Record low interest rates are pushing Australians to refinance like never before

33,000 borrowers switched home loans in May, a staggering 30% rise over April.

Australian home loan rates have never been lower. And these falling rates are driving existing home loan customers to look at their home loans and find a better deal elsewhere.

In the latest home loan data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of refinancers rose 30% month on month. That’s May 2020 versus April 2020 (the latest data we have).

In dollar terms, the value of refinanced loans rose from $12,021,800,000 in April to $15,192,700,000 in May. That’s an increase of 26.4%.

This data tells us that plenty of borrowers are looking for better home loan deals and they are finding them.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has dropped the official cash rate 5 times since June 2019. This has made borrowing costs for lenders cheaper, driving down variable rate home loans.

In April 2019 the lowest variable rate loan in Finder’s database was 3.48%. Today, the lowest rate is 2.19%.

And yet at the same time lenders have dropped their fixed rates even further. The lowest owner-occupier 3-year fixed rate has plummeted from 3.74% in April 2019 to 1.99% today.

This means you can get a much cheaper home loan rate now. But if you already have a home loan you might not be getting the best deal. While many lenders have passed on recent rate cuts it’s quite uneven. Some lenders consistently pass on a 0.25% cut each time. Others pass on less, or only offer their best rates to new customers (a sneaky but common practice).

And that’s why borrowers are rushing out to refinance.

In many cases borrowers don’t even have to look very far for a better deal. A third of May’s home loan switches were internal: borrowers switching loans but staying with the same lender.

It never hurts to check your lender’s website to see what rates they’re currently offering. Your own lender might have a suitable product with a better rate than your current one.

Here’s how much you can save by switching. Let’s use April 2019’s lowest rate versus today’s to see how much you can save.

Interest rate of 3.74%

  • Loan amount: $500,000
  • Loan term: 30 years
  • Monthly repayment: $2,312

Interest rate of 1.99%

  • Loan amount: $500,000
  • Loan term: 30 years
  • Monthly repayment: $1,845

What a difference a year makes. Switching from a 3.74% rate to a 1.99% rate leaves you with repayments that are $467 lower per month. That’s $5,604 a year.

Ready to refinance? Here’s what you need to do

If you’re thinking about refinancing there’s a few things you need to do first. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a better deal in no time:

  • Check your current interest rate. Find a recent home loan statement and check your interest rate.
  • Compare your rate. Look at some of the latest home loan offers and see how your rate stacks up. If there’s a big difference it’s time to switch.
  • Crunch the numbers. Use a loan repayment calculator to see how much you can save by switching. Don’t forget to look at any possible exit costs that come with leaving your current loan. If you’re on a fixed rate, the breaking costs might be very high.
  • Talk to your current lender. Getting a lower rate on your current loan, or switching to a cheaper loan with the same lender, is easier than finding a new loan and lender. See if you can get a better deal, but make sure your lender knows you’re willing to leave if there’s a better deal elsewhere.
  • Find a new loan. If your current lender can’t help it’s time to find a new loan with a lower rate that suits your needs. You also need to consider whether getting a fixed or variable rate is right for you. Currently, fixed rates are very low, and lower than variable rates in some cases. But these products are less flexible and if rates fall even further you’ll be locked into a less competitive deal (although it’s hard to imagine rates getting much lower than 1.99%).
  • Apply. You will need to gather all your paperwork (proof of income, bank statements) and submit an application.
  • Discharge your old loan. Once your new lender (hopefully) accepts your application you’ll need to notify your old lender and discharge your mortgage.

Switching is easier than you think. For a few hours of researching and applying you can save yourself thousands.

Source: Finder

Rich Lister makes near $1b punt on Perth property

Betting on growth: Perth property developer Paul Blackburne at his Dalkeith home last week.  Trevor Collens


Perth’s property market will blitz its east coast rivals over the next 5 years

Rich Lister Paul Blackburne is charging out of hibernation with a bullish $1 billion punt that Perth’s property market will blitz its east coast rivals over the next 5 years.

Mr Blackburne, the 44-year-old who has built a $567 million fortune through his eponymous apartment development company, pressed pause on projects during April. But after assessing the potential economic fallout from the pandemic he recently revived the company’s pipeline, including pushing the trigger on a $300 million luxury apartment precinct in one of Perth’s most affluent suburbs.

