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5 reasons right now might be the time to buy property

By Mo Zeitouneh

At any given time, there are pros and cons to entering the property market. If you’re thinking of buying in the current market, here’s what’s working in your favour.

If you’ve been hesitant to enter the property market in 2020, there is a good case for taking the plunge.

We spoke to REA’s Executive Manager of Economic Research, Cameron Kusher, for his insider knowledge on why you might want to buy a home right now.

1. Low interest rates

The main reason people are looking to buy in the current market is that the cost of borrowing has never been lower.

With interest rates like these, buying your dream home has never been easier. Picture:

The Commonwealth Bank, for instance, is currently offering their lowest ever 4 Year Fixed Rate Owner Occupied Home Loan with Wealth Package# with 1.99% p.a. Principal and Interest, 3.66% p.a Comparison Rate^.

Michael Baumann, Executive General Manager Home Buying and RBS Strategy at Commonwealth Bank, believes there are a number of economic factors influencing the current climate for home buying in Australia right now.

“The start of 2020 was tough for customers and the economy, with the extreme bush fire season and the outbreak of the coronavirus.” Baumann says. “However, we are seeing things improve in the housing market, with auction clearance rates increasing across the country. Unsurprisingly, Victoria has been slower to recover but we expect conditions to improve in line with the rest of the country.”

Baumann went on, “With interest rates at record lows, now is a good time to speak with our Home Lending Specialist about what options might be suitable for your circumstances.”

As Kusher adds, “servicing a home loan has never been easier”.

2. The price of renting v buying

“If [the buyer/s] are renting, first home buyers in particular, are probably weighing up what they’re paying in rent versus what it would cost to pay off a mortgage,” Kusher explains.

“In some instances, it will be very close. In other instances, it might actually be cheaper to go out and get a mortgage, depending on where and what they buy.”

You heard it here: time to calculate that rental spending!

3. Less travel = greater savings

With a lot of travel possibilities still under wraps in Australia, many have had the opportunity to save thousands of dollars that would have otherwise been spent on holidays and social expenses. So, what to do with those savings?

Been holidaying at home? Might be time to figure out how to put those sweet savings to use. Picture: Getty

“People are still very restricted on how they spend their money,” Kusher starts. “In certain states, you can’t travel interstate, you can’t travel overseas at the moment. People who might have been saving for a big trip are now thinking ‘that isn’t going to happen this year, it might not happen next year, let’s take that money and do something with it’.”

4. Work from home flexibility

With the technological advancements and the work-from-home capabilities uncovered this year, many workers and employers are seeking more flexible working arrangements.

When it comes to buying a house, this means you can potentially move further away from your workplace than you would have previously.

“In a lot of instances, people won’t have to go into the office every single day of the week,” Kusher states.

If you can work from home you can broaden the location of your property search. Picture: Getty

“It changes the perspective on where they can live. If you’re currently living in Melbourne for work but are originally from Adelaide and want to move back there, you may be able to negotiate that with your employer.”

Moving further from the CBD also tends to offer more bang for buck when it comes to real estate. Anybody up for a tree change?

5. Incentive schemes

In the latest federal budget, the government announced it would extend its First Home Loan Deposit Scheme into 2021. Under the scheme, first home buyers can apply to purchase a home with a deposit as little as 5%. Ordinarily, a loan candidate would need to show a 20% deposit or be forced to pay an extra Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) fee.

This scheme takes a bit of extra pressure off the savings journey if you want to get into the market ASAP.

“CommBank offers a number of options for first homebuyers including our lowest ever advertised fixed rate and Government initiatives such as the FHLDS: New Home Guarantee,” Baumann adds.

“As one of only two major lenders participating in the New Home Guarantee we encourage customers to speak with a Home Lending Specialist about applying for this initiative with CommBank.”

There are also plenty of incentive schemes available for first home buyers that add to the desirability of buying right now. Most notably, there are a range of state-defined First Home Owner Grants and concessions for those making their first property purchase.

There are even incentives available if you’re thinking of upgrading. For instance, there are federal HomeBuilder grants or individual state schemes, like the Regional Home Building Boost Grant in Queensland or the BuildBonus Grant in the Northern Territory. Check the rules in your state.

Even if now is the right time for you to buy property, knowing where to start can be the biggest hurdle. The right tools and support will get you moving with a little more confidence.


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