First Home Buyers Bounce Back on Stamp Duty Concessions in Vic and NSW

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that there has been a rebound in owner occupier first home buyer housing finance commitments.

In August 2017, there were 10,227 owner occupier first home buyer finance commitments.  The 10,227 commitments was the greatest number since December 2009 and it represented 17.2% of all owner occupier housing finance commitments, its highest proportion since July 2013.

A big driver of the surge in first home buyer housing finance commitments has been some recent policy changes for first home buyers in the two largest states (NSW and Vic).  From July 1 of this year first home buyers purchasing properties below $650,000 in NSW and below $600,000 in Vic do not have to pay stamp duty.  In NSW stamp duty concessions are available up to a purchase price of $800,000 for first home buyers and in Vic concessions are available up to a purchase price of $750,000.  Between June and August, the number of owner occupier first home buyer housing finance commitments has increased by 59% in NSW and 34% in Vic.  This data highlights that stamp duty is one of the key barriers for first home buyers wanting to participate in the housing market, at least in NSW and Vic.

Outside of NSW and Vic, first home buyers are generally larger proportions of the owner occupier segment, suggesting easier housing affordability outside of Sydney and Melbourne have held first home buyer demand comparatively high.

The following sections look at first home buyer activity across the states and territories.


There were 2,426 first home buyer commitments in August which was the greatest monthly number since January 2012.  First home buyers accounted for 12.9% of owner occupier commitments over the month which was the highest proportion since October 2012 and up from a recent low of 7.5% in February 2017.



In August 2017, there were 3,162 first home buyer first home buyer commitments in Vic accounting for 18.3% of all owner occupier commitments.  The 3,162 commitments was the greatest number since December 2009 and the 18.3% was the highest proportion since August 2013.



The number of first home buyer finance commitments in August 2017 (2,190) was higher than the previous month but lower than the number in June.  The number of commitments in August was 17.9% higher than its long-term average.  Over the month, first home buyers accounted for 19.4% of all owner occupier finance commitments, down from 20.1% in July.



The 490 first home buyer finance commitments in August 2017 was higher over the month but -17.7% lower than the state’s long-term average.  First home buyers accounted for 12.7% of all housing finance commitments in August and the proportion of first home buyers has not been above 13% since August 2014 despite South Australia being the state with the nation’s second most affordable housing market (behind Tasmania).



In August 2017 there were 1,589 first home buyer commitments which accounted for 26.2% of all owner occupier housing finance commitments.  The 1,589 first home buyer commitments was the greatest number since June 2015 and was 17.7% higher than the long-term average.  The 26.2% of all owner occupier commitments going to first home buyers was slightly lower over the month but was the highest proportion of first home buyers amongst the states and territories.



There were 129 first home buyer finance commitments in Tas in August 2017 which was -22.3% lower than the state’s long-term average.  First home buyers accounted for 12.3% of total owner occupier housing finance commitments for the state which was the lowest proportion of all states and territories.  Although the level of first home buyer activity is low, as a proportion it has increased over each of the past two months.



In August 2017 there were 60 first home buyer finance commitments which accounted for 20.5% of total owner occupier housing finance commitments over the month.  The 60 commitments over the month was -28.6% lower than the long-term average of 84 commitments a month.  With first home buyers accounting for 20.5% of all owner occupier commitments, their levels of participation is the second highest of all states and territories.



There were 231 first home buyer finance commitments in August which was 47.7% higher than the long-term average.  First home buyers in the ACT accounted for 19.3% of all owner occupier housing finance commitments which was slightly lower of the month.


The data points to an upswing in first home buyer activity in NSW and Vic which seems to be due to the removal of the impost of stamp duty when buying beneath certain price points.  First home buyer activity has also increased of late in WA and NT, two markets where values have been falling for some time which could be creating opportunities for first time buyers previously unable to enter the market.  Qld and the ACT have also seen upticks in first home buyer demand of late which is occurring due to moderately rising prices.

Overall, first home buyer is expected to continue to increase, driven by NSW and Vic where buyers are taking advantage of the concessions to enter into the market.

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Rod Bryan is the Private Account Manager for PCL Money.

PCL Money arrange finance and provide loans for property developments, houses & cars, machinery, commercial & industrial buildings, business loans, leasing, refinancing, debt consolidation plus more and has financed people & businesses for 30 years.

We have a dedicated construction and development team with industry experts in feasibility studies and banking, this would be particularly useful for larger transactions requiring feasibility adjustments and bank presented packaging.

We have national experience and a great track record in; bank lending, non-bank lending, J.V’s, equity partnerships and private funding.

We currently have excess funds available for projects and if you are in the market for finance or would like to review your current financial situation please let me know.

