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How much time do you have left to purchase a newly listed property?

The average number of days properties are listed for sale on realestate.com.au reached record lows in every state in March. This is likely due to demand being extremely strong, with ‘views per listing’ being at record highs levels.

So Just How Long Are Properties Listed For?

The average number of days properties were listed on the realestate.com.au website was 48 in March 2021.

Properties sold the fastest in the ACT (average of 25 days listed), New South Wales (27 days) and Victoria (30 days).

Tasmania (37 days), South Australia (48 days) and Queensland (54 days) were positioned in the middle of the pack, however, they dropped 9, 17 and 19 days respectively over the course of the month.

And while properties in Western Australia (71 days) and the Northern Territory (59 days) took the longest time to sell on average, they recorded the largest falls in average time online over the past year, down 28 and 14 days respectively.

Increase in Views Per Listing and Property Price Searches

Properties are currently viewed an average of 1694 times on realestate.com.au – up from 819 in March 2020. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including record-low borrowing costs, government support packages for first-home buyers and limited available stock.

Buyers are also on the hunt for more expensive properties than they were a year ago. Whereby, the percentage of searches for properties valued between $750,000 and $2,000,000 has increased to 52% in 2021, up from 47% in 2020.

How KBRZ Can Help

Thinking about buying your very own property in 2021?

If this is the case, a good first step is to speak to our team at KBRZ to assess your options. If you are currently interested in purchasing a property, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today. With our extensive network and years of experience in the industry, our team at KBRZ can provide tailored investment loan solutions that will allow you to maximise your wealth regardless of your circumstances.

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KBRZ is now recruiting Administration Specialist​

Job description

An exciting opportunity to join KBRZ, an established and fast-growing finance company in Sydney. We are looking for an amazing Administration Specialist to join our friendly team. If you are passionate about giving the best experience in a rewarding environment then this role could be for you.

We are looking for someone who thrives in delivering excellence and determined for success. Why? Because we are a dynamic business that is growing fast with a strong belief and support in our team. Our team motto is “It is not a job, it’s a lifestyle I enjoy professionally as I strive towards my own financial success”.

If you don’t meet all the criteria, it’s ok, we are looking for dynamic individuals that are willing to learn and a strong desire to succeed amongst other things.

The Role

  • Assist mortgage brokers in processing, lenders follow ups, etc
  • Assist fund lending team with term sheets, legal paperwork verification, etc.
  • Assist home mortgage management team with post-settlement services, etc.
  • Assist fund management team with applications, redemptions, trustee services, etc.

About You

  • Experience in Excel and Word
  • Familiar with CRMs
  • Attention to detail and strong work ethic
  • Ability to work autonomously & as part of a team
  • Great interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate at all levels and provide exceptional customer service to clients and other external parties
  • Fluent Mandarin and English

What’s in it for you?

  • Great career path with plenty of opportunities
  • Competitive remuneration
  • Friendly and approachable team environment
  • Supportive management who believes in your personal success

Please email your C.V. to hr@kbrz.com.au

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Record Breaking: 3 Big Property Trends in 2021

Wonder why the property market sentiment is riding so high? Here are the 3 biggest property trends that are currently occurring all across Australia.

1. Record High Housing Values

Australian housing values have just reached a new record high as prices continue to rise across the country. With market sentiment soaring, we’re seeing RBA predictions that house prices could possibly increase by 30% over the next three years.

With better housing affordability, an opportunity for a lifestyle upgrade and the new found popularity of remote working arrangements, current housing values have surpassed pre-COVID values by approximately 1.0%, and regional housing values are also seen to rise at more than twice the rate of capital city markets due to the effects of COVID-19.

2. Record Low Interest Rates

Interest rates have never been this low.

Home loan rates seem likely to stay at ultra-low levels for the foreseeable future. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has also stated that the RBA board did not expect to increase official interest rates “for at least three years”.

Naturally, when interest rates are so low, they tempt people into the market. With so many people in the market, there will be hot competition for Sydney properties in 2021, which will push up prices.

3. Record High Refinancing Numbers

With record-low interest rates, it makes sense that we’re also seeing a record number of mortgage holders refinance their mortgage to save themselves thousands of dollars.