“Western Australia is without doubt going to be the strongest property market in Australia over the coming five years,” Mr Blackburne said.

“We are not as reliant on the industries affected by COVID-19 as the east coast. Mining has been going strong and we had already adjusted to low growth in tourism and overseas education.”

Iron ore prices are roaring as crippled Brazilian supply and Chinese demand push prices above $US100 per tonne and deliver a potential multibillion-dollar royalty windfall for the WA government.

But the McGowan government says the iron ore boom isn’t enough to prevent a recession, forecasting the economy to contract 3.1 per cent in 2021 with mining royalty gains more than offset by lower payroll tax, property taxes and GST grants.

Mr Blackburne argues the pandemic merely delayed the city’s property recovery by three to six months. Blackburne Group is seeking development approval for the old Sundowner Hostel in Claremont, which borders swanky Peppermint Grove.

Mr Blackburne needs council approval for the massive five building development called Claremont by Blackburne, which he says will create 400 jobs during construction of the 245 luxury apartments. That’s less than the 364 apartments previously endorsed for the site by the Town of Claremont. Blackburne bought the 15,767 square metre site late last year for $25.1 million.

Claremont by Blackburne is expected to create 400 jobs during construction.

He said most of the residences will be below five storeys, with the remainder taking advantage of views to the Indian Ocean or Swan River from the 16-storey and 11-storey buildings.

Mr Blackburne wants to start work on the project as soon as he can get approval and is hopeful construction can start early next year.

Perth completely missed the east coast property boom, with median house prices falling more than 13 per cent to $479,000 since mining and business investment dried up in 2014. The market was beginning to show signs of growth just before the pandemic struck.

But it is because the market has already suffered a deep downturn that fills Mr Blackburne with confidence a rebound is on the way. He said during the lockdown in April inquiries jumped 39 per cent.

“I think the Perth market will double in value over the next 10 to 15 years as it has on average over the past 100 years,” he said.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia figures show houses listed for sale are down 30 per cent on a year ago while listings for rental properties are down 42 per cent.

“We were entering a recovery phase and growth would have been 3 per cent to 5 per cent a year for the next few years,” Mr Blackburne said. “COVID has just paused that for three to six months. I think we are at the bottom now or very close to it and there will be a rise of $20,000 to $30,000 a year in the median price over the coming years.”

Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist Aaron Morey agrees the property market has “largely corrected”.

But he’s far less bullish about the outlook for prices in the coming year or two.

“A few factors will weigh on the market looking forward, including weakness in the household sector with job losses and pay cuts. On top of that mortgage repayment deferrals and JobKeeper are coming to an end, and there will be a reduction in net migration, all while governments are boosting supply with construction grants,” Mr Morey said.

“Ultimately, a sustainable housing and construction sector will be underpinned by strong business investment, which brings with it population growth. To achieve that we need governments to create a more competitive business environment by substantially lowering the tax burden on business.”

Mr Blackburne doesn’t think falls in migration will have such an impact on prices. His company in particular relies on affluent residents downsizing to his luxury apartment offering.

But more broadly he feels population growth over the next 5 years will be about what it was predicted to be before the pandemic hit.

“Immigration will increase and the post recession boom will result in a baby boom like what happened post World War II. I think migration will double next year to make up for any shortfall this year. With low rates this will lead to a huge shortage of supply.”

Source: AFR

Banks offer to extend home loan deferrals

Banks offer six-month repayment holiday

Australia’s major banks have agreed to extend a six-month repayment holiday for home loan customers struggling financially on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Banks will contact customers with reduced incomes and ongoing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 as they approach the end of their deferral period, to ensure they can return to repayments wherever possible.

However, if they are unable to restart payments at the end of a six month period, customers will be eligible for an extension of their repayment holiday for up to four months, on a case-by-case basis.

The Australian Banking Association on Wednesday said a deferral extension will not be automatic, and will only be provided to those who genuinely need some extra time.

“This next phase of bank support will avoid a ‘cliff’ for customers in September and give them the breathing space they need to work with their bank and get back on their feet financially” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.

