Aussies looking for sea change considering the Sunshine Coast

Aussies looking for sea change considering the Sunshine Coast

Do the COVID-19 blues have you daydreaming of sunny Queensland and considering a sea change? You’re not alone, as the latest data from Image Property shows that the idea of moving to the Sunshine Coast is growing in popularity.

Agents at Image Property reported a sharp increase in Sydney and Melbourne residents making buyer inquiries, with a move up the coast on the cards once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

The data from Image Property found inquiries were up 20 per cent from last year for Sunshine Coast properties from Sydney and Melbourne buyers.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reflect these migration patterns, with Queensland seeing the highest net interstate migration (22,800 people) in the 12 months leading to June 2019.

These figures may be different for 2020 given the restrictions around COVID-19, but it still reflects a trend of Aussies moving to the Sunshine State in normal circumstances.

In fact, over the ten years to June 2019, Queensland had the greatest average annual interstate migration numbers contributing to its population growth. On average, Queensland received around 12,409 new citizens every year for the past decade.

How much more affordable is property in the Sunshine Coast?

When comparing the average house prices, it’s no surprise that location is everything. A 3-bedroom house in Sydney is going to cost more than a 3-bedroom house in Brisbane. And a 3-bedroom house in Noosa Heads is going to be more expensive than one in Caloundra.

The potential repayments on a home loan for a median priced 3-bedroom home in various neighbourhoods on the Sunshine Coast may be worth exploring for would-be buyers dreaming of a sea change.

Monthly mortgage repayments in Sunshine Coast

Suburb Median 3-br house price 20% deposit Monthly mortgage repayments
Maroochydore $597,500 $119,500 $2,117
Caloundra $630,000 $126,000 $2,232
Mooloolaba $717,500 $143,500 $2,542
Noosa Heads $960,000 $192,000 $3,402
Sunshine Beach $1,540,000 $308,000 $5,457

Source: RateCity.com.au, RealEstate.com.au. Notes: Repayment figures based on the average variable, owner-occupier, principal and interest home loan rate of 3.39 per cent as of 18.08.2020. Figures do not include stamp duty exemptions or monthly mortgage fees. Assumes 30-year mortgage length.

RateCity research shows that the monthly mortgage repayments are, unsurprisingly, more expensive in areas like Sunshine Beach or Noosa Heads. However, mortgage payments in Mooloolaba, Caloundra and Maroochydore are relatively affordable.

The latest CoreLogic figures show the median house price in Sydney is currently $866,110. Based on the same figures and assumptions above, the monthly mortgage repayments may come out to $3,069.

However, a 3-bedroom median house price in a Sydney suburb like Randwick ($2.35 million), would see monthly mortgage repayments of $8,327.

If you’re a Sydneysider looking for a sea change, and already paying upwards of $3,000 a month on mortgage repayments, the Sunshine Coast may be an affordable alternative.

Queensland-focused home loans

While you typically can get a home loan from any lender for any state or territory across Australia, there are some lenders who are offering competitive rates for Queensland residents.

If you’re considering a Sunshine Coast sea change, and want a Queensland-focused home loan too, here are some of the lowest rates on offer.

Lowest fixed rates for Queensland-specific lenders

Home loan Interest rate Comparison rate Comments
Greater Bank Fixed Home Loan - 1 Year

2.09%

3.53%

Applicable for NSW, ACT and QLD.
RACQ Bank Choices Fixed Home Loan - 3 Year

2.29%

3.93%

Only for QLD (unless you are an existing member of RACQ Bank outside Queensland).
QBANK Fixed Rate Home Loan Special - 3 Years

2.29%

3.47%

Restrictions around membership. View website for more details.

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as at 18.08.2020.

Lowest variable rates for Queensland-specific lenders

Home loan Interest rate Comparison rate Comments
RACQ Bank Mortgage Saver Special Home Loan

2.75%

2.77%

Only for QLD (unless you are an existing member of RACQ Bank outside Queensland).
QBANK Classic Home Loan Special Offer

2.76%

2.79%

Restrictions around membership. View website for more details.
Greater Bank Great Rate Variable Home Loan

2.94%

2.95%

Applicable for NSW, ACT and QLD.

