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Financial and Home Loan Brokers in Sydney

By Dave Fleming : 11 December, 2019

mortgage broker sydney - demonstrators holding up placards saying; I wish this was fake newsA big four bank almost overhauled its broker remuneration model so that the cost of mortgage broking services would be transferred to the customer, the royal commission heard. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

The Royal Commission recently revealed that back in 2017 the Commonwealth Bank planned to replace commissions paid to mortgage brokers with a flat fee, but baulked at the last minute.

CBA’s CEO Matt Comyn told the royal commission that CBA believed the most attractive model was one where “customers would pay a broker”.

The move would have saved CBA $197 million over five years if everyone in the market moved with them.

However, without regulator intervention to drive an industry wide move to this model, CBA feared they’d be left hung out to dry by the other big three banks.

“We came to a view that nobody will follow and we will suffer material degradation in volume,” Comyn said.

Not only would this model be a major disadvantage to consumers going forward, it would reduce a new broker’s revenue on an average loan to about a third of what it currently is.

Basically, the only real winner would have been the big banks.

Not the customers. Not the mortgage brokers.

The banks.

Some interesting stats

Here are some interesting statistics from Deloitte Access Economics that may explain why CBA was looking to limit the growth in the mortgage broking market:

– Over the past three decades brokers have contributed to the fall in net interest margin for banks of over 3% points. This saves you $300,000 on a $500,000 30-year home loan (based on an interest rate fall from 7% to 4% pa).

– 27.9% of residential loans are arranged through lenders other than the big four banks and their affiliates, providing competition and more choice for consumers.

– On average, mortgage brokers have 34 lenders on their panel and use 10. It’s this additional choice that adds competition in the market. The only winners from less competition are the big banks.

– 56% of residential loans were settled by mortgage brokers in the September quarter in 2017. This is up from 44% since 2012.

– 70% of a broker’s business comes directly or indirectly from existing customers, demonstrating high levels of customer satisfaction.

– 9 out of 10 customers are satisfied with the services provided by mortgage brokers.

It’s still a live issue

Basically, the only reason CBA didn’t pull the trigger on the move was because it was worried that if it did, the other lenders wouldn’t join them. Instead, they’d swoop in and steal their business.

However, if the regulator enforced a flat fee model, then all the lenders would have to get onboard.

That’s exactly what could happen if it becomes a royal commission recommendation, which is a possibility considering the extensive line of questioning from the royal commission’s counsel assisting, Rowena Orr.

How can you help?

The best way is to contact your local MP to let them know you’re happy with the mortgage broking service we’re currently providing.

By letting your local Federal Member of Parliament know this you can help prevent the cost of our future services being transferred from the bank over to you – and you’ll also be showing your support for us.

Additionally, head over to the The Adviser and Momentum Intelligence survey to share your experience with us. It’s anonymous and only takes two minutes to complete.

If you’d like any more information on this issue don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to speak to you more about it.

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By Dave Fleming : 11 December, 2019

 Don’t stress

Best Mortgage Brokers - showing the back of a lime green school bus that has the hash tag message written on it - never stressSeven in 10 Australian mortgage holders have not stress tested their home loan. But don’t stress, it’s much easier to do than you think.

Deloitte Access Economics’ latest report makes for pretty interesting reading.

It turns out the average Australian has a “wide-ranging hesitancy to make any sort of change” when it comes to their mortgages and other financial products.

“Why is it that educated consumers who know they’re not getting the best deal on many of their household products are so unwilling to take action to improve their household finances?” asks a surprised Deloitte.

Interesting mortgage stats

It turns out that 41% of Australians with a mortgage don’t check for interest rate changes because they either have no interest, don’t know what the RBA cash rate is, or do not see its relevance.

Even more interesting is that 68% of people say they have never stress tested their home loan.

“This is a particular worry,” says Deloitte.

“Recent estimates show that a 0.5% increase from current interest rates would cause mortgage stress to jump from one in four mortgaged households to one in three.”

Worse still, a 2% increase would throw half of all mortgaged households into stress.

Now, that might sound like a big increase, but don’t forget that it wasn’t so long ago that interest rates were at that level. In fact, it was only six years ago in June 2012.

So how do you stress test a home loan?

Simple.

Calculate how much extra a 0.5%, 1% and 2% increase on your mortgage would cost you each month and whether your budget can allow for it.

If you’d run into trouble, give us a call and we can work through some risk mitigation options with you, which could include locking in a home loan rate.

Why don’t people care about getting a better deal?

