Top 20 places to invest in Australia
Australia’s investment hot spots have been revealed, with factors including infrastructure spending, average rental yields, population growth, house prices and lifestyle helping decide where the money is going.
Queensland took the top two spots in the top 20 with Woolloongabba first, thanks to its location near the new Olympic stadium, and the Gold Coast’s top lifestyle choice Burleigh Heads in second.
But while the sunshine state topped the list, NSW dominated the top 20, and Victoria claimed three spots in the top 10.
ME Bank commissioned the research from Ethos Urban, which showed new transport infrastructure is playing a significant role in creating investment opportunities.
||Burleigh Heads, Qld
||Five Dock, NSW
||Coffs Harbour, NSW
||North Melbourne, Vic
||North Sydney, NSW
||Mermaid Beach, Qld
||Crows Nest, NSW
||South Melbourne, Vic
^Source: ME Bank, Ethos Urban
Ethos Urban consulting demographer Chris McNeil said transport, attractiveness for renters, the town centre and potential for new developments weighed heavily in the criteria.
“Woolloongabba, for example, is already serviced by two train stations, and the new Cross City Rail Project will provide a line running directly under the suburb, increasing connectivity and changing the way people use the area,” he said.
“This will only be bolstered in the coming years as Brisbane prepares its infrastructure for the 2032 Olympics.
“Add to this the exciting atmosphere in Logan Street, its rapid population growth and steady house price growth, and it does offer a unique opportunity for those looking to invest in the residential property market.”
ME’s list of best places to invest captured all levels of investment, from apartment-focused buying in Five Dock, South Melbourne or Claremont to larger freestanding home opportunities in up-and-coming suburbs such as Yanchep and Preston.
Metro connections and price growth were the biggest drivers of investment in NSW, while Victoria added on the eclectic atmosphere of places such as North Melbourne.
In Western Australia, the wine country and beaches made suitable investments, particularly in Ellenbrook with its masterplan estate, and Yanchep gained traction from a rail extension.
While residential property prices are expected to increase 25 per cent for houses and 14 per cent this year, they are about to moderate.
The latest prediction for property prices shows houses will increase 6 per cent next year before dropping by 11 per cent while units will almost hold steady with an increase by 9 per cent and drop by 7 per cent in 2023.
This should improve the yields across the country with rent growth unable to keep up with prices, despite increasing up to 10 per cent in some cities.
Author. RESIDENTIAL TUE 23 NOV 21
Retrieved from https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/top-20-places-to-invest-in-australia
The Sunshine Coast property and rental markets continued their super-strong run of results over the December quarter, according to the latest official data from the REIQ.
Indeed, the region’s house market recorded median price growth of 8.9% over the quarter and finished the year up 7.7% compared to the year before.
The Sunshine Coast median house price is now $630,000, according to the latest Queensland Market Monitor (QMM).
The region’s unit market is experiencing robust market conditions as well, with median price growth of 8% over the year ending December.
Vacant land sales were also in hot demand from buyers last year, up more than 20% over the year, as first home buyers, investors and upgraders competed to secure their own slice of coastal land.
There is no question that the Sunshine Coast’s housing market continues to be the toast of the State with strong upward pressure on prices being recorded – and plenty more growth to come as well.
Over the December quarter, the median house price for the Sunshine Coast LGA increased a staggering 8.9% to $675,000 and was 7.7% higher over the year.
According to SQM Research, total property listings on the Sunshine Coast are at their lowest level for more than a decade.
This shortage of stock is clearly playing its part in driving buyer activity and prices with a 23% increase in house sales on the coast over the year.
Investors have started to make a return to the coast market as well, partly driven by the region’s very strong rental market.
The Sunshine Coast has always had a stellar unit, townhouse, and duplex market, courtesy of its myriad desirable locations including ocean, river and hinterland views stretching from Caloundra to Noosa.
This is one of the reasons why the coat’s unit sector has continued to show price growth when other regional locations have recorded quite the opposite over recent years.
This latest quarter is no exception, with the Sunshine Coast median unit price posting a median price increase of 2.2% and impressive growth of 8% over the year ending December, according to the QMM.
The volume of unit sales on the Sunshine Coast reduced over the past year, but this is perhaps a reflection of the low stock levels available more than anything else.