We also have home loans starting from 3.69% (3.94% Comparison) and car finance from 4.6%.

PCL’s main office is located in Wollongong, however, the company services the financial needs for businesses and people Australia wide and I am only and email or phone call away.

Each month after the Reserve Bank makes its monthly review announcement, we send out a financial update, with local and international financial news and trends.

The Reserve Bank left the cash rate unchanged at 1.5% at its last meeting. The Bank’s decision was based on uncertainties over the $A, higher inflation, slowing GDP growth, increasing electricity charges and higher consumer spending. Rates remain unchanged however we have reduced our home loan rates which are noted in the attached Newsletter.


Businesses are now using Cloud Based IT services for their operations where applications, software and services are made available from a cloud computing provider’s servers. These providers hosts and manage the infrastructure & platforms that run the applications.

This software service is usually priced on a pay-per-use or on a subscription fee option. Traditional banks will not finance such cloud-based software usage or the setup costs of such services. However, PCL can now finance such subscription based models as well as the setup costs. In cases where clients prefer the monthly subscription option for the software modules, PCL can still finance the setup costs component.

Finance can be approved for strong, established businesses with a Dun & Bradstreet rating WITHOUT the need for financial statements. Terms range up to 5 years or even longer for Blue Chip corporates.

PCL’s Mortgage Lending panel will now assess non-bank risk business proposals that will not (under current criteria) be financed by traditional banks. So if you have a business or personal proposal rejected by your Bank, PCL may be able to assist through these avenues.

PCL has partnered with a panel financier in offering a new, innovative way that small business may finance working capital requirements WITHOUT having to lodge property or other business collateral security. In summary, any business can now raise working capital finance for any business use purpose by unlocking the equity it may have in its motor vehicle/other transport assets or indeed any other unencumbered operating equipment asset.

We have recently been joined by an expert in this field and are currently assessing deals in excess of $484,000,000.00. We have the skills, the experience and the personnel if you have the need please call us.

Please click here for our Newsletter outlining these details

With low interest rates prevailing, I would be happy to discuss any financing requirements that you may have.

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PCL had an elderly couple as clients who owned a 3rd generation farm.

They had gotten into trouble with a bank and fallen behind due to expansion plans and bad weather ( too much rain ).  For 3 long years they fought attempting to hold on as if the property had been sold at the time the price realised would have left them penniless.

The borrowers during the delays managed to get a development application approved by council to subdivide some of the land holding and had presold 8 of the 9 blocks.  They had paid numerous fees to finance arrangers for no result. The matter was further complicated by the Farm Debt Mediation Act and although the clients had not sought assistance under the provisions any incoming lender needed to be considerate of the review process.

The clients were at the point of eviction when PCL were contacted. PCL arranged funding attended settlement on short notice, assisted in completion of the subdivision. All money lent was repaid and the client further subdivided a residual block.

Now complete the have the family farm unencumbered another 2 blocks yet to sell and plenty of cash to take a well-deserved first ever time world cruise.

Hard deal for some but a sensible safe request outside of traditional lenders and only needing some simple structured loan agreements to secure.

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Illawarra Retains Title as Top Performing Regional Area

For the June 2017 quarter, New South Wales once again delivered Australia’s top performing regional property market according to the latest CoreLogic regional update. Leading the way, The Illawarra region, (comprising of: Municipality of Kiama, City of Shellharbour, Wingecarribee Shire, City of Wollongong) experienced the best home values growth for the quarter. Newcastle and Lake Macquarie followed.

CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said, “Some regional areas are enjoying the benefits of buoyant property market conditions due to housing demand rippling outside of the capital city boundaries into regional towns, particularly coastal regions.”

“Unfortunately, regional areas closely linked to the resources sector are still doing it tough; while conditions are generally stabilizing in these areas we expect relatively soft conditions to continue throughout the year.”

“With mortgage rates still low, the attractiveness of housing, particularly in some of the larger coastal regional markets, is likely to continue to show further growth over 2017,’’ he said.

Regional report key highlights (June Quarter):

  • The Illawarra region recorded the largest annual increase in home values, up 15.8 per cent for houses and 14.4 per cent for units.
  • Wide Bay and Townsville were the only regions to see values for both houses and units fall over the year to June 2017.
  • The Townsville region had the biggest fall in transaction activity, with dwelling sales down -9.0 per cent over the year to May 2017.
  • Townsville and Bunbury were the only regions to see rental rates fall over the 12 months to June 2017.

