Lenders are restructuring their loan books to provide attractive rates for popular products, particularly shorter term fixed rates, typically two-year rates, for new borrowers or those transferring from competitors.
Lucrative terms and conditions are being rolled out by lenders attempting to build residential loan books. Jim Rice
Property borrowers are being offering flights to London, refinancing cash back, heavily discounted fixed rates and the lowest variable rates since 1960, when Robert Menzies was prime minister and the median family income was $5600.
Lucrative terms and conditions are being rolled out by lenders attempting to build residential loan books that represent about 55 per cent of total loans, 25 per cent of revenues and about 30 per cent of cash earnings, according to investment bank analysis.
“We are offering great deals,” said Peter Lock, chief executive of Heritage Bank, which is reducing its two-year fixed rates by 14 basis points to 3.65 per cent.
“For the right customer, now is the right time to get and take advantage of low rates.”
They are also targeting principal and interest borrowers, who are the largest segment of borrowers.
The lenders are balancing the need to boost profits as funding costs rise and the housing market slows, despite record low cash rates.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, is offering a refinance cashback of $2000 to borrowers who refinance their home loan from another financial institution.
HomeLoans, which is listed on the ASX, is waiving the $120 fee on its Ultra Plus option, for refinancing and debt consolidation, for the life of the loan.
Westpac is offering 500,000 Velocity frequent flyer points for home loans of $1m or more, which is enough for a couple to fly economy return to London from any Australian capital.
A $250,000 loan can earn a couple 200,000 points, enough for a return flight to Hong Kong.
Many lenders are offering ‘shop front’ loans by increasing the rates of other products.
For example, last month the average loan decrease was 20 basis points and the average increase 13 basis points, according to Canstar, which monitors rates and prices.
The average increase on a fixed, owner occupier rate was 15 basis points and the average decrease 22 basis points.
But the total number of products whose loans increased was higher than overall decreases.
The current standard variable ‘indicator’ rate, which is an ‘indication’ of what borrowers should be looking for, is 5.2 per cent, the lowest since December 1960, which it was 5 per cent.
But there is a wide spread between rates in each category, which means borrowers need to shop around for best rates.
For example, the spread between basic variable principal and interest loans is 180 basis points.
In addition, lenders are making it a lot harder to refinance or obtain loans in response to tougher scrutiny of borrowers’ income and expenditure imposed by the prudential regulators.
Virgin Money, which is owned by Bank of Queensland, is among the latest to toughen lending conditions for borrowers, such as for high rise apartments in Brisbane inner suburbs, such as Chermside and Hamilton.
It is also broadening terms of unacceptable security to include property less than 60 square metres in prescribed high density Brisbane locations. It follows cuts of 10 basis points to popular interest-only loans.
The big four banks, which account for more than eight in 10 of the nation’s mortgages, are expected to raise rates because of rising funding costs, according to Citi.
Major lenders, and their smaller mortgage-centric competitors, can no longer afford to absorb the rising costs of their residential loan books, which account for more than 55 per cent of their total loan portfolios, its analysis warns.
The out-of-cycle rate hikes are expected to average around 8 basis points across their residential lending products with interest-only investor loans expected to rise more.
Belmont acreage sells at auction for $1.85 million but buyers still cautious
It was a quiet weekend in the Brisbane auction market, with only 54 scheduled auctions and a reported clearance rate of 38 per cent.
Despite this, a grand five-bedroom house on two and a half acres (about a hectare) was sold for nearly $2 million in coveted Belmont in Brisbane’s south-east.
About 50 people watched as none of four registered bidders made a play for the architecturally designed home. Then a vendor’s bid of $1.8 million led a family of four to try their luck.
After a short negotiation, the vendors accepted the bid, and the house was sold for $1.85 Million.
Agent David Green, of Harcourts Green Living, said the lack of initial bids spoke to a market that was slowing down.
“What we’re finding is that buyers are really hesitating in the market at the moment. They’re really fearful of overpaying for something,” he said.
“There’s definitely been a slowdown in buyer activity. They’re sitting back and waiting to see what everyone else does.
“That’s why we didn’t want to muck around with them. We put a strong vendor’s bid to start with, to find out if anyone was serious.”
He said an acreage property such as this was rare and usually popular in the area, with auctions often seeing many neighbours in attendance.
“Very few acreage properties have come to the market, so I think some [of the neighbours] were interested in what it was going to achieve,” he said.
“Have a look it themselves to see how it compared to their homes. Those acreage properties in Gumdale, Belmont [and] Chandler are always extremely popular.”
The buyers, a young family of four, were thrilled to pick up a property of this size in the area.
“They’ve lived in the area for a long time, and always wanted to get onto an acreage property.
“All the neighbours are multimillion-dollar houses, so they felt like the opportunity was there to buy a beautiful home on a great acreage. They were rapt.
