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Lenders raise rates despite RBA hold
Once again, it’s more of the same from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has opted to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% during October.
The RBA weighed up a number of factors in its decision. The global economic outlook is still favourable, Australia’s economy is in good shape, and as we head towards the festive season, unemployment, which is already low, is likely to drop a notch or two.
Interestingly, the Reserve Bank is under less pressure now to shift the official cash rate following the recent out of cycle rate hikes we’ve seen from a number of lenders. Yet despite these rate rises, variable home loan rates are still very low, and strong competition between lenders is helping to drive some good deals.
This all comes at a time when home values are still falling, particularly in some parts of Sydney and Melbourne, and that means spring 2018 is shaping up to deliver some great buys for property bargain hunters.
As one of Australia’s more affordable capitals, Brisbane’s spring market is set to offer excellent buying opportunities in the months ahead. Values have dipped in Brisbane – by just 0.2% in August, however, the home prices have risen by 0.9% over the past 12 months.
Taking a closer look across the city, the past year has seen home values rise by 4.4% in Brisbane’s West, while the Moreton Bay area has notched up price gains of 2%.
Apartments in Brisbane now have a median value of $382,000, making this a highly affordable entry point for first home buyers.
The Sunshine Coast has been a star regional performer, with price growth of over 6.0% in the past year. According to figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), Noosa has delivered the strongest growth in the state, with the median house price growing 6.9% over the 12 months to June, and units growing 10.2%.
Noosa now steals the title from Gold Coast, which has led the state for house price growth for the past two quarters.
The REIQ noted that Noosa has all the ingredients for price growth. It’s a highly desirable part of the world, with stunning natural features, world-class beaches, beautiful climate year-round, outstanding shopping and dining precincts, and, crucially, exclusivity.
A limited housing supply is being added to Noosa and competition is obviously driving price growth. Once the Bruce Highway upgrades are completed and commuting to Brisbane becomes more feasible, it’s likely we’ll see added demand for Sunshine Coast living.
As the spring market gets underway, buyers in Brisbane are enjoying everyone’s favourite combo of low-interest rates and affordable home values.
What does it mean for you?
For home owners, now really is the time to be sure you have the right loan for your needs, specially if your lender has recently been in touch to say your home loan rate is rising. It’s certainly not the case that all lenders have hiked their rates, and we are still seeing a big difference in home loan rates across the board. With the ideal home loan in place, you’re looking good to enjoy some spring bargains on the property market.
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Mortgage Choice was founded by the Higgins brothers over 25 years ago. They believed in giving Australians access to a choice of home loans, backed by expert advice to help them make the right choice. They were pioneers in mortgage broking and we've since helped over 400,000 people with their home loans.
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