Social restrictions imposed by the government in March led to a wave of unemployment and business closures across Australia, prompting banks to offer a repayment holiday of six months to struggling home loan customers.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in March allowed banks to offer borrowers an option to defer repayments for up to six months, and had said they need not treat the repayment holiday period as a period of arrears for the purpose of capital adequacy and regulatory reporting.

The banking regulator on Wednesday announced it would extend by another four months this temporary capital treatment for bank loans with repayment deferrals, as well as temporarily adjust the capital treatment of loans where terms are renegotiated.

“This will help to avoid unnecessary hardship and foreclosures, and allow the banking sector to work with its customers to find the best solution to manage their debts,” APRA Chair Wayne Byres said.

The ABA said banks will work with customers to find the best options to restructure or vary their loan, including by way of extending the length of the loan, converting to interest-only payments for a period of time or by consolidating debt.

If at the end of this period, customers continue to be severely financially impacted and are unable to make repayments, they will be assisted through their bank’s hardship process to determine the best long-term solution for their individual circumstances, it said.

Commonwealth Bank said while many of its retail and business customers have resumed paying their loans, it will allow customers to keep their loans in deferral for up to a further four months, on a case by case basis.

Australia’s biggest bank said it has so far provided loan repayment deferrals to almost 130,000 home loans and 100,000 business customers, with total financial support of over $15 billion.

Rival Westpac also said it had so far helped more than 130,000 mortgage customers defer their repayments for up to three months, with a further three months available on review. It will also extend the additional deferral option to struggling customers.

ABA’s Ms Bligh said over 800,000 loans have been deferred across Australia, and given the significant amount involved, their would be an impact on banks.

“There’s no doubt that at some point banks’ bottom line will take a hit from the support they’re offering, she told reporters in Sydney.

“But in the long term, banks want to see their customers stay in their homes, they want to see their businesses thriving and … that is in the best interest of customers and of banks.”

Source: AAP


Rise or fall: Where will Australian interest rates go from here?

Will interest rates rise or go down?

If you’re buying a home or paying off a mortgage, interest rates matter. After all, if interest rates go up, you could be paying more for your mortgage. If they go down, you’ll have more money in your pocket and may be able to afford to borrow more. We explore what interest rates are likely to do next and how their movements will affect you. 

What are interest rates and why do they matter?

Your interest rate is a crucial part of your home loan. Put simply, interest is the amount you pay on your loan in addition to any payments you’re making to pay off the property. Lenders base the interest rate they charge on home loans on a number of factors, the most important of which is the Reserve Bank of Australia’s official interest rate. They’ll also take into account their own factors, such as the cost of lending money and the type of business they want to attract.

What have interest rates been doing lately?

While interest rates have moved up and down over time, as of early 2018 they are both relatively stable and at historical lows. In fact, the RBA’s official cash rate has been sitting at 1.5% since August 2016. To put this in perspective, official cash rates peaked in January 1990 at 17.5% and since then have averaged 4.9%.

The main effect of today’s low-interest rate environment has been that servicing a home loan has become much cheaper than at many times in the past. This has meant that many people can service a higher loan than they otherwise would be able to. Some believe that this has been a contributing factor to house price growth, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

Why are interest rates currently so low?

The current low-interest rate environment is not unique to Australia, but part of a global trend. Broadly speaking, it is a flow on effect of the Global Financial Crisis when central banks around the world began reducing interest rates in an effort to stimulate economic activity. Since then, reserve banks, including Australia’s, have been reticent about raising rates, fearing that doing so may also ultimately cut economic growth.

Which way are interest rates forecast to move next?

While it’s impossible to accurately predict which way interest rates will go, most economists predict they will eventually rise rather than fall. In part, this is because the world economy looks to be growing, and the Australian economy seems set to benefit from this. When this happens, the RBA tends to raise the cost of borrowing to prevent the economy from overheating and keep inflation in check.

Against this, however, some economists point to sluggish wage growth and low inflation in the Australian economy. Both factors would usually suggest interest rates should stay low rather than rise. This leads many to believe that any interest rate rises will be gradual and considered rather than rapid.

What does this mean for your home loan?

Whenever you are thinking about taking out a home loan, you should always factor in a potential interest rate rise to make sure you have the capacity to meet your ongoing repayments. The easiest way to do that is by using a home loan calculator.

