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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Purchasing their first property 15 years ago with the intention of creating a property portfolio which would see them comfortably supported during their retirement, Max and Jeanette Schudeboom now have a portfolio of 13 properties.

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Max and Jeanette joins  host Phil Tarrant to discuss their property journey, compare the Australian market to Max’s home town of Holland, and share their plans to maintain the size of their portfolio.

The pair also unpack how they manage and finance their portfolio, discuss the process they go through when choosing where to invest, and share the tips learned from 15 years as property 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!

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Castle Hill
Point Cook
Elizabeth East
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Albury
Cambridge Park
Penrith
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Morayfield
Melbourne
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Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

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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Eagleby
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Paddington
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Glen Iris
Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals

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