Interestingly, 1 in 3 people know there are better deals out there, while 1 in 5 don’t bother to check for a better deal.

It turns out there are three key reasons people don’t change to a home loan that would see them better off financially, with the first being decision making paralysis.

“Too often, many consumers get stuck before making a choice – and then they do nothing,” explains Deloitte.

Another big reason is people “hate feeling dumb”.

“Consumers also hesitate when they fear or worry about the possibility of making a bad decision. This, coupled with the fact that people tend to avoid what makes them nervous,” adds Deloitte.

The final key reason is that people simply put it off.

“Outcomes set in the distant future typically lack a sense of urgency in contrast with everyday needs, making it easy to defer decision making to a tomorrow that never arrives,” says Deloitte.

How can you overcome these barriers?

Well, here’s the good news. We can help you overcome all three.

For decision making paralysis we can come up with a shortlist of options, reducing the choices you need to make.

Worried about feeling dumb? I bet you we’d feel pretty dumb if we did your job for a day too. But we make it our business to help educate you and bring you up to speed in this market.

And how can you overcome avoidance? Simple. Give us a quick call today and we’ll get the ball rolling for you. You’ll be surprised how little time and effort it takes.

By Dave Fleming : 11 December, 2019

mortgage broer sydney - Chinese Shar-Pei dog playing in long grassWe thought we’d have a little fun this week and look at how much it costs the average Aussie family to own a pet. After all, two in three households have one and very few budget for them!

Let’s be honest, owning a pet goes hand-in-hand with the great Australian dream of property ownership.

So let’s be clear here: we’re definitely not making a case against pet ownership. However as Christmas time usually coincides with a spike in pet purchases, it’s a good time to look at the monthly cost factor.

Because if you’ve decided to take on the responsibility of welcoming a pet into your household, then it’s something you oughta plan for and do right!

First, how many of us own pets?

Believe it or not, but two in three Australian households own a pet.

Yet how many of them do you think run a proper budget for it? Probably very few.

And when you consider that more than $12 billion is spent on pet products and services every year, that’s a lot of unallocated money!

So if you’re looking to get a pet for your family, here’s the most common options available, listed from most expensive to cheapest.

Dog

If you’re looking at adding a puppy or rescue dog to your very own wolf-pack as 38% of Australia households have already done, expect to pay about $1475 per year.

Basically, you’re looking at an average of $123 a month for food, vet care, health products, grooming and boarding.

To avoid any vet bill blow outs, it might also be worth considering pet insurance, which will cost an extra $293 per year. Or $25 per month.

And while we’re at it, here’s a fun fact: the number one thing that dogs eat that makes them sick is underwear! So be sure to keep them out of reach!

It’s also worth noting that the above figures don’t factor in upfront costs, which can range from $1000-$5000 to purchase a select breed, or $300-$500 to adopt an RSPCA dog.

Cat

If you’re more of a cat person, like 29% of Australian households, expect to pay $1,029 per year. That’s about $86 a month.

Pet insurance is slightly cheaper for cats, coming in at $20 a month, but then again – cats probably aren’t underwear connoisseurs!

It costs between $100 and $300 to adopt a cat from the RSPCA – depending on their age – while a select breed will cost you between $1,000 and $2,500, and sometimes even more.

Bird and fish

If you’re looking to ease yourself into pet ownership, welcoming a bird or fish into the fold is a much cheaper option.

It costs just $115 per year on average to own a bird, while fish are even cheaper at $50 per year.

Final word

As you can see, purchasing a pet is unlikely to cost you an arm or a leg (so long as they have adequate play toys!).

However, you can minimise the impact it has on your bottom line by including the monthly amount in your family budget, and protecting against vet cost blow-outs with pet insurance.

If you’d like to know more about budgeting, get in touch. We’d be happy to help out.

By Dave Fleming : 11 December, 2019

Sydney? Melbourne? Perth? Find out which of Australia’s capital cities have performed best in the property market over the past two decades.

http://mastermortgagebrokersydney.com.au - map of australia with coloured pins stuck into numerous locations on itWe all love to back a winner.

Some of us painstakingly pore over the most minute details, others tend to just go with their gut.

Either way, it never hurts to have a quick look at past performance.

With that in mind, this week we’ll take a look at the Australian capital city real estate market over the past 20 years and identify which cities were the hottest performers across each market cycle.

The data, compiled by not-for-profit association The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), has been broken up into four lots of five-year periods between 1998 to 2017.

And just a quick heads up: just like a footy premiership table, some years your team is hot, and every now and then it’s not.