Beyond that, whether you believe interest rates will rise or fall could impact your decision to go with a fixed, variable or split rate loan.

A variable rate will go up and down in line with interest rates and could be a good option if you’re unsure or think interest rates will go down. They also often give you the chance to make extra repayments, as well as having other benefits such as redraw facilities and offset accounts.

A fixed rate means you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay on your home loan and could be a good option if you think rates will go up. However, they often come with fewer features – such as offset accounts and redraw facilities – as well as restrictions about how much extra you can repay. They also often come with ‘break costs’ if you pay your loan out early.

If you’re unsure, you could also choose a split rate loan, which gives you some degree of certainty by letting you fix part of your home loan while also allowing you all the benefits and features of a variable rate loan.


State Government to give $20,000 to WA home builders


The $20,000 Building Bonus

BUILDING a new home will become even more affordable with the State Government announcing a $20,000 Building Bonus grant on June 7.

It will be available to any home buyer who wants to build a new house or buy a new property in a single-tier development, such as a townhouse, before construction is complete.

When combined with the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder grant, people looking to build could have access to $45,000 in assistance, $55,000 if they were also eligible for the First Home Owner Grant.

A grant for renovation work was not included in the scheme.

The Building Bonus grant is part of a $125 million Building Bonus package to boost activity in the residential building sector, stimulate the economy and support about 2600 local jobs.

$117 will be put towards the grant while $8.2 million will be allocated to the expansion of the 75 per cent off-the-plan transfer duty rebate scheme.

Like the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder package it will run from June 4 to December 31, 2020, unlike that scheme it will not be means tested and has no cap on the property value.

The UDIA WA was first cab off the rank to welcome the new package.

Chief executive Tanya Steinbeck said the State Government had acted decisively and precisely, not only addressing house and land, but expanding the 75 per cent off-the-plan transfer duty rebate, capped at $25,000, to include purchases in multi-tiered developments already under construction in addition to pre-construction contracts.

“They have demonstrated a detailed understanding of the mechanics of the market, and the grave situation the housing construction industry was facing in the coming months without government support,” she said.

“Importantly, in addition to the multiplier-factor of jobs in housing construction, this stimulus package guarantees more jobs as civil construction works can now commence in earnest across the metropolitan area in order to provide a range of titled land lots for buyers to build their dream home.”

Ms Steinbeck said there were 5,000 land lots available across the metropolitan area over the coming months, combined with a diverse range of new home designs that provided the ultimate housing choice for those looking to take advantage of extraordinary economic circumstances.

Master Builders WA executive director John Gelavis said State Government’s stimulus package, which also included a Social Housing Economic Recovery Package, was a gamechanger and would turbocharge the residential housing and construction industry in WA.

“This is a massive lifeline for our embattled housing and construction sector and brings much-needed relief to the industry and the many small businesses within it,” he said.

“The housing industry in WA has declined over 60 per cent since 2014 to disastrous levels.

“The industry is too critical to the state economy to let collapse; this package will help rescue many businesses such as mum and dad builders, large builders, subbies, manufacturers, suppliers and apprentices and will keep thousands of people in work and thousands of West Australian families financially secure.”

Reiwa may disagree with the building bonus; while understanding the need to support jobs, president Damian Collins previously said the similar HomeBuilder scheme, which was skewed towards new builds, would encourage more building on Perth’s outskirts and hurt those who could least afford it.

The State Government’s Housing stimulus also included a $319 million Social Housing Economic Recovery Package.

Mr Gelavis said it hit the nail on the head, refurbishing 1500 homes, building and purchasing approximately 250 new dwellings and delivering a regional maintenance program to 3800 homes.

“In doing so it creates and supports about 1700 jobs, with 780 of those jobs in regional WA,” he said.

Grass still greener in Perth


A shining light for investment

The Western Australian Government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis may prove to be a shining light guiding foreign investment back to residential real estate, according to Finbar Chief Operations Officer Ronald Chan.

“Our government’s handling of the pandemic situation has only reinforced the benefit of investing in WA,” he said. “We need to remember overseas buyers come mostly from South East Asia, and buying property is still related to education for their children,” he said.

“The weak dollar and our already affordable prices are already a drawcard, with our geographic isolation increasingly being seen as an advantage.”