Indeed, according to SQM Research, there were fewer than 1,800 units for sale on the coast in February – the lowest number since at least 2010.
The Sunshine Coast has the lowest number of rental vacancies of any major region across the State.
The region posted a vacancy rate of just 0.4% in December but within its boundaries some areas, such as Caloundra, Maroochydore, and Noosa, reported a vacancy rate of just 0.3%.
According to SQM Research, the number of vacancies is the lowest of all publicly available data that goes back to 2005.
The Sunshine Coast has welcomed a number of new residents over the past year, with more people able to work remotely as well as seeking a lifestyle change, which the coast offers in comparatively affordable spades.
Unsurprisingly, weekly rents are increasing off the back of the undersupply of rental property.
The median weekly rent of a two-bedroom unit on the Sunshine Coast increased 7.9% to $410 between December last year and the year before.
The median weekly rent for a three-bedroom house grew by 6.5% to $490 over the same period.
Did you know that about $26 billion in new loan commitments were recorded around the nation in December last year?
That was a staggering increase of more than 30% compared to the same month the year before!
The thing is the value of potential loans that are still waiting to be processed would have added billions of dollars more to the total that month – and for every month before and since.
That’s because there is a home loan gridlock under way that, just like a frustrating highway traffic jam, is not likely to start moving again soon.
Of course, the go-slow on loans has been happening for a while now and pretty much started when the government incentivised millions of people to go out and spend on property – new or old – to help keep the economy afloat during the pandemic.
And spend we are trying to do, with loans to owner occupiers and first home buyers at record highs, with investors roaring back to life now, too.
Indeed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the latest lending indicators make for quite astonishing reading with:
- The value of new owner occupier home loan commitments rising 8.7% to $19.9 billion in December 2020 – 38.9% higher than December 2019.
- Loan commitments for existing dwellings accounted for 53% of December’s rise in owner occupier housing loan commitments, while construction of new dwellings accounted for 32%.
- The value of construction loan commitments grew 17.1% in December, more than doubling since the June implementation of the HomeBuilder grant.
- Plus, in December, the number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments rose 9.3% to reach 15,205 (seasonally adjusted) – a 56.6% rise since December 2019.
On top of that, the once-in-a-generation interest rates that are currently on offer is motivating hordes of people to refinance, which is adding to the wait-times for anyone wanting to do anything with property finance.
It’s clear the desire to buy a property is there, but at the moment, the ability to get the deal done in any sort of reasonable timeframe seems to have disappeared.
Now, I’m not saying that home loan applications are not being processed because they are.
It’s just that borrowers need to have a bit more patience than before, because the days of home loan approvals taking a week or two are gone – for the time being anyway.
Perhaps lenders could hire some more staff, in a time of high employment let’s not forget, so that the people who want to do their bit for the economy recovery by buying real estate can actually do so?
Until then, those of us in the business of strategic property buying will work with what we’ve got – knowing that the good times appear to only just be beginning.
Did you know that at the end of December nearly 17,000 people had applied for the HomeBuilder scheme in Queensland?
The scheme was announced early last year to support the construction sector by providing a grant of $25,000 to build or buy a new property.
To say that the initiative has been a success is a bit of an understatement with about 75,000 people taking advantage of the grant around the nation before the end of last year.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, the government program has resulted in heady demand for new house and land opportunities.
However, developers have risen to the challenge by releasing more land to the market to keep up with the strong demand, which is a situation that is not changing anytime soon.
That said, a plethora of opportunities still remain to secure a strategic holding here on the Sunshine Coast.
How much is the HomeBuilder grant now?
The Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme was extended beyond its original deadline last year but there has been change to the grant amount.
Eligible purchasers in Queensland can access a $15,000 cash grant for signing a contract to build or buy a new property between 1 January and 31 March this year.
The buyers and the new property or new build must meet the government’s criteria, including maximum purchase prices and buyer incomes, with each State having its own unique property price points as well.
That is, in Queensland, the contract of sale must have signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021 to:
- buy an off-the plan or new home valued at $750,000 or less (including GST) and construction had not started before 4 June 2020
- build a new home where the build amount and the value of the land (including any existing structures) is $750,000 or less (including GST).