2013 to 2017 increases

– Sydney (74.6%) and Melbourne (63.7%) led the way
– Darwin (-10.5%) property prices fell and Perth (0.6%) only experienced slight growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 48.4%

2008 to 2012 increases

– Darwin (36.8%) and Melbourne (18%) topped the ladder, but increases paled in significance to surrounding periods
– Hobart (1.9%) and Brisbane (3.2%) experienced the slowest growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 12.2%

2003 to 2007 increases

– Perth (139.8%), Hobart (126.4%) and Darwin (106%) property prices more than doubled
– Sydney (16.4%) and Melbourne (59.9%) performed worst
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 53%

1998 to 2002 increases

– Melbourne (88.2%) and Sydney (84.2%) led the way
– Darwin (5.1%) and Hobart (21.7%) experienced the most sluggish growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 70%

Additional observations

So hang on, where were Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra?

In most periods they sat smack-bang in the middle of the table experiencing steady growth.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos says the stats prove Aussie investors and homebuyers over the past two decades have made solid returns across almost every capital city – not just Sydney and Melbourne.

He adds that while long-term investors invariably come out ahead with Australian capital city real estate, the biggest gains are made by identifying markets that have bottomed and are set to improve.

“Of course, many buyers don’t have access to the information or experience needed to monitor and predict property cycles,” he says.

“Investors should seek independent qualified property investment advice to give themselves the best chance of getting the best returns on their money, as timing the property market can be just as important as time in the market.”

Final word

Navigating the property market can be tricky. And sometimes you can be so caught up in the process of trying to back a winner that you don’t have time for anything else – like trying to organise finance.

So if you’d like a hand with purchasing your dream property, give us a call (02 8861 1689), we’d love to help you out.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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By Dave Fleming : 11 December, 2019

finance broker - photo of a young lady's out stretch arm with thumb up trying to hitch a ride

Sticking to a financial plan – such as paying off a mortgage – can be a long journey that’s punctuated by high highs and low lows. Here are some tips to get you through the tougher times.

October is generally the month that people all around Australia and the world dedicate to improving awareness around mental health.

According to Mental Health Australia, 1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness, yet many don’t seek help because of stigma.

The thing is, mental health and financial safety are strongly linked, with many studies showing personal finances are one of the main sources of stress.

With that in mind, below we’ve outlined six ways you can help protect your mental health from being eroded by financial concerns.

First, however, we believe it’s important to add that if you’re feeling severely down or depressed, please contact your GP or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

1. Know the warning signs

Signs that you may not be coping as well as normal include:

– Arguing with the people closest to you about money
– Sleeping difficulties
– Feeling angry, fearful or resentful
– Sudden mood swings
– Loss of appetite
– Not wanting to hang out with family or friends as much as usual.

2. Exercise daily

Exercise releases feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin. It also gets you out and about, which minimises your feelings of loneliness.

You don’t have to run a marathon or anything either. Just a brisk 30 minute walk each day will deliver both physical and mental health benefits – and help you sleep better at night.

3. Eat well

There’s not much use doing all that exercise if you’re just going to smash a few Big Macs straight after.

Instead, try cooking some new healthy recipes with your loved one, or inviting a friend you haven’t seen for a while to come eat with you.

A healthy diet not only improves your physical health, but it’ll make you feel better too.

The best bit? Cooking uses brain power, which will help distract you from any issues that are making you down or anxious. And they’ll make you proud of your gourmet creations, of course!

4. Reach out to support networks

Make an effort to reach out to and catch up with family, friends and other members of your community.

Don’t wait for them to reach out to you – be the one who initiates contact.

It doesn’t have to cost you anything extra, either. Kill two (or three!) birds with one stone and invite them over for a walk, or a home-cooked meal.

5. Positive sense of identity and an optimistic outlook

Always look on the bright side of life.

For example, if you’ve recently become redundant, look at it as an opportunity to launch into a new job, or finally give running your own business a shot.

Also, adopt a positive attitude to seeking support. Rather than feeling down about seeking help, take pride in the fact that you’ve got the initiative to recognise when you’re not feeling up to par.

6. Improve your financial literacy

Sometimes, our finances can feel all too overwhelming, which in turn, gets us feeling down.

If you fall into that category, brushing up on your financial education can help you feel a whole lot better about things – not to mention equip you with the tools you need to improve your budget bottom line.

Our regular blog covers a wide range of topics that can help you improve your financial literacy.

Alternatively, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’re worried about your finances, such as paying off your mortgage.

We’d be more than happy to workshop some ideas with you to help improve your situation and get you sleeping better at night.

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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