“We’re seeing lots of refurbishment of some of these bigger homes that were very stately in their day. This is exactly what will happen with this home,” Green said.
“It really is blue chip. It’s the last to go down in price, and the first to go up when the market returns.”
Nearby, a post-war home on 506 square metres in Camp Hill was sold under the hammer in a speedy auction.
Bidding started at $670,000, with the two registered bidders quickly bringing the price up to $735,000 in a minute or two.
At that point, bidding slowed down and negotiations began with the top bidder. Soon after, the final price was agreed upon.
A young couple walked away with the property for $760,000.
“It’s a perfect entry level home into the Camp Hill market,” agent Mel Christie, of Ray White Coorparoo, said.
“The people who have bought it are going to live there for 12months and then they’re going to renovate it, or knock it down.”
Christie said she had seen increased interest in the area from interstate buyers.
“Around 26 groups inspected the property during its campaign. Two of those groups were buying agents from Melbourne,” she said.
“I think they see Brisbane as a more stable market than the Melbourne and Sydney market at the moment.
“I just had another buyer from Sydney that inspected this property [buy] another one of mine this week before it went to auction.”
The house had been in the family since it was built in 1962. Having already moved to northern Queensland, the vendors were excited to see the property sold.
“I got a big hug and a thank you, so I think he was pretty happy,” Christie said.
Bargain buys: Prices slashed on 23,000 homes
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
The top 20 homes with the biggest price cuts on the market in Queensland right now have been revealed, giving savvy buyers a chance to snap up a bargain for up to $800,000 below market value.
Right now, a three-bedroom house on acreage in the Moreton Bay region has had its sale price slashed by half a million dollars and a beautiful five-bedder on a big block in Tarragindi is $150,000 cheaper than it was when it was first listed.
Death, divorce and desperate vendors are some of the reasons for the number of “distressed” listings, according to SQM Research, which puts out a report on its website that is updated weekly.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said 23,000 of the 330,000 properties on the market nationally were distressed, compared to only 18,000 a year ago.
Mr Christopher said the increase in distressed listings showed it was a good time to research the market and see what value was on offer.
“There is the potential to be able to buy at, or below, fair market value,” Mr Christopher said.
“Especially in a downturn similar to the one we’re having now, that probability has increased.”
Mr Christopher said sellers of discounted properties were also usually more willing to negotiate.
The Gold Coast usually has a higher number of distressed properties than any other region in the country.
MORE: Sold after one inspection
“I suspect it’s because the Gold Coast has a higher percentage of investors as a proportion of total buyers than most other regions in the country and it’s also a transient place, so people come in, live there for a few years and move out again,” Mr Christopher said.
Helen and Tim Stieler are selling their renovated, three-bedroom house in the heart of Chermside for offers over $565,000.
The well-presented home at 6 Monserrat St, Chermside, is on a larger than average 635 sqm block close to shops, a hospital and public transport.
The Stielers have already moved to a property on a bigger block of land to accommodate their growing family.
Mrs Stieler said she could not believe the property had not been snapped up yet.
“The convenience is amazing,” Mrs Stieler said.
“We’ve had a large number of people go through, but just haven’t found the right person.
“It really is a bit of a bargain.”
Marketing agent Jonathan Levey of Harcourts Connections – Stafford said it was the perfect buying opportunity for young families or a young couple.
Mr Levey said the sale price had recently been reduced by $10,000.
“It’s immaculate — no maintenance required,” Mr Levey said.
“It has a great street presence and is only a two minute walk from Chermside Markets.”
On the waterfront in Redcliffe, a luxury three-bedroom unit is on the market for $150,000 less than its original listed price.
Maureen and Steve Bennett are reluctantly selling the property in Mon Komo at 603/99 Marine Parade for offers over $1 million for financial reasons.
“We’re selling because we have other building projects on the go, and so instead of having money tied up in Mon Komo, we’re doing it just to free up some money — not because we want to,” Mrs Bennett said.
“We fell in love with it because we loved the design. We love everything about it, and still do. Nothing beats the position.”
Marketing agent Rosslyn Kennedy of Gateway Properties said the property was more spacious and better value than most newer units on the market.
“The trouble is people like shiny new, but this is so much better value for money,” Ms Kennedy said.