The scheme also requires buyers to apply before 21 April 2021 and provide all supporting evidence by 30 April 2023.
So, as you can see, time is running out for anyone keen to take advantage of, not only the opportunity to receive a significant sum from the government to buy or build a new property, but also to make the most of the rising market conditions on the Sunshine Coast.
In essence, buying a property now, which may not be completed for several months, means that you can take advantage of the potential for capital growth while it’s being constructed.
The rental market on the Sunshine Coast is so under supplied that rents are rapidly rising.
In fact, the rental vacancy rate here is the lowest it has been for a very long time.
Multiple applications are the norm for any rental properties that come on to the market, with most rented mere moments after being listed online.
Of course, this is good news for landlords with stronger yields for their properties being achieved.
But the situation is not so good news for tenants who are having to fork out more and more money to secure a property to live in.
That is why, even with the sales market also strengthening, it is generally more affordable to buy a property on the Sunshine Coast than it is rent one at present.
Let’s take a look at some numbers to explain further.
According to the RTA, the median rent for a three-bedroom house on the Sunshine Coast is $490 per week and for a two-bedroom unit it is $410 per week.
However, with interest rates the lowest they have ever been, the cost of money to invest in real estate or to buy a home has never been cheaper.
This means that for a $500,000 mortgage on a $600,000 property, for example, the principal and interest repayments would be just $425 per week.
For investors paying interest only, it would be about half of that amount as well!
So, for less than what you would often pay to rent a house on the coast, property buyers can purchase their very own piece of real estate that they can call home or rent out to an ever-growing number of tenants.
On top of it being more affordable to buy rather than rent, the coast’s rising sales market conditions mean that property buyers have the opportunity for their holdings to increase in value in the years ahead.
It is really a win-win situation at the moment!
So, rather than paying off someone else’s mortgage, would-be property owners can purchase and pay off their own asset with very little change to their current cash flow situation.
If purchasing an investment property, the metrics are even more positive, with the strong rents being achieved resulting in property’s that are often neutral, or even positive, cash flow from the outset.
It doesn’t take Einstein to work out that the opportunity at present to maximise your borrowing capacity with the once-in-a-lifetime interest rates on offer.
Or you could stay renting, and likely soon see the rent you pay continue to increase because of the shortage of properties available.
It’s a decision that bears some serious consideration don’t you think?
In days gone by, Nambour struggled to compete with the coastal beaches of Noosa or the bright lights of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
Indeed, during its history, Nambour was mostly known as being the commercial hub for the region, as well as having one of the most widely used train stations on the coast.
However, over the past decade, and over the past few years in particular, Nambour has come into its own courtesy of a plethora of projects big and small.
On top of these, the region’s landscape is also evolving due to new residential development, which is also changing the demographics of people who live there.
All of these factors have resulted in strengthening property prices in the region, however, they remain affordable with median house prices in the low- to mid-$400,000 range, according to the REIQ.
One of the biggest changes to Nambour has been the designation of its Special Entertainment Precinct (SEP), which is only the second precinct of its kind in Queensland, and was officially endorsed in early 2020.
Not only does the Nambour SEP ensure the long-term future of the music-based entertainment industry on the Sunshine Coast, it also allows venues greater certainty about where they can operate and the relevant noise levels.
Planning is also well underway for construction of Stage 1 of the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade.
According to the State Government, the project will include sections of line duplication, as well as station upgrades, new park ‘n’ ride facilities and new rail passing loops.
Proposed works for stage one on the rail upgrade currently include:
- Duplication of track north of Beerburrum
- Construction of road-over-rail bridges at Beerburrum Road, Barrs Road and Burgess Street
- Expansion of park ‘n’ rides at Beerburrum, Landsborough and Nambour
- Bus interchange at Landsborough
- Relocation of utilities
Early works to support the upgrade are expected to start early this year, with major construction to follow in 2022.
Nambour General Hospital is undergoing an $86 million redevelopment to better service the growing health needs of the region.
The redevelopment will expand the hospitals’ capacity and upgrade some existing clinical areas.