But be careful you don’t become interest rate-fixated. When you refinance your home loan, you need to consider fees and charges as well as the interest rate. You need to be sure that in refinancing your home loan that you’ll be better off in the long run after taking into account all costs.

If you are considering a refinance now, KBRZ offers a wide range of choices with very low interest rates that are tailored just for you.

How KBRZ Can Help

Thinking about hopping on these record breaking trends and buying your own property in 2021?

If this is the case, a good first step is to speak to our team at KBRZ to assess your options. If you are currently interested in purchasing a property, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today. With our extensive network and years of experience in the industry, our team at KBRZ can provide tailored investment loan solutions that will allow you to maximise your wealth regardless of your circumstances.

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Australia’s continual need for QE

Following the RBA’s reduction of the cash rate to 0.1%, they were running out traditional ammunition to support the economy through COVID, as such implemented quantitative easing through yield curve control (YCC), targeting the 3 year AGS. After some early problems when the market questioned the credibility of the RBA’s commitment to QE, the policy has increasingly become a striking success. Before the RBA launched QE, Aussie 10-year interest rates were more than 30 basis points above US 10-year rates. At one point, that excess jumped to around 45 basis points. Today the difference has fallen back into the single-digit range.

This has helped keep the Aussie/US dollar cross (trading below US76c) and Australia’s trade-weighted exchange rate about 5 per cent lower than they would otherwise be, which is helping both exporters and local producers that have been struggling due a combination of being outcompeted by comparatively cheaper imports and ongoing restrictions imposed due to the continual trade war.

However according to experts, it’s resounding success has been accompanied by a series of potential problems regarding the long term stabilisation of the Australian economy. In the process of YCC, the central bank currently holds about half of pandemic debt issued by the federal government, causing it become involved in both fiscal and monetary policy. Furthermore, due to the aforementioned lack of traditional monetary policy ammunition, long term stabilisation will have to be driven by fiscal policy. However, this comes into conflict with the government’s target 3% of GDP budget deficit by 2023, as this target will require a decrease of 8% of GDP ie a contractionary stance. Therefore, the combination of monetary and fiscal policy have small wiggle room to implement the changes required to further accelerate the economies recovery, consequently increasing the importance of changes in unemployment and wage growth.

In the minutes of March’s RBA meeting, members discussed the current state of employment in the economy. Employment had continued to recover to be around ½ per cent below its pre-pandemic level. However, much of the increase in employment in preceding months had been in Victoria following the easing of pandemic-related restrictions. The end of the JobKeeper program was seen as unlikely to result in a sustained increase in the unemployment rate. The number of people working zero hours in Australia had declined significantly in recent months to be close to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, some JobKeeper recipients, including the self-employed, were more likely to suffer a decline in income than lose employment at the end of the program. Many firms in receipt of JobKeeper subsidies had already reduced the size of their workforces and were not planning on another large round of lay-offs. Therefore, whilst unemployment is well on the way to recovering to pre-Covid levels, wage growth remains lower than it looks as wags continue to recover to pre-Covid levels.

In conclusion a third round of QE is all but certain in October this year with the high-probability case that the RBA maintains the current run-rate of buying $100 billion of bonds every six months. Any diminution of the RBA’s commitment to QE is likely to force the Aussie dollar much higher which will only negative impact the economy. Long term stabilisation will remain a gradual process as unemployment and wages recover.

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Sydney property prices tipped to boom in 2021

You’ve probably noticed the housing market is going a bit crazy at the moment. The property market is currently experiencing a boom phase, which means housing affordability is gradually becoming tougher.

It is currently predicted that Sydney’s median property price would increase by 7% to 11% in 2021. Heres all the details you need to know about Sydney’s current property boom.

Interest rates are unlikely to rise for “at least 3 years”

Interest rates have never been this low.

Home loan rates seem likely to stay at ultra-low levels for the foreseeable future. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has also stated that the RBA board did not expect to increase official interest rates “for at least three years”.

Naturally, when interest rates are so low, they tempt people into the market. With so many people in the market, there will be hot competition for Sydney properties in 2021, which will push up prices.

Government reforms will stimulate buyer demand

Two big reforms, which are due to be introduced in 2021, are also likely to increase buyer demand.

