Yes, times are difficult, in more ways than one, visiting family and friends, finding employment and holding onto a mortgage has become a shaky ground for many Aussie families. For now, the banks are doing all they can to help keep the economy stable, the question is, how much longer can they afford to do so? They are a business after all, and they need to keep their heads above the water, and above the red, just like the rest of us.
We may see some drastic and unpleasant changes in the future of the Australian property market if the Covid-19 situation doesn't improve. For now, embrace the support that is offered, it's there to keep Australians on track and support the economy. If you are unsure about where you stand or what help is available be sure to talk to your bank or get in touch with Centrelink to see what your options are.
Support for those looking to buy their first home
Were you just about to start the search for your first home when Covid-19 hit? For those Australians who have (or just about have) their deposit saved and are ready to invest in their first home, the Covid-19 situation may just have made life a lot easier.
Record low-interest rates, soft markets, less competition from investors and government stimulus packages make this, as well as a softer market, and a range of government stimulus packages might just give you the boost you need to get that first property secured.
See our previous blog that gives you links to each states government sites to see the latest stimulus packages available including the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme, the First Home Super Saver Scheme and the First Home Owners Grant. Always check the government websites and rues for the state you plan to buy your property, as regulation vary considerably and are open to change.
Support for new home builds or significant renovations
One way the government is supporting the economy is by promoting new home builds and renovations, with up to $25,000 available to eligible owner occupies. This is working to keep at least part of the Australian workforce busy with hammers, bricks and roof tiles. When originally announced the scheme was limited to 2020, expiring on December 31, however, it might be well worth keeping an eye out to see if this one is extended into 2021.
Refinancing your current loan
If you have a good credit history banks will be happy to have you on board. Now is a good time to consider taking another look at your home loan agreement to see if you can get a better deal. Speak to your current bank or lender as well as the competition to gauge what offers are on the table. Make sure you factor in the costs of changing banks into your budget to be sure the move as a whole is worthwhile.
Online auctions and inspections by appointment
The real estate industry has had to scramble to find safe ways to operate according to Covid-19 regulations. Technology has been fast-tracked to allow for online auctions, online inspections and even states not under lockdown have had to restrict viewing traffic, offering online property walk-throughs to help reduce risks and adhere to new regulations for safe distancing and hygiene.
Rental vacancies are up, meaning that prices are down. With many universities unable to accept students, or international residents unable to enter the country many of the usual student accommodation and city accommodation types have been left vacant. As well as this, many of Australia's renters have been hardest hit by the closing of bars, restaurants, travel centres, entertainment venues, and shopping centres meaning those in the retail, travel and hospitality industries have had to change their living arrangements and move back in with their parents or rent rooms from friends.
Once the eviction ban is lifted in the state of Victoria to match the rest of the nation, more rental properties may be vacated or sold off, affecting the market even more.
Applying for a loan
If you are ready to buy then you will need to double-check your eligibility and go over your check-list with a fine-tooth comb. Right now banks are safeguarding more than ever, meaning that you will need to show your ability to pay the full deposit, maintain your income and have a record of spendings to show you are very serious about your ability to commit to your repayments.
Check and check again
Every circumstance is different and every buyer and renter is unique so it's always best to get solid professional advice before you commit and as always, do as much as your own research as possible to be wise to your choices and know where you stand.
Need a conveyancer in Albury? Contact us now to set up an appointment.