Take the heat off rate hike fears with these 4 tips for buyers

Have recent rate hikes made you nervous about taking the plunge into the property market? You’re not alone; it’s a buyer’s market for a reason. Here’s how to stay cool and calm when buying your next property. 

As you’ve probably seen in the news, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has increased the official cash rate from 0.10% to 3.35% in just nine months.

It’s now the highest it’s been since September 2012 – so it’s only natural to feel a bit hesitant about buying property right now.

But rest assured with the right buying strategies in place, you can navigate rate hikes and mitigate potential financial stress.

1. Know your borrowing capacity

Get to know your borrowing capacity, and consider leaving yourself a bit of a buffer by purchasing under the maximum amount.

That’s because over the many years it takes to pay off a home loan, your financial or personal circumstances may change, and interest rates could rise further.

Buying a bit under your capacity allows you to create a financial buffer to adjust and adapt to any unforeseen changes.

We can help you calculate your borrowing capacity before you start house hunting – so you don’t fall in love with a place that could create more financial stress than it’s worth.

2. Take advantage of it being a buyer’s market

With rising interest rates and inflation, there’s been a softening of the market and this may reward those who are ready to buy now.

According to CoreLogic, “it’s a buyer’s market”!

In the three months to December, the median time a property spent on the market increased to 31 days across the capital cities and 41 days in regional Australia.

That’s a big increase from a median of 20 days in November 2021.

“Buyers are no longer facing a sense of urgency to make a purchase decision and they can negotiate on price more aggressively,” explains CoreLogic’s executive research director Tim Lawless.

“If they don’t secure a price they think reflects good value, they can simply move on to the next property amid persistently declining prices.”

And by targeting properties that have been on the market for a while, you could potentially have more bargaining power (just be sure to do your due diligence!).

3. Take advantage of government schemes

There are various government schemes that may help reduce the size of your new mortgage and other associated costs.

For instance, the federal government offers low deposit, no lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) schemes through the NHFIC.

The schemes can save eligible first home buyers thousands of dollars and speed up home ownership by 4 to 4.5 years on average.

Meanwhile, all state and territory governments (except the ACT) offer first-home buyer grants, while most (except South Australia) offer concessions to take the stamp duty sting out of house buying.

On average, stamp duty can tack an extra 3-4% onto your property value, depending on the state, so keeping this hefty sum in your pocket is a good deal.

We have all the low-down on government schemes and can help you navigate eligibility criteria. We can also explore the possibility of bundling the schemes together for more savings.

4. Let us help guide you

That super low-interest rate loan you saw on a Facebook ad might have looked like an absolute steal, but did you notice the eye-watering fees in the fine print?

And did you know that shopping around for a home loan by sending in multiple loan applications can negatively impact your credit rating?

Speaking to a mortgage professional like us can help you avoid these common pitfalls, and others. More about that in our blog post, Bank Versus Broker?

We can help you find the right lender, home loan rate and terms that’ll suit your individual needs.

Better still, we can help you organise your finances for your application and navigate all the red tape.

So if you’ve been a bit nervy about purchasing in this current financial climate, give us a call today. We love nothing more than helping people navigate the complexities of the finance and property markets.


Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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