Are Australia's highest-value properties also the most at-risk?

Are Australia's highest-value properties also the most at-risk?

Australia’s most expensive properties may have recorded the greatest value growth over the past year, but are also the most vulnerable to the effect of a potential housing crash, according to CoreLogic stats.

The CoreLogic Stratified Hedonic Index breaks Australia’s property market into three segments: the most affordable 25% of properties, the middle 50% and the most expensive 25%. According to the index, the annual rate of property value change across the country has started to slow over recent months.

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, National

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, National

Source: CoreLogic

Looking broadly at the national market, Australia’s housing affordability crisis was found to have hit the lowest end of the market the hardest, with the most affordable 25% of the market recording price rises of 1517% over the full 30-year period of August 1987 to August 2017, while the middle 50% recorded increases of 580% and the most expensive 25% of suburbs recorded growth of 432%.

Looking at the market’s peaks and troughs over this 30-year period, while the top 25% typically recorded the highest growth spikes during boom periods, it also experienced the biggest drops in value during periods of downturn.

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, Combined Capital Cities

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, Combined Capital Cities

Source: CoreLogic

Taking a closer look at Australia’s combined capital cities, the most affordable 25% of the market recorded growth of 4.6% over the past 12 months, while the middle 50% recorded a 9.3% change, and the most expensive 25% recorded a 12.2% change.

Similarly to the national stats, the most expensive 25% of properties in the capital cities appear to have experienced the greatest drops in value during market downturns.

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, Combined Regional Markets

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, Combined Regional Markets

Source: CoreLogic

Looking at Australia’s regional markets, growth performance was much more modest in recent years compared to the cities. The most affordable 25% had previously been the strongest-performing segment, indicating demand for more affordable housing in regional areas. However, recent value changes of 2.5% in the most affordable 25% of the market, 4.6% in the mid-50%, and 8.4% in the most expensive 25% indicate increasing demand for luxury housing outside of Australia’s capital cities.

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, individual capital cities, to Aug-17

Annual change in dwelling values across market segments, individual capital cities, to Aug-17

Source: CoreLogic

The last section of the Index breaks down the value growth over the past 12 months of housing in each of Australia’s individual capital cities. Of these, the cities the experienced the greatest value growth in affordable properties and the lowest growth in expensive properties were Melbourne and Darwin. All other capitals recorded the most value growth in either the mid-50% of properties or the most expensive 25%.

According to CoreLogic head of research, Cameron Kusher:

“Melbourne has a significant competitive advantage over Sydney in terms of being able to offer more affordable housing and the data seems to suggest that lower priced housing is a big driver which has led to a surge in values across the lower and also middle segments of the market.”

Mr Kusher added that if the current property market slowdown turns into a full-on decline, it remains to be seen whether the most affordable or most expensive section of the market is likely to be most affected.

“With record high levels of household debt and significant first home buyer incentives over recent years the trends in a future downturn could be different to what has been seen in the past.”

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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.

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).

How can I get a home loan with no deposit?

Following the Global Financial Crisis, no-deposit loans, as they once used to be known, have largely been removed from the market. Now, if you wish to enter the market with no deposit, you will require a property of your own to secure a loan against or the assistance of a guarantor.

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.

What is a loan-to-value ratio (LVR)?

A loan-to-value ratio (otherwise known as a Loan to Valuation Ratio or LVR), is a calculation lenders make to work out the value of your loan versus the value of your property, expressed as a percentage.   Lenders use this calculation to help assess your suitability for a home loan, and whether you need to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI). As a general rule, most banks will require you to pay LMI if your loan-to-value ratio is 80 per cent or more.   LVR is worked out by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property. If you are looking for a quick ball-park estimate of LVR, the size of your deposit is a good indicator as it is directly proportionate to your LVR. For instance, a loan with an LVR of 80 per cent requires a deposit of 20 per cent, while a 90 per cent LVR requires 10 per cent down payment. 