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as at 18.08.2020.

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How to use the ME Bank reverse mortgage calculator?

You can access the equity in your home to help you fund your needs during your senior years. A ME Bank reverse mortgage allows you to tap into the equity you’ve built up in your home while you continue living in your house. You can also use the funds to pay for your move to a retirement home and repay the loan when you sell the property.

Generally, if you’re 60 years old, you can borrow up to 15 per cent of the property value. If you are older than 75 years, the amount you can access increases to up to 30 per cent. You can use a reverse mortgage calculator to know how much you can borrow.

To take out a ME Bank reverse mortgage, you’ll need to provide information like your age, type of property – house or an apartment, postcode, and the estimated market value of the property. The loan to value ratio (LVR) is calculated based on your age and the property’s value.

Why does Westpac charge an early termination fee for home loans?

The Westpac home loan early termination fee or break cost is applicable if you have a fixed rate home loan and repay part of or the whole outstanding amount before the fixed period ends. If you’re switching between products before the fixed period ends, you’ll pay a switching break cost and an administrative fee. 

The Westpac home loan early termination fee may not apply if you repay an amount below the prepayment threshold. The prepayment threshold is the amount Westpac allows you to repay during the fixed period outside your regular repayments.

Westpac charges this fee because when you take out a home loan, the bank borrows the funds with wholesale rates available to banks and lenders. Westpac will then work out your interest rate based on you making regular repayments for a fixed period. If you repay before this period ends, the lender may incur a loss if there is any change in the wholesale rate of interest.

What do people do with a Macquarie Bank reverse?

There are a number of ways people use a Macquarie Bank reverse mortgage. Below are some reasons borrowers tend to release their home’s equity via a reverse mortgage:

  • To top up superannuation or pension income to pay for monthly bills;
  • To consolidate and repay high-interest debt like credit cards or personal loans;
  • To fund renovations, repairs or upgrades to their home
  • To help your children or grandkids through financial difficulties. 

While there are no limitations on how you can use a Macquarie reverse mortgage loan, a reverse mortgage is not right for all borrowers. Reverse mortgages compound the interest, which means you end up paying interest on your interest. They can also affect your entitlement to things like the pension It’s important to think carefully, read up and speak with your family before you apply for a reverse mortgage.

When does Commonwealth Bank charge an early exit fee?

When you take out a fixed interest home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you’re able to lock the interest for a particular period. If the rates change during this period, your repayments remain unchanged. If you break the loan during the fixed interest period, you’ll have to pay the Commonwealth Bank home loan early exit fee and an administrative fee.

The Early Repayment Adjustment (ERA) and Administrative fees are applicable in the following instances:

  • If you switch your loan from fixed interest to variable rate
  • When you apply for a top-up home loan
  • If you repay over and above the annual threshold limit, which is $10,000 per year during the fixed interest period
  • When you prepay the entire outstanding loan balance before the end of the fixed interest duration.

The fee calculation depends on the interest rates, the amount you’ve repaid and the loan size. You can contact the lender to understand more about what you may have to pay. 

When do mortgage payments start after settlement?

Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.

Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.

Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.

What happens to my home loan when interest rates rise?

If you are on a variable rate home loan, every so often your rate will be subject to increases and decreases. Rate changes are determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, however often when the RBA changes the cash rate, a number of banks will follow suit, at least to some extent. You can use RateCity cash rate to check how the latest interest rate change affected your mortgage interest rate.

When your rate rises, you will be required to pay your bank more each month in mortgage repayments. Similarly, if your interest rate is cut, then your monthly repayments will decrease. Your lender will notify you of what your new repayments will be, although you can do the calculations yourself, and compare other home loan rates using our mortgage calculator.

There is no way of conclusively predicting when interest rates will go up or down on home loans so if you prefer a more stable approach consider opting for a fixed rate loan.

How do you determine which home loan rates/products I’m shown?

When you check your home loan rate, you’ll supply some basic information about your current loan, including the amount owing on your mortgage and your current interest rate.

