The ‘F’ word. Don’t let finance and housing affordability get you down

You can’t seem to move these days without hearing about housing affordability. The media has us hyped up to believe that we’ll never get to own property because it’s being constantly priced out of reach… or is it?

When you scratch beneath the surface, it’s not as simple as you’d think. I listened to a fantastic podcast recently, in which finance expert Ross Greenwood discovered that properties are more affordable TODAY than they were in 1990 when interest rates hit an all-time high.

Greenwood says that when you calculate today’s house prices, combined with our current wages and interest rates, that we are actually ahead right now. He says it’s not as scary as people think and I agree.

Whether you’re buying as an owner-occupier or as an investor, there are still plenty of opportunities from both angles. You just need to make sure you’ve got the essentials covered in order to get your strategy right:

  • As an owner-occupier, what do you need from this property? Proximity to schooling, work, transport? Are you buying for a family, or do you plan to have one in the future? Or are you at the other end of the scale and starting to downsize?
  • If you’re buying as an investor, how will this next dwelling fit into your portfolio? You can’t just add property like a pick-and-mix at a lolly shop. It has to be strategically purchased to meet your long-term wealth creation goals.

That’s all very well, but it’s not your money on the line…

You’re right, well, half right! I’m an owner occupier, but it hasn’t always been that way. I had to start over again in my 30s, following my marriage breakdown. I went from owning my own home (and faced those hefty interest rates in the 1990s) to becoming a “rentvestor” ie living in a rental property near my children’s schooling, whilst starting to invest elsewhere.

And as a residential property investor in today’s market, I’m always looking to add to my portfolio. I have a keen interest in housing prices for myself as much as for my clients. I know that there is still value to be found within our capital cities.

You just have to know where to look… and is not the answer. There is still affordable, quality property available in the off-market space – which is what property portfolio strategists have access to, with a direct line to developers.

It is possible to get into the market and don’t listen to anyone who’ll tell you otherwise.

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