Should you hold out longer?
Unfortunately, no one rings a bell to signify the end of a market downturn. However, CoreLogic confirms that the rate of price declines has slowed since December 20184.
In fact, according to CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless, “The current trend in the data implies that housing market conditions may have moved through the worst of the downturn5.”
The thing to bear in mind is that property often works best as a long term investment. So while values may, or may not, fall further, buying today can give you the certainty of locking in excellent value.
Interest rates are low
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) figures show that the 3-year fixed rates for investors currently averaging around 4.24% p.a.6. That’s the lowest since the RBA began recording these rates in 2015, and as Mortgage Choice brokers know, it may be possible to pay less.
Better still, some commentators believe that rates could fall further in 20197.
An easing lender market
Earlier this year, bank regulator APRA lifted the benchmark it had previously imposed on the level of interest-only loans banks are allowed to provide. It followed the removal of APRA’s previous limits on the growth of investor-lending.
The bottom line is that banks have more scope to lend to investors.
Yields are picking up
For investors, gross rental yields are rising in some cities. In Sydney, apartments are currently yielding 4.1%8 compared to 3.8% at the end of last year9. Melbourne is delivering gross yields of 3.6%10 compared to 3.4% in late 201811.
That said, far higher gross rental yields are being achieved by investors in other state capitals including Darwin (6.0%), Hobart (5.2%) and Brisbane (4.6%)12.
Where to buy?
Your choice of location is a very personal issue, hinging on what you are aiming to achieve through your property investment.
As a broad overview, Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide have all achieved price gains over the last 12 months13. According to the latest CommSec State of the States report14, New South Wales and Victoria still have two of the nation’s strongest state economies. Queensland is not far behind in third place for both economic growth and population growth, and in Western Australia, the population is increasing at its fastest pace in three years15.
However, as CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless notes, we are seeing signs of improved credit flows from lenders, and a mid-50% clearance rate of auction sales implies “a closer fit between buyer and seller expectations16.”
Getting into the market today can mean taking advantage of improved affordability, and that’s a real plus for achieving your property goal.