Property prices keep rising | Beware of online shopping scams | Twelve Grains Capital

Rents surge in Perth, Darwin, Canberra and Adelaide

It’s been a mixed picture for property investors this year, with houses outperforming units and smaller capitals outperforming larger cities. Across Australia, median house rents increased 3.2% in the year to November, while median unit rents fell 3.1%, according to CoreLogic. Perth, Darwin, Canberra and Adelaide were the only capitals that experienced increases in both house and unit rents, while Hobart was the only capital that went backwards in both categories.

Many commentators are forecasting property prices to grow in 2021, so next year might be a good time to buy an investment property. If you want to enter the market, here are five ways to increase your borrowing capacity:

  • Pay off debts

  • Cut back on discretionary spending

  • Lower the limit on your credit card

  • Reduce or eliminate your use of buy-now-pay-later services

  • Look for ways to increase your income Call us if you need mortgage advice

Govt extends HomeBuilder by 3 months

Good news for existing home owners and people planning to enter the market – the government has extended the HomeBuilder scheme. HomeBuilder provides financial support to owner-occupiers who want to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan property.

Under the original version of the scheme, participants in the HomeBuilder scheme receive a $25,000 grant if they sign a building contract before 31 December 2020. Under the new version, participants will receive $15,000 if they sign a contract between 1 January and 31 March 2021. As before, construction must start within six months of the contract being signed. The price cap for renovations has been kept at $1.5 million (pre-renovation). However, the price cap for new builds, which is currently set at $750,000 for all states, will be increased to $850,000 for Victoria and $950,000 for New South Wales. To participate in HomeBuilder, you must be an Australian citizen and earn less than $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples. Need a construction loan? Speak with us

Real estate values keep rising, despite pandemic

Median price growth for the month of November ranged from 0.4% in Sydney to 1.9% in Darwin and Canberra. Over the year to November, prices grew in all capitals except Melbourne. Canberra’s median price ($672,866) is now higher than Melbourne’s ($672,172), making Canberra the second-most expensive capital city property market, behind Sydney.

Peter Koulizos, chairman of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), said the latest statistics were in stark contrast to the alarmist forecasts at the start of COVID. “Big banks and some property commentators were predicting property price falls of anywhere from 10-30%,” he said. “At the same time, PIPA produced research to show that house prices had increased by as much as 100% in the five years after the most recent recessions. Get in touch if you need a home loan

Beware of online shopping scams

Australia’s consumer watchdog has urged people to watch out for online shopping scams this holiday season, with scam losses rising sharply in 2020. Losses to online shopping scams have increased 42% this year, with almost $7 million in reported losses, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC). Losses on classified websites, such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, have increased 60% this year, to $4.5 million. ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said scammers create realistic-looking fake websites that offer products at very low prices; victims then receive either a fake item or nothing at all. Another trick scammers play is to post fake ads on classified websites, often claiming they are travelling and someone else will deliver the goods – but the item never arrives. Ms Rickard advised consumers to beware of:

  • Popular products being sold at suspiciously low prices

  • Sellers who request payment through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency

  • Fake Australia Post parcel delivery notifications that ask you to click links and input sensitive information (something Australia Post never does)

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