After the redevelopment, the community will benefit from:
- Redevelopment and increased capacity of emergency care for the residents of Nambour and surrounding areas
- Refurbishment and increased capacity of mental health beds to support the requirements of the community
- Refurbishment of wards to increase capacity for surgical and medical patients
- Establishment of a same day rehabilitation unit
- Relocation of renal dialysis unit to a new purpose-built space
- Relocation and refurbishment of same day medical infusions and chemotherapy
- Replacement of the central sterilising unit
- Providing convenient access for patients with a new drop off zone located adjacent to the emergency department
- Refurbishment of kitchen
- Providing a contemporary safe healthcare environment that meets patient, staff and community expectations.
Fun for Big, and Little, People
The new Nambour Splash Park is now under way as part of the revitalisation of the aquatic centre.
The upgrade will deliver two water slides and a children’s zero depth splash zone (a water play area which will include two toddler slides), along with the 30 new car parks, which are already under way.
The slides and children’s zero depth splash zone will complement the facility’s existing outdoor heated 50-metre pool and covered grandstand and indoor heated 25-metre pool.
The project is expected to be completed in June 2021, weather and site conditions permitting.
Also, in a sure-fire sign of the region gentrifying, a new craft brewery opened its door in Nambour mid last year.
The Stalwart Brewing Company is based at the heritage-list Club Hotel in Currie Street, with its range of ales using Sunshine Coast hinterland water, fresh grain, hops and yeast, and no preservatives or additives.
Plus, Stalwart’s core range of beers reflects the owner, Adam Tomlinson’s, diverse ancestry with the Sacred Chief honouring his great great great grandfather, who was a Navajo Indian from America’s mid-west who immigrated to Australia in the 1800s during the Gympie gold rush.
His second commercial release, The Dreamtime Warrior, is a golden ale in honour of his great grandmother who was a Kabi Kabi woman from the Sunshine Coast.
These are just some of the reasons why Nambour is being reinvented – with savvy property buyers already recognising the signs of a property market clearly on the move north.
As a capital city market not traditionally prone to large swings in price, Brisbane was already well placed to weather a potential COVID-lead downturn – and the latest data proves its resiliency.
That’s because the Queensland capital not only endured the challenges of 2020, but smashed them with outstanding results in the housing sector.
The city’s annual and quarterly median house prices have swung back above $700,000 in the latest analysis from the REIQ.
Brisbane’s yearly median to September 2020 was $710,000, smashing through the $700,000 barrier set in June this year.
In addition, the September quarter median of $720,000 is well in advance of when it first breached the benchmark back in December quarter 2019, when the median was $703,000.
It’s an excellent outcome given property owners were anxious about the future of real estate values back in March.
But as the year progressed, hard borders and quarantining saw us travel through the pandemic threat with few infections and a reasonably open local economy.
In addition, like many other centres, Brisbane sellers pulled their properties off the market and it’s this lack of stock, which helped prop up prices.
On top of that, there’s no question that first home buyers are back in force, with activity strong from first-timers keen to gain a foothold in the Sunshine State’s capital city market.
Property Prices Continuing to Firm
There’s a definite positivity in the air when it comes to Brisbane’s property market prospects this year.
Indeed, it’s highly likely we’ll see a strong start to 2021 that will continue through the rest of the year.
The fundamentals have been right for a number of years now and people have the confidence about moving to the state capital from elsewhere around the nation.
There’s a flight towards large suburban houses, which makes logical sense, given the increase in people working from home.
Homebuyers are also taking advantage of the super low interest rates that have supercharged their borrowing power.
Rental Market Robust
Brisbane’s rental market, like its sales market, held its ground during 2020, with the only softness being felt in the central city.
Investors with holdings outside of the one to two kilometre ring of the CBD are receiving multiple applications for their rental properties.
Brisbane’s overall rental vacancy rate came in at 2.8 per cent for the September 2020 quarter, which shows that the market is reasonably balanced but also bordering on more demand than supply.
The Brisbane three-bedroom house median was $445 per week for the year to September 2020, which was $15 per week more than in 2019 – not a bad result given there was a pandemic in between those two points of time!
Brisbane’s rental market has been moving further into undersupply territory for a few years now, which is a situation likely to continue next year.
This is not only due to the reduction of new supply coming to the market, but also the strong uptick in interstate migration – which was a situation that had well and truly begun prior to the pandemic.