1. Under the NSW government’s stamp duty reforms, buyers will have the chance to either pay stamp duty upfront, or an ongoing property tax. A lot of borrowers will choose to pay the property tax, which means they’ll need less savings to buy a home. So we can expect more buyers to enter the market.

2. The federal government introduced a new legislation on December 9, which had removed the ‘responsible lending obligations’.

Under the government’s reforms, lenders have more confidence to approve loans, which will speed up the process, lead to more borrowers being approved, and for larger amounts. Again, this will lead to more buyers entering the market.

The sooner you buy, the less you’ll pay

Thinking about buying in 2021?

If this is the case, it might be best to take action sooner rather than later, because if the market keeps progressing as everyone expects, the earlier you buy, the less you’ll have to pay.

A good first step is to speak to our team at KBRZ to assess your options. If you are currently interested in purchasing a property, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today. With our extensive network and years of experience in the industry, our team at KBRZ can provide tailored investment loan solutions that will allow you to maximise your wealth regardless of your circumstances.

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How to use your home equity to buy an investment property

Investing in property is the new Australian dream – a well-chosen property should provide capital gains without much effort from the owner.

The big question is, how can we build our investment portfolio using the value in our current home? Purchasing property requires cash deposits, and if you want to purchase multiple properties, that’s a lot of cash required.

Using your home’s equity to invest

If you’ve owned your home for a while, chances are you’ve built up valuable equity. That home equity can be used as a cash deposit to buy an investment property, with most investment property loans structured around using home equity to aid the purchase. In the past, the only way to purchase new property without a cash deposit was to sell up. Now, home loans are pretty flexible, and it is possible to make use of the home equity without having to sell.

Typically, the lender will lend you 80% of the value of your home without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), less the debt you owe against it – which is your equity. However, the amount of equity you can use will vary between lenders – something our team at KBRZ can help you figure out.

What is equity?

To simply put, equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. For example, if you owe $100,000 on your mortgage loan and your home is worth $200,000, you have $100,000 worth of total equity in your current home.

How to calculate your usable equity

A common misconception is that you can use all your equity to buy an investment property. In most instances, you could typically expect to borrow up to 80% of the value of your home.

With this in mind, here’s an example of how you can calculate your usable equity:

1. Calculate 80% of the value of your home: $200,000 x 80% = $160,000

2. Take the 80% value of your home and subtract your current outstanding debt: $160,000 – $100,000 = $60,000.

This means you have $60,000 worth of usable equity to put towards a deposit for an investment property, as well as other buying costs like stamp duty and settlement fees.

How KBRZ can help

Using equity is a great option to potentially lock in a better interest rate, and avoid paying Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI). If you are interested in using your home equity, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today. With our extensive network and years of experience in the industry, our team at KBRZ can provide tailored investment loan solutions that will allow you to maximise your wealth regardless of your circumstances.

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How has the NSW flooding affected the housing market

As we move towards the end of March, the Australian housing market continues it surge. According to data collected by Corelogic showed that overall property prices saw a 2.1 per cent increase in the month of February, rising at their fastest rate since 2003. Sydney’s dwelling prices rose 2.47 per cent month-on-month and 2.75 per cent year-on-year. The monthly increase caused dwelling prices in the NSW capital to stand at a median value of $895,933. Houses in Sydney recorded the strongest growth over the month on figures, with a 3 per cent increase‌ in the median to $1,061,229.

The 1-in-50-years weather event this week saw the declaration of 38 disaster zones with over 15,000 people across both NSW and Queensland on standby for evacuation. However it has failed to dampen demand from keen buyers across NSW. Expectations for a pullback in demand for areas directly affected or indirectly cut off by the floods were proved inaccurate, according to real estate agent. Agents say buyers are still calling about properties currently cut off, with plans for inspection once the area are accessible again. However, the floods have put a halt to some ongoing transactions, with many buyers being forced to reconsider during the cooling off period or delaying final inspections until after the water has receded.

However, buyer’s confidence overall should be mostly unaffected provided they are aware of how insurance cover applies and their rights should purchase a home in disaster affected area. Should the home purchased be affected by flooding, prior to settlement, the property needs to be in the same condition as when they agreed to buy it. If the property is damaged, buyers could renegotiate the price or delay settlement until the damage is repaired.

