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Will South Australia stay strong through 2018?

Will South Australia stay strong through 2018?

South Australia’s property market experienced a strong finish to 2017, according to new figures from the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA), though housing affordability remains an important issue.

The latest Metro Market Update from REISA revealed that as of Q4 2017, median house prices in Adelaide hit a new record high of $465,000.

In the December quarter, 4395 houses were found to have settled across the Adelaide metro area, while 5821 settled across South Australia as a whole, both significant increases on the previous quarter.

In terms of dollar values, house sales across South Australia grew by 1.20% compared to the previous quarter, and by 2.44% compared to the same time last year.

The number of unit and apartment sales across metro Adelaide also increased by 10% on the previous quarter, while median values were up 4.29% on the previous quarter and a significant 8.96% on the same time the previous year.

REISA president, Alex Ouwens, said that he was “chuffed” at these results, adding that interstate investor interest is at an all-time high, and that he forecasts a similar growth path for the rest of 2018.

“A record median price and a significant upswing in sales volumes clearly demonstrate the underlying strength and resilience of the South Australian real estate sector.”

Regarding 2018 being an election year for South Australia, Mr Ouwens said that the REISA’s main concerns included stamp duty, land tax, and other issues surrounding housing affordability.

“When the price is right, when investors can see a great opportunity, when infrastructure is right, the market is also right.  More sales ultimately means more revenue for the Government.  People are living in their homes for 11+ years now whereas a decade ago the average was 6.5 years.  There has to be a system in place that encourages home ownership fluidity – not strangles it.  South Australians are trapped in inappropriate housing for their circumstances.”

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Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Property & Personal Finance Writer Nick Bendel before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about home loans

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 are the features of home loans for expats from Westpac?

If you’re an Australian citizen living and working abroad, you can borrow to buy a property in Australia. With a Westpac non-resident home loan, you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value to purchase a property whilst living overseas. The minimum loan amount for these loans is $25,000, with a maximum loan term of 30 years.

The interest rates and other fees for Westpac non-resident home loans are the same as regular home loans offered to borrowers living in Australia. You’ll have to submit proof of income, six-month bank statements, an employment letter, and your last two payslips. You may also be required to submit a copy of your passport and visa that shows you’re allowed to live and work abroad.

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.