Savvy investors are securing the best opportunities now, with the market cycle only in its early days, but with strong demand from tenants already well under way.
The Sunshine Coast weathered the storm from the pandemic better than anyone could have predicted with all sectors of the market firing on all cylinders at the tail-end of 2020.
A combination of factors is underpinning the region’s property market, with major infrastructure projects, low interest rates, as well as already strong interstate migration, which is expected to strengthen even further.
The Sunshine Coast region was the most consistently strong performer over the year ending September for median house price growth with prices firming by six per cent, according to the REIQ.
The region’s unit market has also not suffered the malaise that impacted many other major regions over recent years and is continuing to record solid price growth.
Demand for vacant land is also strong with developers struggling to keep up with potential buyers.
On top of all the above, the coast region has a vacancy rate of just 0.6 per cent, which is resulting in rising rents.
Property Price Growth Continuing
It seems that the pandemic has had no negative impact on the Sunshine Coast market, with median house prices continuing their upward trend throughout the year.
Noosa remains number one of all major regions across the State with an impressive 3.6 per cent quarterly increase to $895,000 and was the clear leader over the year with growth of 11 per cent.
While the charms – and high property prices – of Noosa are well known, the remainder of the Sunshine Coast is also kicking serious property goals with quarterly growth of 1.8 per cent and an annual median house price rise of 5.3 per cent. Its annual median is now $611,000.
The robust market conditions continued over the September quarter, even with the Queensland border remaining closed, plus enquiry from southern buyers remained strong in the last few months of the year.
However, it is a confluence of positive factors that is underpinning the Sunshine Coast market with a myriad major infrastructure projects well under way, low interest rates, as well interstate migration occurring at the same time.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, lifestyle properties are in hot demand from buyers’ post-pandemic, but all housing types were attracting plenty of potential buyers.
Properties that are priced correctly are not lasting long on the market with buyers prepared to pay a premium to secure their slice of coast real estate.
While plenty of other locations around the state have had sluggish unit markets over recent years that has not been the case for the Sunshine Coast.
With many regions, including Brisbane, struggling to return to price points from five years ago, the coast unit market has made healthy price gains over the same period.
With many of the region’s unit developments offering excellent positions near the coastline, as well as more affordable entry points, demand is expected to continue as well as strengthening prices.
Government grants have significantly stimulated the vacant land market on the coast with developers struggling to keep up with demand.
The uptick in demand has yet to flow through to official statistics, but with a median vacant land price of $270,000 on the Sunshine Coast, it’s not hard to understand why this segment of the market is firing.
Rental Market Undersupplied
There is no question that the Sunshine Coast is well into undersupply territory, recording a vacancy rate of just 0.6 per cent.
In fact, it’s been a long time since the coast was anything but undersupplied with 2012 the last time there was even the hint of more supply than demand.
The situation is so critical that there are often dozens of applications for each rental property – and sometimes up to 100 – with rental listings lasting mere hours on the market.
Tenants are often offering more than the asking rent to improve their chances of securing the property.
While the undersupply has been an issue for a while, the rising population coupled with some investors selling their stock has exacerbated the problem even more.
The strong demand is already resulting in soaring rental prices with the median weekly rent of a two-bedroom unit up by 6.7 per cent to $400 over the year ending September.
The median weekly rent for a three-bedroom house has increased 3.3 per cent to $470 over the same period.
There is no question that the Sunshine Coast market is on the radar of homebuyers and investors from near and far – with the best opportunities being snapped up quickly – which is a situation that is only set to continue next year.
Somewhere in history, it became a commonly accepted “wisdom” that all debt was bad.
Our parents worked their butts off during their lives to pay off their homes, because having a mortgage was something they believed should be done away with as quickly as possible.
While it remains true that you never want to retire with still having a mortgage to pay off, property loans should not be seen as bad.
Rather, they are simply vehicles to improve your financial future by using someone else’s money!
Now, when I say someone else’s, I really mean a bank’s money, which borrowers can recycle into making money for themselves.
Good vs. Bad Debt
In this scenario, then, we can classify a property investment loan as good debt, because it is used to invest in an income- and capital growth-producing asset.