Furthermore, the floods will have profound impacts upon the property market beyond directly affected suburbs. Despite majority of buyers not being dissuaded from the affected areas, as small portion will look towards other suburbs for their next home, thereby increasing demand in other suburbs. Furthermore, damages to property in the area will at least decrease overall supply of property in the short term, which will only add fuel to the rising prices. Partially due to the huge surge in property prices, there have been calls for RBA to hike rates. Such concerns are reasonable as rising house prices have greatly damaged their affordability for first home buyers. However, the flood damages will negatively impact the affected areas local economy which will in turn affect the rest of the economy, greatly increases the need for economic recovery, provided by macroeconomic policies.

Such unpredictable events, can have greatly detrimental impacts upon the finances of those both directly and indirectly effected. Previously suitable financial instruments are not longer appropriate given the changing circumstances. At KBRZ we aim to provide service that best suite our client’s needs, with our extensive network and years of experience in the industry, we are able to match our clients to brokers providing financial products tailored to their circumstances.

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Understand Your Mortgage Rate

When buying a property, usually you will borrow a mortgage up to 80 or 90% of the property value. The amount you borrowed will be called the principal while the cost charged by the lender is calculated by the interest rate. The interest rate will have a large impact on the overall amount you pay back and that’s why it’s imperative to understand how interest rate works.

To be honest, your interest rate will mostly depend on the current market conditions. However, there are still a few factors other than the current market that will affect it.

  • Loan Type: There are mainly two types of home loans, owner occupied and investment. An owner-occupied loan is a type of loan you obtain while buying a home you intend to live in. If you plan to buy a property for renting or flipping, an investment loan will be lent. The key difference between the two is that investment loans often have higher interest rates than owner-occupied loans.
  • Interest Rate Type: There are also two types of interest rates, variable and fixed. A fixed interest rate loan is a loan where the interest rate is constant for the term of the loan. On the other hand, variable interest rate loans have rates that change over time depending on an underlying benchmark or index that periodically changes. Borrowers will benefit from variable interest rate loans in a declining interest rate market while fixed interest rates will cost less if interest rate increases in the future.
  • Loan to Value Ration (LVR): When borrowing a loan, lenders will look at how risky the loan might be by checking your credit score, current financial situation and most importantly how much you want to borrow. LVR is the ratio of the loan to the value of property you intended to purchase. LVR gives lenders a brief idea about your capability of saving and the potential risk of lending such loan. The more money a person has saved for the property, the lower the risk there is for the lender. Therefore, the interest rate tends to be lower if your LVR is lower since the risk for the lender is lower.

When choosing a home loan, other than the interest rate, another important factor you need to look out for is the comparison rate. The comparison rate shows you how much interest you will actually pay for the loan. It is calculated by combining the interest rate with other charges and fees involved. Here are some factors that will be taken into account :

  • Establishment and valuation fees charged when you take out the mortgage
  • Ongoing fees charged monthly or annually throughout the life of the loan
  • Your repayment frequency

The comparison rate is deigned for customers to easily compare the true cost between different products and choose wisely. Here is a simple example. Loan A is more attractive if you only look at the interest rate but Loan B is the better choice if you consider all the fees.

However keep in mind that the advertised comparison rate is calculated based on a normal set of criteria and works as a guide only. The actual comparison rate on your loan usually varies depending on your specific circumstances.

If you are currently considering a mortgage, KBRZ offers a wide range of loans with low interest and comparison rates. Please click here for more details and feel free to contact us for any enquiry. You can also talk to us on WeChat or phone.

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When Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

Heard about mortgage refinancing? These days, people refinance their mortgage much more frequently, resulting in the average duration of a home loan in Australia being only 4 years. Here are our top 4 reasons to refinance your mortgage:

Reason 1: Lower Rate

The most common reason for people to refinance their mortgage is to get a better deal. But be careful you don’t become interest rate-fixated. When you refinance your home loan, you need to consider fees and charges as well as the interest rate. You need to be sure that in refinancing your home loan that you’ll be better off in the long run after taking into account all costs. If you are considering a refinance now, KBRZ offers a wide range of choices with very low interest rates that are tailored just for you.