LOAN AMOUNT / PROPERTY VALUE = LVR%

While this all sounds simple enough, it is worth doing a more accurate calculation of LVR before you commit to buying a place as there are some traps to be aware of. Firstly, the ‘loan amount’ is the price you paid for the property plus additional costs such as stamp duty and legal fees, minus your deposit amount. Secondly, the ‘property value’ is determined by your lender’s valuation of the property, not the price you paid for it, and sometimes these can differ so where possible, try and get your bank to evaluate the property before you put in an offer.

What's wrong with traditional ratings systems?

They’re impersonal 

Most comparison sites give you information about rates, fees and features, but expect you’ll pay more with a low advertised rate and $400 ongoing fee or a slightly higher rate and no ongoing fee. The answer is different for each borrower and depends on a number of variables, in particular how big your loan is. Comparisons are either done based on just today or projected over a full 25 or 30 year loan. That’s not how people borrow these days. While you may take a 30 year loan, most borrowers will either upgrade their house or switch their home loan within the first five years. 

You’re also expected to know exactly which features you want. This is fine for the experienced borrower, but most people know some flexibility is a good thing, but don’t know exactly which features offer more flexibility than others. 

What is the flexibility score?

Today’s home loans often try to lure borrowers with a range of flexible features, including offset accounts, redraw facilities, repayment frequency options, repayment holidays, split loan options and portability. Real Time Ratings™ weights each of these features based on popularity and gives loans a ‘flexibility score’ based on how much they cater to borrowers’ needs over time. The aim is to give a higher score to loans which give borrowers more features and options.

They’re not always timely

In today’s competitive home loan market, lenders are releasing new offers almost daily. These offers are often some of the most attractive deals in the market, but won’t get rated by traditional ratings systems for up to a year. 

The assumptions are out of date 

The comparison rate is based on a loan size of $150,000 and a loan term of 25 years. However, the typical loan size is much higher than that. Million dollar loans are becoming increasingly common, especially if you live in metropolitan parts of Australia, like Sydney and Melbourne. It’s also uncommon for borrowers to hold a loan for 25 years. The typical shelf life for a home loan is a few years. 

The other problem is because it’s a percentage, the difference between 3.9 or 3.7 per cent on a $500,000 doesn’t sound like much, but equals around $683 a year. Real Time Ratings™ not only looks at the difference in the monthly repayments, but it will work out the actual cost difference once fees are taken into consideration. 

What are the pros and cons of no-deposit home loans?

It’s no longer possible to get a no-deposit home loan in Australia. In some circumstances, you might be able to take out a mortgage with a 5 per cent deposit – but before you do so, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

The big advantage of borrowing 95 per cent (also known as a 95 per cent home loan) is that you get to buy your property sooner. That may be particularly important if you plan to purchase in a rising market, where prices are increasing faster than you can accumulate savings.

But 95 per cent home loans also have disadvantages. First, the 95 per cent home loan market is relatively small, so you’ll have fewer options to choose from. Second, you’ll probably have to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance). Third, you’ll probably be charged a higher interest rate. Fourth, the more you borrow, the more you’ll ultimately have to pay in interest. Fifth, if your property declines in value, your mortgage might end up being worth more than your home.

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.

Who offers 40 year mortgages?

Home loans spanning 40 years are offered by select lenders, though the loan period is much longer than a standard 30-year home loan. You're more likely to find a maximum of 35 years, such as is the case with Teacher’s Mutual Bank

Currently, 40 year home loan lenders in Australia include AlphaBeta Money, BCU, G&C Mutual Bank, Pepper, and Sydney Mutual Bank.

Even though these lengthier loans 35 to 40 year loans do exist on the market, they are not overwhelmingly popular, as the extra interest you pay compared to a 30-year loan can be over $100,000 or more.

Why should you trust Real Time Ratings?

Real Time Ratings™ was conceived by a team of data experts who have been analysing trends and behaviour in the home loan market for more than a decade. It was designed purely to meet the evolving needs of home loan customers who wish to merge low cost with flexible features quickly. We believe it fills a glaring gap in the market by frequently re-rating loan products based on the changes lenders make daily.

Real Time Ratings™ is a new idea and will change over time to match the frequently-evolving demands of the market. Some things won’t change though – it will always rate all relevent products in our database and will not be influenced by advertising.

If you have any feedback about Real Time Ratings™, please get in touch.

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