Regional Area Sales & Yields Snapshot:

  • Newcastle/Lake Macquarie: 8,278 homes sold (80% houses, 20% units) & 4.3% rental yield
  • Illawarra: 5600 homes sold (70% houses, 30% units) & 4% rental yield
  • Richmond /Tweed: 6,488 homes sold (67% houses, 33% units) & 4.9% rental yield
  • Gold Coast: 19,242 homes sold (43% houses, 57% units) & 4.9% rental yield
  • Sunshine Coast: 11, 068 homes sold (65% houses, 35% units) & 4.8% rental yield
  • Townsville: 3,164 homes sold (85% houses, 15% units) & 5.2% rental yield
  • Wide Bay: 5643 homes sold (90% houses, 10% units) & 5.7% rental yield
  • Cairns: 5418 homes sold (66% houses, 34% units) & 5.4% rental yield
  • Geelong: 6425 homes sold (84% houses, 16% units) & 4.4% rental yield
  • Latrobe/Gippsland: 6,033 homes sold (89% houses, 11% units) & 5.5% rental yield
  • Bunbury: 2,798 homes sold (90% houses, 10 units) & 5% rental yield

Richmond-Tweed was the only region to see sales volumes rise, with an additional 120 properties transacting over the year to May, representing an increase of 1.9 per cent.

While The llawarra was the top performer for home values across the regional areas analysed, sales activity dropped; the area recorded its biggest fall in sales activity over the same period with transactions down -7.4 per cent, or 447 fewer homes selling when compared to May 2016.

Rental rates increased across all three regions; units in the Illawarra region recorded the largest increase with rates up by 5.1 per cent. Units in the Richmond-Tweed region followed and were up by 4.6 per cent.

In Queensland, dwelling sales fell in three of the five regions over the year to May 2017 with the largest fall in Townsville where sales volumes were down -9.0 per cent. The Gold Coast followed with a drop of -8.2 per cent, then Cairns with a -4.1 per cent drop.

Across the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions, sales remained much the same as they were in June 2016. Wide Bay and Townsville were the only two regions to see home values fall, while the Gold Coast region saw the largest increase in both house (7.5 per cent) and unit (5.9 per cent) values, followed by the Sunshine Coast, where house values increased by 6.0 per cent and unit values increased by 4.4 per cent. Cairns recorded minimal change in home values; unit values in the city were virtually unchanged (0.4 per cent).

Rental rates in the Gold Coast region recorded their largest increase for houses at 5.0 per cent, followed by houses in the Sunshine Coast region at 3.3 per cent.

In Victoria, sales activity dropped by -0.8 per cent in the Geelong area, while the Latrobe-Gippsland region saw a slight increase of 1.3 per cent in the amount of homes transacting over the year to May. Both regions saw home values increase over the 12 months to June, with values increasing by 8.3 per cent for houses and 5.6 per cent for units in Geelong, compared to the Latrobe-Gippsland region, where house and unit values increased by 2.9 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

For Western Australia’s Bunbury region, house values remain unchanged, however unit values fell -2.6 per cent of the year to June 2017. Sales volumes fell -4.7 per cent over the 12 months to May, with current activity -13 per cent below the five year average. Rental rates in the Bunbury region fell -2.9 per cent for houses and -6.1 per cent for units when compared to June 2016.

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Howto Publish a Superb Dissertation in a Brief Timeframe

Article writing for high school students is essential that individuals learn as it will assist the student create their faces academically inside their future. Read more ›

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How the budget will affect you as a home owner/property investor.

The top 5 points to take away from the 2017 budget if you’re a home owner or property investor:

  • In what has been an idea floated numerous times (and shot down), it’s the old policy of the “first home saver accounts” introduced by Labor. The federal government has given into public pressure on housing affordability and receive concessional tax treatment on contributions by being able to salary sacrifice, and the earnings will also be taxed at a concessional rate.
  • Importantly there will be here will be caps on the amount that can be contributed annually to the account and also an overall cap on the size of the fund. There won’t be an age limit on who can set up this fund BUT it can only be used for the purchase of a first home.
  • A “ghost tax” has been introduced to foreign investors. From a public perception point of view this is a great idea. It’s in the media a lot that many units/houses, especially in Melbourne, are being left vacant by foreign investors on purpose to allow them to negatively gear them. This will no longer be permitted; a levy of up to $5,000 can be imposed on foreign investors who leave the property vacant.
  • Retirees who downsize by selling the family home will be offered exemptions from new superannuation limits. This means they can contribute up to $300,000 into their super, from the proceeds of their house sale.
  • This last one is so important: Further roll-out of government’s City Deals between all levels of government and the private sector to develop urban areas. City Deals between the Australian Government, a state or territory government, and local governments will make our cities better places to live in and do business. Through City Deals, governments, industry and communities will develop collective plans for growth and commit to the actions, investments, reforms and governance needed to implement them. This is like a “Master Plan” and more importantly The focus is not just on capital cities and major urban areas – Australia’s regional centres are vital to the performance of the wider Australian economy. Improving their productivity and liveability will be addressed in City Deals.
Posted in First Home Buyers

Is it time to review your interest rates?