Under the current once-in-lifetime low interest rates, it’s also never been cheaper to borrow funds to invest in something that will create wealth for you and your family over time.
A $500,000 investment property loan on a $650,000 property currently costs less than $300 a week in interest.
The rent you will receive from tenants to live in the property, location and property pending, is probably $500 or $600 a week on the Sunshine Coast.
That means that the property is already in positive cash flow territory.
If you add on the potential capital growth over five or 10 years, then you’re on to a very impressive wicket, courtesy of good debt.
Also using money to buy shares that is going to give you a dividend and capital growth can also be another strategy. As I’m a property person you probably will not get my recommendation on this as usually your superannuation is heavily swayed to share and managed funds.
In investing terms, we call the owner occupied home a bad debt as it is costing you money to own that property and you are not getting a return on that money. You are not allowed to claim a tax deduction on the interest or receive any income from that property. We all need somewhere to live, so if you are going to pay a mortgage or rent, you are still paying money out. Therefore, we often hear people say rent money is dead money. I do tend to agree with this statement. However, purchasing your own property is a way of forced savings as you are paying debt off and it is an asset increasing in value.
Importantly, I do not like to see people putting themselves under too much pressure, “keeping up with the Jones” and buying a property with a much larger debt therefore hamstringing you.
Real bad debt is for things that don’t grow in value, plus end up costing you more than they are worth eg car loans, credit cards and pay day lenders which usually have high interest rates attached. By the time these are paid off, it costs you more than it was worth on the day you bought it, plus the vehicle is now probably only worth half as much.
Plastic not so Fantastic
Credit cards are the worst form of bad debt as people tend to use the “plastic not-so-fantastic” on discretionary spending when they don’t actually have the money to do so.
With credit cards, there is literally a price to be paid if you don’t pay off the balance each month – with sky-high interest rates common, this makes it all the more difficult to pay off overspending.
Racking up big credit card debt is a problem for many people over Christmas, but it can have much longer ramifications than just the holidays.
Having multiple credit cards or high limits can be an issue for lenders who start to worry about your budgeting skills.
Of course, everyone should enjoy themselves at Christmas, while also trying to live within their means.
That way, you are giving yourself the best chance of securing good debt from a lender in the new year which can help transform your financial future.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, we would “high five” each other when we secured an interest rate of 7%.
In fact, before the GFC, the cash rate set by the Reserve Bank was 7%, so if you managed to get an interest rate of less than 10% from your bank, you were pretty happy.
Of course, now, those sort of interest rates seem absurd to anyone who has started investing in the past decade but for those of us with some age on our bones they were the norm.
Sure, property prices were lower back then, but the monthly repayments still took a much larger chunk of your cash than they do today.
In essence, property has become more affordable than it was then because of the one-in-a-lifetime interest rates that are now on offer.
The Reserve Bank slashed the cash rate again in early November to just 0.1%, which means that money is cheaper than it has ever been.
Also, it said it wouldn’t increase the cash rate until inflation was comfortably within its target band of 2-3% per cent, which is likely to take a few years.
For homeowners and investors, these super-low rates can vastly reduce your mortgage payments as well as increase your cash flow.
For prospective property buyers, well, lenders are already competing for your business with some offering interest rates of just 1.99% for principal and interest repayment loans.
On top of these history-making interest rates, the Reserve Bank also announced a number of initiatives to stimulate our economy as well as jobs growth.
The main one was the introduction of a program of government bond purchases.
In particular, the Reserve intends to buy $100 billion of government bonds over the next six months, purchasing bonds issued by the Australian Government as well as by the states and territories.
This is really a roundabout way of saying they are starting quantitative easing, which is essentially printing money, with banks set to benefit the most as the major beneficiary of the system.
To explain further, Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist at Westpac, says extra debt will be issued by the Treasury in the form of bonds, and authorised investors (like large banks) will buy the debt with full knowledge that the RBA will be keen to buy it from them — so they can be confident they won’t be stuck holding debt they don’t really want.
“That means the banks will sell the bonds to the RBA, and the RBA will just credit the accounts that those banks have at the RBA,” Mr Callow says.
The basic mechanics of it, the RBA says, “We’ll buy that bond from you. And here you are, we’ve just nudged up your account by the value of that bond — $100 million or whatever.”