Mr Chan said he believed overseas buyers would be assessing their investment choices closely at the moment.

“Off-the-plan projects that are due to be completed in two to three years will be on top of the list,” he said.

While he said investment was down due, at least in part, to the introduction of the State Government’s Foreign Buyer Duty in January last year, Mr Chan believed buyer interest was on the rise.

“Our analytics have shown an increase in traffic to our websites from overseas since mid-March,” he said.

“We have achieved three Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) sales from countries including China and Singapore this year, verses six at the same time last year.

“Since the introduction of the foreign buyers duty, we have seen a drop of up to 80 per cent in foreign buyers.

“The foreign surcharge needs to be reconsidered by the State Government to help our local property market recover.

“If this is removed, we will see an increase in investments that will benefit the property market and the construction sector, which will boost jobs growth and contribute to the health of the WA economy.”

According to the FIRB’s Annual Report for 2018/19, the Australian Taxation Office completed 1068 residential real estate investigations last financial year, identifying 600 properties that were in breach – equal to those identified in 2017-18.

The report also noted there were 7513 proposed investment approvals in residential real estate, a drop of 2523 from 2017-18.

Despite this fall, the total value of residential real estate approvals rose by $2.3 billion to $14.8 billion, however, this still represented a significant drop from the peak in 2015-16, when that figure stood at $72.4 billion.

The FIRB report floated a range of possible reasons for the foreign buyer dip nationwide, including foreign investment application fees, a tightening of domestic credit and increased restrictions on capital transfers in home countries, state taxes and foreign resident stamp duty increases and the introduction of an exemption certificate so only one approval is required for individuals considering a number of residential properties with the intention to purchase only one property.

Victoria had the lion’s share of residential foreign real estate approvals in 2018-19 , according to the report, with 42 per cent. Queensland and New South Wales came in joint second with 18 per cent, followed by WA at nine per cent, with 657 approvals.

Despite these figures, Ray White Dalkeith Claremont Principal and Director Vivien Yap said recent signs were encouraging in terms of overseas buyers in the Perth market.

“We are getting a lot of enquires,” she said. “Buyers realise WA is a safe haven and we have never had the strong rise and big falls in the market, so it is really stable place to come back to.

“They are confident with the low infections of COVID-19, and so based on that they are very comfortable purchasing the property sight-unseen.”

Ms Yap said low currency and interest rates were enticing propositions, though the extra charges related to FIRB application fees and stamp duty could make it difficult for foreign buyers.

“It does make it very difficult for foreign buyers, who have to pay all these extra costs to purchase,” she said.

Recent changes to the FIRB investment framework might prove another hurdle to foreign investors, with the board’s decision period on purchases extended from 30 days to six months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Source: TheWest

Australia’s great recession escapes


A trio of recession escapes

Australia has escaped a technical recession three times during a 29-year run of growth and avoided it 20 times since GDP figures were first tracked in 1960.

A technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, is being forecast by all the big four bank economists, who have factored in a negative June quarter from the COVID-19 restrictions.

However, there are some who expect Australia can replicate the luck – or good economic management – it had in December 2000, during the dotcom crash; December 2008, during the global financial crisis; and March 2011, as a result of the Queensland floods.

Deutsche Bank chief economist Philip O’donaghoe is expecting a 0.1 per cent growth figure in the March quarter, which would bring up Australia’s 21st escape from technical recession.

“I don’t think the 20 times we escaped recession is just luck,” he said. “It’s good economic management and governments and banks being in a good financial position.”

The last negative quarter in 2011 was due to the weather, but avoiding a recession during the financial crisis was purely down to economic management.

“The stimulus package in the first quarter of 2009 after a negative quarter in December 2008 was entirely designed to ensure a positive March quarter,” Mr O’donaghoe said.

He said the Morrison government has had less time to respond to the shock of COVID-19 than the Rudd government had for the GFC.

In 2000, the shock of the dotcom crash and the introduction of the GST sent economic growth in the September quarter slumping to just 0.2 per cent, before the December quarter registered -0.4 per cent.

But before that there hadn’t been a negative quarter of growth since the country’s last recession of 1991, where the June and September quarters took a -1.3 per cent and -0.1 per cent hit respectively.

