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How you can improve your portfolio’s cash position

By Bianca Dabu
portfolio’s cash position, property investment, property investing

After acquiring 17 investment properties with 19 loans, Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant aims to improve his portfolio’s cash flow position by reviewing his mortgages and home loans and ensuring that they know the right information to stay ahead of the game.

According to mortgage broker Ross LeQuesne, it’s a good time to implement this strategy considering the various changes in principal interest and interest-only rates.

He said: “We've seen quite a big shift on a lot of the banks and lenders … [They] have been repricing their back books.”

“What was a competitive rate 12 months ago is not necessarily as [competitive now as we look] through these loans today,” the mortgage broker added.

Review your portfolio

Varying prices are good reasons to constantly review your portfolio as well as the rates given to you by the bank or lender. Oftentimes, banks and lenders advertise a different price to attract new clients.

“For the loans that they've written previously … [in] their back book, they have a different price, [so] you constantly need to review your portfolio to make sure that your rates are current with what's currently being advertised to new property investors,” Ross explained.

Phil said: “You need to go back to your lender and say, ‘Hang on a second, why aren't I getting the same pricing as new customers?’ ”

Keep up with new regulations

As the governing body of all deposit-taking institutions, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) moved to make changes in lending regulations to hinder lenders from “growing their loans from investors too quickly” and having too many interest-only loans on their books. Banks and other lenders are allowed to grow their investment books only by 10 per cent and no more than 30 per cent of their portfolio can be interest-only.

Moreover, the pricing on investment loans and interest-only loans have also increased over the last 12 months. These changes have made it harder for a lot of investors to get additional finance in order to continue growing their property portfolio and ultimately improve their cash flow.

One of the options for people who are eager to continue their property investment journey is to shift from interest-only loans to principal and interest (P&I) loans.

Phil explained: “If banks or lenders are capped at a particular point and they already have current investor clients, they could just push the rates up on them because it's going to potentially stop them buying other properties or moving elsewhere. Alternatively, they can bring rates down [in] other areas if they want [a] particular business there."

“As an investor, I can shift from being an interest-only to a P&I loan because there's no caps on the principal interest loans.

“They will offer better pricing to try and entice ... people into those markets. If they could shift investors from interest-only to principal-interest, it means they could go back and get new customers on interest-only,” he added.

At the end of the day, APRA only wants people to reduce their debt and consequently slow down the rampant price growth in various Australian property markets, including the big players Sydney and Melbourne.

Other options for improving cash flow

Phil and his financial team are looking into improving the portfolio’s cash flow position by shifting from variable rates to fix rates, which could entail a lot of work but would also “shave about $25,000 a year off our repayments”.

An additional $25,000 in cash flow will be a big help considering that the cost to hold the properties reach around $62,000 annually. The property investor may also continue purchasing properties as his serviceability improves.

Ross said: “On average, [Phil’s] property's costing [him] $72 per week across the portfolio. Based on that, there's about another potentially six properties at $72 a week just by readjusting … interest rates and looking at a strategy.”

“The two options for us [are]... number one… just go to the lenders and say … ‘Can we have a cheaper rate based on where we're sitting right now?’ or, number two, we go to the lenders and say, ‘We'll move from interest-only to fixed, [so] could we ... have your fixed rate?’ ” Phil explained further.

Due to the changes made by APRA, lenders are not as aggressive in terms of repricing existing loans. Fixed rates are one of the most competitive interest ratings in the market at the moment and it could help an investor save more for his future purchases.

However, implementing this strategy also comes with several warnings.

According to Ross: “Investors … [who] are considering fixing [have] a couple of things that [they] should look at: Do you plan on refinancing or accessing equity from that property in the next three years? Are you planning to sell that property within the next three years in the case of a three-year fixed rate, or do you have some other plans?"

“It might be [doing a] renovation or [adding] a granny flat, which may change your decision … to fix ... [you may not be able] to access finance under the new lending guidelines.

“You may want to keep it variable to open up your options so you don't get hit with what they call a fixed rate break cost,” the mortgage broker added.

In order to make the best decisions for your portfolio, it’s worthwhile to sit down and have a talk with reliable property professionals. After all, there’s no one formula for success in property investment. Determining the perfect strategy for you will be based on your own financial position and borrowing capacity, among many other variables.

Phil advised his fellow property investors: “Sit down with your mortgage broker and look at those pros and cons … that need to be filtered across or in view of what your wider strategy is.”

 

Tune in to Phil Tarrant’s portfolio update on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out how you can stay ahead of the game when attempting to get a loan from banks and lenders for a property, how a shift from variable rates to fixed rates could impact your portfolio, and how the future plans for your investment can impact the loan you require. 

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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
object(stdClass)#1184 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18277"
  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(38) "from-pirouettes-to-property-investment"
  ["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!

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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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