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AUSSIE Home Loans has recorded a strong rise in the number of borrowers looking to refinance their mortgages, as home owners try to take advantage of record low interest rates.

The non-bank lender said refinancing accounted for 38.5 per cent of home loans written in June, up from 30.2 per cent in March.

“There have been plenty of home owners who have been complacent about their mortgages,” Aussie founder and executive chairman John Symond said.

“But our figures show that more and more of them are taking advantage of record interest rate lows and are actively seeking out the best deal.”

However, the number of first home buyers settling home loans dropped to 21.3 per cent of total loans written in June, from 32 per cent in March.

“The steam has abated in the first home buyer market as many of them realise that the properties available are probably already at full price,” Mr Symonds said.

“They are re-assessing the market.”

Aussie is one of Australia’s largest non-bank providers of financial services and has a loan book of more than $30 billion.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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HOUSE prices could rise by as much as 22 per cent during the next three years, an economic forecaster says.   house price

”The conditions are ripe for a sustained recovery in residential property prices,” according to BIS Shrapnel’s Residential Property Prospects, 2009 to 2012, report.

”Low interest rates, solid growth in rents and housing shortages are evident in most markets.

”However, the current economic malaise will mean confidence will only recover slowly during 2009/10.”

BIS Shrapnel senior project manager and study author Angie Zigomanis said that, at this stage, all of the action was occurring at the lower-priced end of the market.

This is due to a surge in first-home buyer demand as a result of the federal government’s first home owner boost scheme and low interest rates, he said.

BIS Shrapnel forecasts there will be 180,000 first-home buyers in 2009.

Although first-home buyer demand was expected to ease after the expiry of the government’s boost scheme at the end of 2009, upgraders and investors were expected to take the baton, Mr Zigomanis said.

”We expect rising confidence in the prospects for an economic recovery in 2010, so investors are likely to return in greater numbers, attracted by increased rental returns and low interest rates.”

Among the state capitals, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide will show the strongest price growth over the next three years, at 19 per cent.

More moderate growth is expected in Brisbane, Hobart, and Canberra, while price growth in Perth and Darwin is expected to be weak as the local economies of these cities are impacted by a decline in investment spending in the resources sector.

BIS Shrapnel estimates Sydney’s median house price at June 2009 to be $530,000, and predicts it will rise by mid-2012 to $630,000. Melbourne’s current median house price is estimated at $425,000, rising to $507,000 by June 2012.

In Adelaide, the median price is estimated at $360,000 and predicted to climb to $430,000 over the three years.

Among other cities around Australia, Newcastle and Wollongong are expected to benefit from the migration of residents from Sydney over the coming years.

The median house price in Newcastle is expected to soar 22 per cent over the three years, while Wollongong is forecast to see growth of 20 per cent in the same period.

In Brisbane, the average house is estimated to cost $391,000 now and is expected to cost $455,000 by mid-2012, an increase of 16 per cent.

Hobart’s median house price is estimated to be $335,000 and will rise by 15 per cent to $385,000 over the three year period.

An average house in Canberra is estimated to cost $440,000, increasing to $515,000 by 2012, a rise of 17 per cent.

In Perth, the estimated median house price is $425,000, expected to reach $475,000 in three years, up 12 per cent.

Darwin’s forecast median house price is $470,000, predicted to show an increase of 11 per cent over the three years.

For the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns, BIS Shrapnel forecasts prices will increase by 14 per cent, while Townsville prices are expected to grow 13 per cent over the three years.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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SALES of new homes rose for a third straight month in March – with a 7.3 per cent jump in WA – as government grants and low interest rates enticed buyers into the housing market, a survey shows.

The Housing Industry Association survey found new homes sales increased by 4.2 per cent to 8210 homes following a 7.8 per cent rise in February.

Purchases of detached homes rose by 4.1 per cent to 7474 houses in March, with a quarterly rise of 17 per cent, HIA reported.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the project home building market gained a lift from the first-homeowners’ grant (FHOG) and low interest rates during the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
New home sales rose by 15.2 per cent in New South Wales in March, with Victoria up 14.6 per cent and WA 7.3 per cent higher.

South Australia had a 4.6 per cent fall in new homes sales during March, with Queensland down 16.9 per cent following a 26.2 per cent rise in February.

CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said the lower mortgage rates and the June 30 first home buyers deadline is likely to boost demand for property in coming months, but prices will be held back to a large extent by worries about job prospects.

CommSec is forecasting unemployment to rise to 6.5 per cent over the next year. The national jobless rate is now at 4.9 per cent.

Loans to first homebuyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed.

“While the rate of growth in sales reflects to an extent the low base from which a recovery is emerging.

“There is no doubt that the previously mentioned triple boost from low interest rates, stimulus to first-home buyers, and builder discounts have injected some life into a previously moribund new home building market,” the HIA reported.
http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/property/

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