During the 1980s, there was a smattering of negative quarters – in 1989 there was a one-off -0.3 per cent hit in the December quarter, while in 1985 the December quarter took a -0.3 per cent hit, and in June 1986 a -0.2 per cent hit. But none of them ended up in recession.

In March 1974 – widely regarded as the end of the oil embargo, which led to oil prices rising 400 per cent – Australia’s March quarter flatlined at 0.0 per cent, and was followed up with a 0.2 per cent decline in the June quarter. But at 0.0 per cent economists do not consider that part of a technical recession.

“If we get a zero in the March quarter this time, we will be saying we have avoided a technical recession,” Mr O’donoghoe said.

Bank of America is another of the five economists – out of 24 – forecasting a positive number in March.

Source: AuatralianFinancialReview

‘New home boost’: $50k to home builders proposed

Buyers of freshly built homes would get a $50,000 cheque from the Morrison government under a $2.5 billion plan from the Property Council to kickstart the economy amid Reserve Bank warnings the housing sector faces an extended period of pain.

The council also wants the abolition of stamp duty, the broadening of the GST and a “welcome migration” campaign aimed at luring foreigners to Australia. On Wednesday, the group said without change the residential sector would weigh on the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


The Property Council believes a $50,000 grant to people buying a new home would help kickstart construction and the broader economy.
The Property Council believes a $50,000 grant to people buying a new home would help kickstart construction and the broader economy.CREDIT:ERIN JONASSON

Prevention of the spread

Homebuilders have already reported contract cancellation rates of more than 30 per cent since the shutdown of key parts of the economy to prevent the spread of the virus, while the construction sector, which employs more than 1.1 million people, has shed at least 5 per cent of its workforce since March.

Council chief executive Ken Morrison said bold policies were needed to get the economy, expected to shrink by 10 per cent in the June quarter, re-started with the housing sector a key element of the recovery.

Australia’s biggest employer which contributes over 13 per cent of GDP, the property industry can be a powerhouse behind economic recovery and growth with the right policy settings and market incentives from the federal, state and territory governments,” he said.

At the heart of its proposals is a $50,000 “new home boost” for buyers of new housing, which the council estimates would stimulate the construction of 50,000 dwellings and support 200,000 jobs.

It would dwarf the $21,000 in grants that were available to first time home owners who bought new buildings during the global financial crisis under the Rudd government’s stimulus program.

The program would run for 12 months and be limited to 50,000 properties, while there would be no cap on the value of the home.

The council is also calling for major tax changes to support the sector, including the removal of state stamp duty and its replacement through a broadening of the GST base. Only four large areas, including fresh food, education and health, are excluded from the GST.

The Morrison government is expecting net migration numbers to collapse this financial year and next due in large part to the restrictions on global border movements.

Minutes of the RBA's latest meeting show continuing concern about falling activity in the property sector.
Minutes of the RBA’s latest meeting show continuing concern about falling activity in the property sector.CREDIT:AAP

Council plans

The council wants a “Welcome to Australia” migration plan that would include a major advertising campaign to promote the country as a safe and healthy destination. It argues the current points system for skilled migration should be temporarily lowered and people encouraged to live in major capitals as well as regional centres.

Housing construction and the property sector is growing as an issue for the Reserve Bank, which noted in the minutes of its most recent meeting that a drop in employment, incomes and wealth will have a direct impact on general consumer spending.

The minutes, released on Tuesday, show building companies are already reporting a drop in demand for new and established housing while cash-strapped Australians are moving back in with their parents or share-houses.

“Lower incomes and confidence, as well as lower expected population growth, were expected to affect demand for new housing for an extended period,” the minutes showed.

There are also concerns about the commercial property sector, with rents in major capitals expected to fall with many businesses having staff working from home rather than CBDs.

Source: SMH

Are banks freezing home loans?

A lot has happened this past week, and it can be a lot to process.

Are banks freezing home loans?

The big four banks have all announced that their customers will be able to pause mortgage payments.

Some banks explicitly state only customers affected by coronavirus will be eligible to pause their repayments.

But whether you need to provide proof (such as a doctor’s note or severance form) to verify you have been affected by coronavirus depends on which bank you’re with.

Source: ABC


Perth’s top 10 suburbs for house price growth

PERTH’S property market is starting to show signs of improvement, and nowhere more so than these 10 suburbs.

