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Jan 13, 2020

Green Home Loans Offer 2.44%

Australians will soon be able to get a discounted home loan if they buy or build housing that meets high energy efficiency standards, with rock-bottom interest rates from 2.44%. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is launching a green home loan program for borrowers who meet a minimum 7-star energy rating. Bank Australia is the first lender to offer the scheme and will grant a 0.4 percentage point discount on its home loan rate. The energy rating will be assessed under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme which provides guidelines for sustainable design principles and construction techniques for a range of climate zones across Australia. The property sector accounts for almost a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the CEFC’s investment team executive director Richard Lovell. He says sustainable housing design and construction could improve energy and economic outcomes. The Bank Australia Clean Energy Home Loan will fund up to $60 million, providing the interest rate discount to mortgages below $1.5 million.

Jan 7, 2020

Brokers Optimistic About 2020

A survey of mortgage brokers has revealed a high level of optimism for residential real estate markets in 2020. The HashChing 2020 broker survey has found that most mortgage brokers expect the recovery in major markets to continue, interest rates to fall further and investors to return to the market in large numbers. HashChing CEO Arun Maharaj says brokers are “justifiably optimistic”. “Brokers are reporting an increase in first-home-buyer activity, probably as a result of the cooling that happened in 2019 combined with lower interest rates,” he says. “With those rates predicted to stay low, it’s easy to see why brokers are looking forward to a strong 2020.” There was an “almost unanimous” view that the recent increases in house prices in capital city market, notably in Sydney and Melbourne, will continue through 2020. There are also expectations that first-home-buyer activity will increase and investors will become more active in 2020 than last year. “It’s clear that investors took a step back in 2019,” says Maharaj. “With such optimism around prices and the government stepping in and loosening credit restrictions, it’s hard to argue with brokers that first home buyers will once again find themselves competing with investors.” The Federal Government’s FHB mortgage guarantee scheme started on 1 January 2020 and mortgage brokers expect it be over-subscribed. “While 10,000 places is small in the context of the entire Australian market, it will help keep the FHB group competitive, especially outside of the Melbourne and Sydney markets,” he says. Most brokers also predicted another RBA reduction in the cash rate, although expectation is split between the rate coming to rest at 0.5% and 0.25% rate by the end of 2020.

Dec 31, 2019

Launch Looms For FHB Scheme

The Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme starts on 1 January, but it is limited to 10,000 borrowers and not all lenders have been endorsed to participate, so applicants need to be aware of all the terms and conditions. The scheme enables borrowers with deposits of just 5% to be given a special government guarantee which allows them to avoid expensive lenders’ mortgage insurance. To be eligible you must be an Australian citizen, a first-home buyer and be earning no more than $125,000 a year ($200,000 for a couple). The scheme is open to a range of property types, including apartments, townhouses, house & land packages and existing houses. Couples must be married or in a de facto relationship. Applicants who buy a property with a friend or sibling do not qualify under this scheme. Each city and regional area has a different cap on the purchase price. A full list of these region price cap can be found HERE. Thoughts from Scott; "The Mornington Peninsula falls under Region ID 5 and is considered part of Melbourne Metro/Capital City, which means that loans up to $600,000 will be considered for buyers looking here. This is the second highest amount, with Sydney Metro being given the most help at $700,000. To be eligable, first home buyers need to sign the contract of sale of a house on or after the 1st of Jan 2020 and must move into the house within 6 months after settlement occurs. And yes, the loans will be considered for off-the-plan purchases, house and land packages and even land purchases with a separate contract to build."

Dec 20, 2019

Sustainable Homes of the Future

With drought and water supply a core issue in many parts of Australia, it’s noteworthy that a residential estate with water-saving technology has taken out an Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Award for Excellence. The design saw the homes’ water use cut by 70%. UDIA Victoria chief executive Danni Hunter says innovations around environmental excellence are making a big impact on the building sector. “We’re in the business of creating the homes and communities that people need, and it’s clear to industry that home-buyers want and need urban development that considers social, environmental and economic impacts,” Hunter says. Head judge Peter Seamer says “sustainability is no longer considered a bonus in developments, it’s a given and developments with poor sustainability outcomes cannot compete in the marketplace”. Sustainable housing issues include environmental sustainability (water, energy, emissions, waste, vegetation, pollutants and contamination) and social sustainability (aesthetics, safety, security, accessibility, functionality and liveability for future generations).