When finances seem tight in the household budget it’s normal to let go of the luxuries in our lives. From take-outs, to trips to the cinema, we sometimes look at trying to find a better deal on all our insurances.

Mind you this is an excellent idea even if the household finances don’t need your attention. There’s a few hundred a year that can be saved just be switching your home and contents, building and car insurance, even the health insurance industry is becoming more competitive when clients ask for a better deal. So imagine what can be saved if you review your interest rates regularly.

The mortgage industry is going through an incredible phase. People are losing confidence in the Big 4 and are turning to smaller financial institutions and independent mortgage brokers to get them a better deal. So what’s the best advice when you decide it is time to review your interest rates?

  • Affordability is tough ATM, don’t burn your credit file applying to multiple lenders.
  • Make sure you understand the features offered in a mortgage. The ones you don’t use could cost you unnecessarily.
    Lots of second tier competitors want your business and are very competitive (that’s a tick for us) if they suit your goals and needs.
  • Look seriously at whether to fix the lot unless you have good advice from a financial advisor as it can cost you more in the long run.
  • This may seem counter intuitive but start with your current lender armed with info of their competitors to save the costs of refinancing. You have to take into consideration the cost to exit your current mortgage and the cost to establish your new one.
    Pay attention to the comparative rates, this show % rate with all costs considered.
  • Be clear on what you do need & what your plans are for next 3-5 years.

But most importantly don’t be afraid to demand more from your lender, after all, they can’t exist without you so make sure you stand up for yourself, and you do that by being armed with as much information as possible.

Posted in Interest Rates

Are you looking to invest in property? Here’s what you need to know before you get finance.

If you’ve made the decision to invest in property you’ve probably done your due diligence in making sure it’s the right choice for you. If you’ve considered shares, stock market or gold and decided property investment is for you then let’s look at how to get into the right head space and especially what you need to look before you get financed.

Here’s what you need to do/know before you do your finances:

  • Contrary to popular belief less than 6% of Australians, or roughly 1.3 million people, own an investment property, this is important to recognise.
  • List your assets, including you and your partners (if relevant) income. Make sure you include what your current expenses are. This will help you understand how an investment property will affect your own cash flow.
  • Set you goals. Consider what you want? Do you want to positively or negatively gear this property, find out the pros and cons.
  • Do your research in the areas you’re thinking of investing in. Are they saturated? Are there any big plans for infrastructure nearby, this is both a positive and a negative. Building works for 2 years could lessen your property but a new train station would increase its value.
  • Make sure you have reconciled your risk. Understanding your own attitude towards risk will help you when deciding what property to buy.
  • Start budgeting, yes sounds boring BUT budgeting is the only way to balance your incomings and outgoings, and lenders love to see the work you’ve done to present yourself a lower risk than others.
  • Stay focused, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotional roller-coaster of home purchasing but take the emotion out of this, it’s a business transaction so treat it as one.
Posted in Property Investment

Breaking down the budget.

Budget can be a tough time, even if you are financially savvy. Politicians are experts at putting forward a budget that sounds amazing (spin anyone?) but when you break it down it affects you more than you realise.

So how does the 2017 budget affect you?

Let’s take a snapshot shall we:

  • This was the budget of budgets for small business owners: You will now have access to the “instant asset write-off” scheme which means business owners can instantly claim up to $20,000 of necessary business purchases for tax purposes.
  • If you are older than 65, are on a pension or are looking at downgrading your home this is a budget for you. This includes the ability to add $300,000 into your super from the sale of your home, tax free. This is to encourage downsizing to free up housing for younger, bigger families.
  • If you’re a student this is a tough one for you, fees have increased by 7.5 percent as of next year and you’ll have to pay your loan off faster. Under the new budget, the new HECs repayment threshold is now $42,000 a year – down from $55,000 a year.
  • If you’re a first home buyer it was announced that young people can contribute and withdraw up to $30,000 from their super to purchase their first home.
  • If you’re married and currently own your own home there doesn’t seem to be anything in the pot for you but also you won’t have anything taken away. So carry on as usual.
  • If you have a disability or are the carer of someone who does the government has confirmed it will “fully fund” the National Disability Insurance Scheme to be rolled out nationally by 2020. This is amazing news.
  • If you’re a foreign investor there is now an annual levy of $5000 if you do not rent out the property you’ve purchased or have someone living in it. Overseas-based investors will also now only be able to buy 50 percent of new housing developments.

It’s a balanced budget for most, some tough decisions for students but some welcome news regarding foreign investors which may help our affordability issues.

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