THE 20 MOST DISCOUNTED PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN QUEENSLAND
Address Suburb Current Price First Price Discount
1. 1-15/14 City Rd Beenleigh $4.6m $5.425m $825,000
2. 1 Yebri St Kallangur $789,000 $1.3m $511,000
3. 96 & 98 Tenby St Mt Gravatt $1.089m $1.485m $396,000
4. 354 Samsonvale Rd Joyner $895,000 $1.2m $305,000
5. 195-197 Andrew Rd Greenbank $1.9m $2.2m $300,000
6. 231 Marsden Rd Kallangur $750,000 $999,000 $249,000
7. 203 Gaskell St Eight Mile Plains $678,000 $900,000 $222,000
8. 2 Limmen St Pimpama $650,000 $850,000 $200,000
9. 35 Queen St Goodna $2.3m $2.499m $199,000
10. 4 Jaidan Plc Victoria Point $719,000 $899,000 $180,000 11. Lot 15 Briscoe Rd Dayboro $990,000 $1.155m $165,000
12. 603/99 Marine Pde Redcliffe $1m $1.15m $150,000
13. 28 Andrew Ave Tarragindi $950,000 $1.1m $150,000
14. 218 Beams Rd Zillmere $349,000 $499,000 $150,000
15. 5 Fradgley Ct Ormeau Hills $500,000 $649,900 $149,900
16. 607/18 Longland St Newstead $749,000 $888,000 $139,000
17. 23 Kennedy Esp Scarborough $1.595m $1.725m $130,000
18. 22 Dean Dr Ocean View $860,000 $985,000 $125,000
19. 4207/222 Margaret St Brisbane City $560,000 $685,000 $125,000
20. 162 Queens Rd Everton Park $1.08m $1.2m $120,000
(Source: SQM Research)
TIPS FOR BUYING A DISTRESSED PROPERTY
1. Look for key search terms like ‘mortgagee possession’, ‘deceased estate’, ‘bank forced sale’, ‘owners moving overseas’.
2. Find out why the listing is ‘distressed’. Why is the vendor so keen to sell?
3. Do your research into the property, always get a building and pest inspection done and do a title search to ensure the seller is actually the owner of the property.
(Source: SQM Research MD Louis Christopher)
Originally published as Big bargains for home buyers
Million-dollar winners and losers
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprises among the whopping 27 suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures. But, while many have risen, some long-time stalwarts have tumbled below the $1m mark.
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprise suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures — just as several seasoned ones drop out.
A whopping 27 suburbs in the Brisbane region were in the millionaire club when it came to median sales price in the latest CoreLogic Market Trends report for February, released this week.
Seven of those were not there in recorded figures for 2017 — a period when there were more million dollar suburbs nationally than there are at present (651 versus 649 now).
Brisbane’s surprise entrant was Camp Mountain in Moreton Bay where the median house price climbed 16.4 per cent in one year to hit $1.1m in latest data.
The suburbs that jumped the most to get into the millionaire club were South Brisbane which rose a massive 27.5 per cent to $1.07m, closely followed by neighbouring Dutton Park which was up 26.5 per cent to $1.028m.
In among suburbs that were not among the elites in 2017 were Upper Brookfield (now on a median house price of $1.4075m), Hendra (up 13.1 per cent to $1.1m), Balmoral ($1.0185m up 7.8 per cent) and Bardon ($1.0025m up 9.3 per cent).
Some big movers and shakers dropped off the millionaire list though, including blue chip suburb Chelmer whose median house price fell to $985,000 (down -1.5 per cent). Samford Valley was $70,000 below the million mark at $930,000 (down -7 per cent).
The biggest falls of the losers came out of Wilston whose median dropped (-22.1 per cent) to $880,000, andFortitude Valley which was down (-19.5 per cent) to $825,000.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said although the millionaire suburb figure had jumped substantially in Australia “from 123 suburbs a decade earlier, it has actually fallen from 741 suburbs in January 2018. In fact, more suburbs had a median of at least $1 million in 2017 (651) than do currently”.
“This increase in million dollar suburbs has occurred despite ongoing weak overall housing conditions across the state,” he said.
Teneriffe $1.67m Down -31.6%
Ascot $1.6m Up 3.2%
Chandler $1.58m Up 7.6%
New Farm $1.52m Up 11.2%
Bulimba $1.335m Up 5.1%
Hamilton $1.305m Up 0.6%
St Lucia $1.2035m Up 2%
Tennyson $1.1875m Down -2.7%
Pullenvale $1.18m Up 8.8%
Hawthorne $1.15m Down -1.2%
Paddington $1.15m Up 11.1%
Burbank $1.15m Up 15%
Auchenflower $1.135m Up 0.9%
Clayfield $1.13m Up 0.4%
Brookfield $1.105m Up 8.3%
Robertson $1.075m Up 23%
Fig Tree Pocket $1.05m Down -13.2%
Carbrook $1.0485m Down -3.1%
Kalinga $1.016m Down -13.9%
West End $1.01m Up 0.7%
Upper Brookfield $1.4075m
Hendra $1.1m Up 13.1%
Camp Mountain $1.1m Up 16.4%
South Brisbane $1.07m Up 27.5%
Dutton Park $1.028m Up 26.5%
Balmoral $1.0185m Up 7.8%
Bardon $1.0025m Up 9.3%
Chelmer $985,000 Down -1.5%
Samford Valley $930,000 Down -7.0%
Wilston $880,000 Down -22.1%
Fortitude Valley $825,000 Down -19.5%
(Source: CoreLogic data)
Originally published as Million-dollar winners and losers
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