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Most of us store a large part of our wealth in property. It could be in our owner-occupied home, a holiday house or an investment portfolio. And a large number of property owners are starting to head towards retirement.
It’s around this time of the year that I take an educated guess at what will happen with house prices and mortgage rates. As I’ve said time and time again, the strongest correlation that exists is between house prices and interest rates.
If you’re familiar with us, you’ll know that at Squirrel we don’t like to pull punches so here goes. Heartland Bank came out with a staggering mortgage rate of 1.99% fixed for 1-year. Naturally everyone got excited, but what is it actually? Since then, no other banks have followed.
Earlier this year we launched our P2P Home Loans and Business Property Loans that give investors access to residential first mortgage investments with returns of up to 5% p.a. As interest rates have fallen, investors are looking for better returns.
There are numerous reasons to regularly review your mortgages and make sure you still have the right overall solution for your lending. Part of that includes not putting all your eggs in one basket, and splitting your lending across different banks to avoid sticky situations.
As a general rule of thumb, any property investor who has at least six rental properties is viewed as a "professional" property investor through the eyes of the bank. And the way these investors are treated by the banks is markedly different to someone whose main income is not from property.
As I've eluded to over the past few months, I've expected house prices to stay reasonably stable, especially entry-level properties. However, there will be pockets of the market that are hit harder, and one of the segments is apartments.
When you have established yourself on the proverbial property ladder you will at some point come to the decision to move house. But what comes first? Is it better to buy first and then sell, or the other way round? Here are the pros and cons to each of these scenarios.
I think now is a good time to be at least looking, but take your time and make sure the numbers stack up. If you buy cash flow neutral in the right areas, irrespective of what happens with short-term house prices it will be an excellent long-term investment.