we still have very, very low comparative interest rates when you benchmark where they've been over the last 10 years,” she said.

This article has been updated since first published in order to reflect ANZ's announcement. 

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podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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!

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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!

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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!

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Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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