“Now, that money is just created.”
If this is sounding like economist talk, yes, it is. In layman’s terms it’s the government offering very cheap money for the banks so they can flood the market with cash to stimulate the economy.
With such cheap money on offer, as well as unprecedented government stimulus sloshing through our economy, there is no question that property prices are going to rise.
Those who are in the position to buy now, should do so, because property markets are about to be supercharged – perhaps like never before.
In some ways, this year has dragged on, but in others it has flown by.
Now, here we are, only a few weeks out from Christmas after one of the toughest years in living memory for all of us.
With borders reopening and restrictions generally easing, there is every chance that these holidays would look very similar to years gone by.
However, this time around, we will all likely be more grateful for the simple pleasure of being with friends and family.
Property markets tend to quieten down over the holidays, too, but this year that may not happen as much as in the past.
That said, for many people, the end of the year is the perfect time to physically recharge but also to review your finances to be ready to purchase in the new year.
- Review finances
It’s important to check over your financial situation annually with many of us too busy to do so during the year. Take some time to review your average outgoings to see if there is more discretionary spending than you thought there was. Record low interest rates means that every borrower can also potentially benefit from reviewing their current home loan deals.
If your loan is coming off a fixed term period, your lender won’t necessarily convert the loan into one of their best rates.
However, contacting them via your broker may make them shave some percentage points off the interest rates you are paying.
- Keep to a budget
Most of us have been stuck at home for extended periods this year so the opportunity to get out and about is appreciated more than ever.
It’s important not to over compensate for all that time spent indoors, though, by over spending during the holidays.
Lenders are still interested in a potential borrower’s spending patterns, so it would be a bit silly to rake up big purchases on credit cards after several months of financial discipline.
By creating and sticking to a budget over Christmas, you will be able to enjoy yourself but also improve your chances of property purchase success in the new year.
- Unwind and give back
There is no question that 2020 has been a year like no other, which means we need the opportunity to unwind more than ever.
Here in Southeast Queensland we have been fortunate to have mostly escaped the ravages of the pandemic so far.
Our local economies and property markets are performing well and are likely to do even better once all borders reopen, likely before the holidays.
That said, there are still plenty of people who are experiencing hardship – many for the very first time.
Queensland is back open for business with the final border reopening on Tuesday to Sydneysiders and Melburnians.
Over the past nine months, there has been plenty of conjecture on what the extended border closure might do to the state economy.
However, the answer appears to depend on where you are located in the Sunshine State.
Talk to any sales agent from Brisbane all the way up to Cairns and you’ll learn that property markets have been in excellent shape – even when the border was still closed.
Part of the reason has been pent-up demand from local buyers and investors as well as super low interest rates making money cheaper than it has ever been.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, listings are not lasting long on the market as buyers locally, and from across the southeast, stake their claim on a piece of the region’s coastline.
Since the pandemic began, I’ve been optimistic about what lay ahead for our region’s economy and property market.
Some people thought I was being overly optimistic, but market conditions now are backing up my original thinking.
You see, the Sunshine Coast still has affordable property prices, yet is also located within a short commute of Brisbane, plus has some of the best beaches in the world within its boundaries.
Concerns about the impact of the pandemic on our tourism market were always overblown if you ask me because the Sunshine Coast has never relied on international visitors.
Indeed, the fact that the coast was always the “poor cousin” to the Gold Coast when it comes to overseas holidaymakers has now meant our economy has not been overly impacted.
You see, the Sunshine Coast has long been a holiday destination for locals from near and far.
We’ve always had an influx of domestic tourists from across the state and around the country throughout each year.
Indeed, for the year ending June 2019, about 88 per cent of our visitors were classed as domestic who either stayed overnight or were day trippers.
The percentage of overseas visitors has always hovered around 10 per cent of our tourism sector, which meant that it was never going to smash our economy if they were temporarily unable to travel here.
What we have found instead is an influx of many more locals, eager to get out of the homes that they’ve been forced to spend far too much time in this year.
Many of them have headed to the coast for a holiday as soon as they were able, while others have decided to make the move here permanently.
With borders now open to our two biggest cities, that influx of new coast residents is set to soar, with upward price pressure on our property market one of the myriad beneficiaries.