We’ll compare this information to the home loan options in the RateCity database and show you which home loan products you may be eligible to apply for.

 

How do I apply for a home improvement loan?

When you want to renovate your home, you may need to take out a loan to cover the costs. You could apply for a home improvement loan, which is a personal loan that you use to cover the costs of your home renovations. There is no difference between applying for this type of home improvement loan and applying for a standard personal loan. It would be best to check and compare the features, fees and details of the loan before applying. 

Besides taking out a home improvement loan, you could also:

  1. Use the equity in your house: Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your home loan. You may be able to access this equity by refinancing your home loan and then using it to finance your home improvement.  Speak with your lender or a mortgage broker about accessing your equity.
  2. Utilise the redraw facility of your home loan: Check whether the existing home loan has a redraw facility. A redraw facility allows you to access additional funds you’ve repaid into your home loan. Some lenders offer this on variable rate home loans but not on fixed. If this option is available to you, contact your lender to discuss how to access it.
  3. Apply for a construction loan: A construction loan is typically used when constructing a new property but can also be used as a home renovation loan. You may find that a construction loan is a suitable option as it enables you to draw funds as your renovation project progresses. You can compare construction home loans online or speak to a mortgage broker about taking out such a loan.
  4. Look into government grants: Check whether there are any government grants offered when you need the funds and whether you qualify. Initiatives like the HomeBuilder Grant were offered by the Federal Government for a limited period until April 2021. They could help fund your renovations either in full or just partially.  

What is a variable home loan?

A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate can and will change over the course of your loan. The rate is determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, so while the cash rate might go down, your bank may decide not to follow suit, although they do broadly follow market conditions. One of the upsides of variable rates is that they are typically more flexible than their fixed rate counterparts which means that a lot of these products will let you make extra repayments and offer features such as offset accounts.

How do I calculate monthly mortgage repayments?

Work out your mortgage repayments using a home loan calculator that takes into account your deposit size, property value and interest rate. This is divided by the loan term you choose (for example, there are 360 months in a 30-year mortgage) to determine the monthly repayments over this time frame.

Over the course of your loan, your monthly repayment amount will be affected by changes to your interest rate, plus any circumstances where you opt to pay interest-only for a period of time, instead of principal and interest.

How much are repayments on a $250K mortgage?

The exact repayment amount for a $250,000 mortgage will be determined by several factors including your deposit size, interest rate and the type of loan. It is best to use a mortgage calculator to determine your actual repayment size.

For example, the monthly repayments on a $250,000 loan with a 5 per cent interest rate over 30 years will be $1342. For a loan of $300,000 on the same rate and loan term, the monthly repayments will be $1610 and for a $500,000 loan, the monthly repayments will be $2684.

Does the Home Loan Rate Promise apply to discounted interest rate offers, such as honeymoon rates?

No. Temporary discounts to home loan interest rates will expire after a limited time, so they aren’t valid for comparing home loans as part of the Home Loan Rate Promise.

However, if your home loan has been discounted from the lender’s standard rate on a permanent basis, you can check if we can find an even lower rate that could apply to you.

What is a fixed home loan?

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

How does a mortgage calculator work?

A mortgage calculator is an extremely helpful tool when planning to take out a home loan and working out the costs. Although each mortgage calculator you come across may be slightly different, most will help you estimate how much your repayments will be. The calculator will often also show you the difference in repayments if you repay weekly, monthly or fortnightly. 

To calculate these figures, you’ll be asked to enter a few details. These include the amount you plan to borrow, whether you’re an owner-occupier or an investor, the proposed interest rate and the home loan term. It will also often show you the total interest you’ll be charged and the total amount you’ll repay over the life of the loan.  

Understanding how the mortgage calculator works, helps you to use it to see how different loan amounts, interest rates and terms affect your repayments. This can then help you choose a home loan that you can repay comfortably and save on interest costs. The mortgage calculator lets you compare the benefits and costs of home loans from different lenders to help you make a more informed choice. Use a mortgage calculator to help identify which home loan is most suitable for your requirements and financial situation.