Finance advice

Should you be switching?

By Reporter

The nation’s banks and non-bank lenders alike are vying for borrowers’ business with the biggest injection of special offers and discounted fixed rates seen in years.

 

In a property market characterised by lacklustre price growth, and with the cost of living rising significantly, the temptation to seek out a better deal is certainly hard to resist. But is it really worth it?

The case for switching

Refinancing for a better home loan can certainly save you a lot of cash – if done correctly. Some key reasons to consider switching lender are: to secure a better interest rate, particularly if you are on a ‘honeymoon’ loan that has reverted to a higher rate; to make the move from variable to fixed – popular among those who want consistency in cash flow and security; to obtain a more flexible loan or one with features more suited to your needs; and to unlock the equity you have built up in your existing property/properties.

The case for staying put

According to the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Home Finance Index (May 2011), only 53 per cent of respondents who had refinanced in the previous 12 months claimed to have benefitted as a result.

There are certainly good reasons not to switch lender, and caution should be exercised regardless of what you decide to do.

MFAA chief executive Phil Naylor says sound advice regarding switching is crucial in the face of the banks’ home loans campaigning.

“Simply refinancing doesn’t always achieve the desired goal and switching for a better rate may not be as important as [retaining] the terms of the loan,” hhe says. “A mortgage is an important financial commitment which warrants a professional opinion.”

Certainly, you’ll need to consider the loan package overall. And even if exit fees don’t apply, there are still costs that you will need to account for, such as another valuation and, potentially, lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI).

The verdict

While there are many good reasons to switch lender, whether you do so is ultimately a personal decision and one that requires careful consideration.

You’ll need to assess your financial situation, including your existing loan obligations, the potential benefits of a new loan, your future plans and goals, and whether the potential benefits would outweigh the cost and time of switching.

If you know you aren’t happy with your existing financing arrangements, or you think you could save a significant amount with a new lender then speak to us. Moreover, if it’s been a while since you assessed your loan, it may well be worth exploring your options anyway.

At least then, if you discover you needn’t make a switch, you can feel happy in the knowledge that you’ve got your finances set up as effectively as possible.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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Going global
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
Townsville
Brisbane
Paddington
Sydney
Orange
Melbourne 
Glen Iris
Bondi

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["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_description"]=> string(11) "sample desc" ["page_rights"]=> NULL ["robots"]=> NULL ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } ["initialized":protected]=> bool(true) ["separator"]=> string(1) "." } ["displayDate"]=> string(19) "2018-06-18 03:15:56" ["slug"]=> string(72) "18171:how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" ["catslug"]=> string(28) "45:smart-property-investment" ["link"]=> string(92) "/investor-stories-1/18171-how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" }
How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
object(stdClass)#1223 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
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  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
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  string(82) "common-referrer-practice-of-being-paid-on-both-sides-of-the-fence-coming-to-an-end"
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  string(246) "

The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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