Here’s REIWA’s list of Perth’s top 10 suburbs for median house price growth in the 12 months to December 2019, filtered for suburbs with more than 28 properties sold.

10. Fremantle

Kicking off the top 10 Perth suburbs for median house price growth is the historical and well-known suburb of Fremantle. Busy, energetic and always alive, Fremantle is arguably the second-busiest city sector of Western Australia, so investors will be happy to hear that its median house price increased 3.5 per cent in the year to December 2019. With a median house price of $812,500, Fremantle offers residents relaxed beachside living with a copious selection of things to do and places to go. During the 12 months to December 2019, 74 houses sold in Fremantle.

9. Hilton

Hilton recorded a 3.8 per cent rise to its median house price in the year to December 2019 which now sits at $550,000. Hilton is located within the city of Fremantle, approximately 15km south of Perth. Known for its mixture of weatherboard, fibro and brick dwellings, Hilton features a variety of smaller shopping centres, a community garden and two primary schools. During the 12 months to December, 61 houses sold in Hilton.

8. Safety Bay

Situated walking distance from the beach, Safety Bay is a suburb within the locality of Rockingham, 35km south of Perth. Its median house price increased four per cent in the year to December 2019, taking the figure to $395,000. Safety Bay is the most affordable suburb to buy a house in on this list, with 120 house sales sold during that time.

7. Karrinyup

In the year to December 2019, Karrinyup’s median house price increased 5.4 per cent, taking the figure to $816,500. Karrinyup is located 15km north of Perth close to the coast. Karrinyup features plenty of recreational facilities and amenities to service both residents and visitors, making it a popular suburb. During the 12 months to December 2019, 142 houses sold in Karrinyup.

6. South Perth

South Perth is the most expensive suburb on the list, with a median house price of $1.35 million for the year to December 2019 – a 5.5 per cent increase. South Perth is positioned ideally along the river, boasting amazing views of Perth city. South Perth’s desirable lifestyle makes it a hotspot for buyers and investors, with many attractions like Perth Zoo making it a popular suburb. During the 12 months to December 2019, 63 houses sold in South Perth.

Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth.

5. Carlisle

Rounding out the top five Perth suburbs for median house price growth is Carlisle. In the 12 months to December 2019, the median house price in Carlisle experience a 6.3 per cent increase taking the figure to $510,000. Located just eight kilometres from Perth CBD, Carlisle features four major parks, a train line, several schools and a TAFE. During the 12 months to December 2019, 83 houses sold in Carlisle.

4. Attadale

The median house price in Attadale is $1.1 million, which represents a 6.4 per cent growth in the year to December 2019. Attadale is an affluent riverside suburb approximately nine kilometres south of Perth’s CBD. Scenic and family orientated, Attadale’s prime location makes it extremely convenient for residents and investors alike. During the 12 months to December 2019, 71 houses sold in the area.

3. Munster

In the 12 months to December 2019, the median house price in Munster increased 6.8 per cent to $550,000, making it Perth’s third suburb for price growth. Munster is located just 10 minutes from Cockburn Central Shopping Centre and Cockburn train station and is only a short drive away from Coogee Beach making it an ideal location for prospective buyers and investors. During the 12 months to December 2019, 53 houses sold in Munster.

2. Mullaloo

Mullaloo is a coastal suburb located 25km north of Perth CBD. As Perth’s second suburb for median house price growth, it experienced an 8.5 per cent increase during the 12 months to December 2019 – taking the figure to $700,000. Mullaloo offers residents a suburban relaxed lifestyle along the coast, and features two primary schools, a shopping centre and easy access to public transport – ticking all boxes for investment potential. During the 12 months to December 2019, 86 houses sold in Mullaloo.

The observation tower at Mullaloo Beach.

1. Wembley Downs

Perth’s top suburb for median house price growth is Wembley Downs. The median house price in Wembley Downs increased 8.6 per cent in the year to December 2019, taking it to $1.1 million. Wembley Downs is located 10km north-west of the Perth CBD and is only a short minute drive from Perth’s coast, making it an ideal investment hotspot. The suburb is home to the aspirational boy’s college Hale School, as well as numerous sporting facilities. During the 12 months to December 2019, there 94 houses sold in Wembley Downs.