Australia leads the world in property sustainability

Australia leads the world in property sustainability

Australia is leading the way, and the rest of the world in its wake, with property sustainability.

Findings released from the Property Council of Australia have placed the country ahead of many of its global counterparts, which is great news for individuals and families investigating their home loan and property purchasing options.  

Australia leads green building

The 2014 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) placed property companies’ Down Under ahead of their Asia-, Europe- and North America-based competitors.

Commenting on the report’s findings, which analysed data from 637 listed property companies and private equity real estate funds, The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) noted that “as in previous years, Australia/New Zealand is the leading region.”

“Green building is arguably the world’s fastest growing industry — and Australia is leading the charge,” Romilly Madew, GBCA Chief Executive, said.

“The report underscores our regional leadership in sustainability, and serves as a reminder of why Australia is one of the best real estate markets in which to invest.

“Australia’s real estate sector is demonstrating that it has a long-term commitment to sustainability that stretches far beyond this financial year or this electoral cycle.”

The GBCA promotes sustainability in the Australian property sector by encouraging specific design practices, technologies and green building programs. It also focuses on incorporating “green building initiatives into mainstream design, construction and operation of buildings”.

As part of the GRESB survey, 44 of the country’s largest property owners were questioned, representing around $131 billion in real estate assets

What’s happening in Australia?

Property Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison, stated that investment in new technology and innovation has helped the nation’s property industry limit waste, reduce carbon emissions and lower water and energy use.

“On average, the survey found that companies from Australia outpaced their international peers in all aspects of sustainability — with 70 percent falling within the top 35 percent of global performers,” Morrison explained.

“It is gratifying to see decades of investment and clever management paying environmental dividends as well as providing more secure returns to investors.”

The GRESB report noted that “benchmarking and disclosure of building energy performance for large commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings” is a legislative requirement in Australia. This arguably makes the nation a global trend setter for sustainable property practices.

If you’re thinking about buying a sustainable property, Australia sure seems like the place to do it. Kick off the process by using a home loan calculator and start investigating your purchase options.

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How can I get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is the tax that must be paid when purchasing a property in Australia.

It is calculated by the state government based on the selling price of the property. These charges may differ for first homebuyers. You can calculate the stamp duty for your property using our stamp duty calculator.

What is a line of credit?

A line of credit, also known as a home equity loan, is a type of mortgage that allows you to borrow money using the equity in your property.

Equity is the value of your property, less any outstanding debt against it. For example, if you have a $500,000 property and a $300,000 mortgage against the property, then you have $200,000 equity. This is the portion of the property that you actually own.

This type of loan is a flexible mortgage that allows you to draw on funds when you need them, similar to a credit card.

What is bridging finance?

A loan of shorter duration taken to buy a new property before a borrower sells an existing property, usually taken to cover the financial gap that occurs while buying a new property without first selling an older one.

Usually, these loans have higher interest rates and a shorter repayment duration.

What is equity? How can I use equity in my home loan?

Equity refers to the difference between what your property is worth and how much you owe on it. Essentially, it is the amount you have repaid on your home loan to date, although if your property has gone up in value it can sometimes be a lot more.

You can use the equity in your home loan to finance renovations on your existing property or as a deposit on an investment property. It can also be accessed for other investment opportunities or smaller purchases, such as a car or holiday, using a redraw facility.

Once you are over 65 you can even use the equity in your home loan as a source of income by taking out a reverse mortgage. This will let you access the equity in your loan in the form of regular payments which will be paid back to the bank following your death by selling your property. But like all financial products, it’s best to seek professional advice before you sign on the dotted line.

What is an investment loan?

An investment loan is a home loan that is taken out to purchase a property purely for investment purposes. This means that the purchaser will not be living in the property but will instead rent it out or simply retain it for purposes of capital growth.

What is equity and home equity?

The percentage of a property effectively ‘owned’ by the borrower, equity is calculated by subtracting the amount currently owing on a mortgage from the property’s current value. As you pay back your mortgage’s principal, your home equity increases. Equity can be affected by changes in market value or improvements to your property.

Does Australia have no-deposit home loans?

Australia no longer has no-deposit home loans – or 100 per cent home loans as they’re also known – because they’re regarded as too risky.

However, some lenders allow some borrowers to take out mortgages with a 5 per cent deposit.

Another option is to source a deposit from elsewhere – either by using a parental guarantee or by drawing out equity from another property.

What is a construction loan?

A construction loan is loan taken out for the purpose of building or substantially renovating a residential property. Under this type of loan, the funds are released in stages when certain milestones in the construction process are reached. Once the building is complete, the loan will revert to a standard principal and interest mortgage.

What is appreciation or depreciation of property?

The increase or decrease in the value of a property due to factors including inflation, demand and political stability.

What is appraised value?

An estimation of a property’s value before beginning the mortgage approval process. An appraiser (or valuer) is an expert who estimates the value of a property. The lender generally selects the appraiser or valuer before sanctioning the loan.