Reason 2: More Flexibility

Many people only discover the full details about their mortgage when it’s too late. They try to do something and get told by their lender that either they can’t do it, or they will incur a hefty charge if they do. Hence, many people refinance their mortgage to give themselves increased flexibility.

Reason 3: Home Equity

Over recent years in the property market, houses have appreciated at a significant rate. e.g. a home you bought for $300,000 five years ago, might now be worth $500,000. Refinancing your mortgage with a home equity loan might let you tap into that extra $200,000 equity.

Reason 4: Renovation

If you carry out renovations, it often makes sense to refinance your mortgage and take out a construction loan so you only pay interest as the building progresses. Once construction is over, it might make sense to refinance your home loan again so that you consolidate the total amount you owe into a loan that minimises your interest bill, while giving you a degree of liquidity.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions, or want to further discuss mortgage refinancing. It is worthwhile to consolidate with our team at KBRZ in order to find the most optimal solution for you that will allow you to save a good portion of your wealth.

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Five Ways To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

After buying your house with a mortgage, you will typically have 30 years to pay off the debt. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to carry such burden for this long. Fortunately, here are five simple and effective ways to get ahead on your mortgage and save a significant amount of money on interest payments.

1. Make extra principal payments

One simple way to get rid of your mortgage faster is regularly paying a bit more off your loan; i.e. add an extra $30 on top of your normal repayments. For a typical 30-year principal and interest mortgage, most of your payments during the first five to ten years go towards paying off interest. So every extra dollar you put in during that time will reduce the amount of interest you pay and shorten the life of your loan.

Also when interest rates fall, some people may wish to reduce their monthly repayments so they will have some extra money to spend. It sounds tempting, but please consider keeping the repayments as they are. This will cost you less over the long run. However, check with your lender if there is a fee for making extra repayments.

2. Use lump sums effectively

When you receive an unbudgeted lump sum payment – a tax refund or work bonus – instead of buying luxuries or going on a holiday, consider spending the cash on your loan. You can use such windfall to make a lump sum payment on your home loan to dramatically accelerate your repayment progress. However, again please check with your lender beforehand whether there are any fees or restrictions. For instance, normally you can only make additional repayments up to $20,000 for a fixed-rate home loan and fees may occur after that.

3. Refinance for a lower rate or a shorter term

When paying your mortgage, it is important to check that your interest rate is at the lower end of the spectrum. The difference between the highest and lowest home loan rates can be over 2%. So if you find a lower rate for a similar product elsewhere, try to negotiate with your current lender for a better home loan rate (because lenders are always keen for businesses). If you can’t get a better deal, you can always switch to another lender. The thing is that lenders usually offer their best deals for new customers. Just make sure the benefits outweigh any fees that will occur.

While refinancing, you can also change the loan terms. The 30-year home loan is the most popular choice, but lenders also offer shorter loan terms, such as 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-year loans. Although a shorter repayment period means higher monthly payments, you will pay less interest over all. You can also get a lower interest rate for shorter term mortgage compare with a longer term mortgage. So if you can afford a higher monthly repayment, it will be a wise choice to change to a shorter term mortgage.

If you are considering for a refinance now, KBRZ offers a wide range of choices with lower interest rates. Please click here for more details and feel free to contact us for enquiry.

4. Switch to fortnightly payments

If making extra repayments is not an option, you could try to pay more frequently. Rather than making repayments monthly, consider switching to fortnightly repayments. Over a year, you will make 26 payments, and by paying half the monthly amount every fortnight, this will sum up to 13 regular month’s repayment. And you can squeeze an extra monthly repayment every year without too much impact on your budget. However, remember to ask your lender how they treat different repayment methods to avoid confusion.

5. Consider an offset account

A home loan offset account is a savings or transaction account linked to your home loan. Instead of earning interest, the money in an offset account reduces the amount you owe. This balance is deducted from your home loan balance and then your interest is calculated based on the difference. Using an offset account is a smart way to reduce the amount of interest you pay and also helps you pay off your mortgage faster. Do note that lenders may charge fees for an offset account and it may not be worth paying for this feature if your offset balance will be low.

There are many reasons why paying off your home loan earlier can be a positive choice. You can save more cash over time and have less worries about rate hikes. Most importantly, you will own your place outright without paying a lender.

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