To get you through the dog days of summer, we have more excellent advice from our property wizards!
In this episode, Molly Benjamin will talk through the power of mindset when buying property and building your wealth. Kent Lardner shares his feelings about the current fixation on the dollar value of property and how research shows we need to invest in more social housing. Dr Nicola Powell explains what she does as the Chief of Economics and Research at Domain and what trends she’s been seeing.
Get in touch with our Speakers!
Molly Benjamin (Founder of Ladies Finance Club) Author of “Girls Just Wanna Have Funds”
Kent Lardner (Director of Suburb Trends)
The information contained in this podcast is general in nature and is not to be taken as financial or personal advice.
It does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs.
You should consider whether this information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances before acting on it.
Hi and welcome to the home run your guide to buying your first home in Australia on the show, I’ll walk you through the home buying process from every angle.
We cover steps to take the pitfalls to avoid and the answers to all your questions you’ve been dying to ask no matter what stage you’re at, you’ll learn everything you need to know about buying your first home.
I’m your host, Michael Nasser and I’m a mortgage broker at Lendstreet and I really love helping people buy their first home.
Hey, there listeners.
My name’s Jack Trainer and I’m one of the producers here at the home run.
I’m just filling in for Michael today because with the New Year upon us, Michael and the team here at the home Run wanted to do something special for the next few episodes.
So welcome to our new year.
New Home series.
We’ve gathered the best tips and stories from the past year of episodes so you can refresh your memory while you gear up for the housing market in 2024.
So let’s get into it now to kick off part two of this series.
First, you’ll hear from Molly Benjamin, the founder of the Ladies Finance Club.
The LFC is an exclusive finance club that empowers women to take control of their financial futures.
When Michael and Molly caught up, they focused on some outside-the-box ideas that could help you save for your deposit.
And Michael started out by asking Molly all about mindset.
Your actions are your beliefs, your beliefs are your actions.
So if you really believe that you’re never gonna be able to buy a property, what’s your action?
You don’t take an action?
The result is you have no property.
If you believe you can get on the property ladder, you start taking action.
Well, I’m just gonna chat to a mortgage broker and see.
Where am I currently at?
Where do I wanna get to?
I’m gonna start looking around, I’m gonna look at what other options are there?
There’s some government schemes.
I could rentvest.
I could get my parents to be my guarantors.
You start taking action and I’m a big believer of mantras goal setting and actually changing the messages in your head to say no I will be a property owner.
I will get on the property ladder and actually believing it, I remember speaking to, a lady in London and she was in hr earning a pretty good wage and we walked past the house together and she’s like, I’ll never be able to afford a property.
And I was like, why is that?
And she’s like, oh, you know, I just don’t earn enough.
I’m like, how much do you earn?
And she told me, and I’m like, you earn plenty enough to get on the property ladder.
Maybe you can’t start with your dream house, like, you know, with the beautiful, you know, white fence and this, but you can definitely become a property owner and build your way up to that dream home.
So, yeah, there’s always a way if you want it.
And it’s about finding it out and it’s that education because once and it’s something ideal with a lot is that people don’t know what’s possible because they don’t know what exists to make it possible.
So if you can outline the path for them, then it’s like, well, hold on now that I know what I need to do.
Do you still want to do it?
I guess at the first instance and if that’s generally yes, then, well, let’s start on that path.
So, totally, see, how, you know, outlying that journey can at least make it more empowering for the individual to then go on that journey and realise their ultimate dreams.
And it’s so funny, I think when people make that decision and then you see this belief that they, they’re like, oh, my gosh, I’m gonna buy a property and then all of a sudden they’re a bit of a financial hot mess.
And then it’s like, overnight they’ve like, got their tax sorted, they’ve got their pre-approval done.
They’re looking and it happens quickly.
It’s like tunnel vision effectively.
It’s like now that I, I’ve got that in place, I know that I can do it.
This is the strategy and then all of a sudden everything else falls into place.
And I think that’s where mortgage brokers play a big role in that education part as well.
And I know a lot of the mortgage brokers we work with as well.
I think they just spend like 90% of the time just educating people on that process, which is why we’ve started running webinars on what is the process to buy?
So, for anyone on the journey to buying their first home, what, what are some of the ways that they can improve their mindsets?
So I think there’s a couple of things you can do the mantras or the affirmations like I am gonna be a property owner.
I know it sounds a bit woo woo, but like literally changing the messages you’re telling your brain and then challenging those messages when the negative messages come up, you’ll never be able to afford it.
You won’t be able to do this by yourself and actually challenging those and going, is that true?
Has there been any single people this year that have bought property?
There have, you can totally do this.
So, really believing that again, I ain’t gonna sound weird to some of the people on the podcast but manifesting telling the universe that this is what you want and getting really clear and focused, talking to a mortgage broker.
I think that’s great for the mindset because it actually makes you go, ok?
I’m actually getting serious about this and I’m gonna, even if I’m not ready to buy right now, I’m gonna find out what I have to do and I’m gonna look at do I need to start doing some credit repair on my, credit score even writing a letter.
I don’t again, sounds weird writing a letter to yourself about when you bought the property.
So it’s such and such.
I bought the property.
This is how it makes me feel.
This is why I wanted to buy it and really thinking about why do you want to buy a home?
What is it in you?
So you’ve got this security and comfort, is it?
So that’s something that’s yours and no one can take away from you.
Is it because you want to start a family? There might be numerous reasons.
I think recognising that why if you speak to buyers agents or you know, when it comes to purchasing, generally, the first question to ask is why do you want to buy?
And so being able to recognize what that y is can be very powerful.
But I think the things that you mentioned there were woo, I mean, perhaps maybe 10 years ago, perhaps people thought like that, but I think more and more that type of thinking and that type of being is really becoming more common and people are recognising that it’s totally OK to be like that.
And the changes that it can make are are immense and I feel.
I know the mindset is incredible when you really believe.
Totally on the same page with you with that.
And, and I think, you know, some of our listeners, if they’re thinking that it is I I I challenge them to give it a go because, and I think the key is doing it consistently.
You can’t do it for one day.
It’s just got to be something that you’ve got to ingrain in your process, right?
So, yeah, like if I look at my phone right now, I’ve got my vision board on my phone and it’s got the next property I wanna buy.
Like I look at that every day, I look at the 12345 different areas of my life that I’m visualizing at the moment and I see that every single day.
Yeah, No, I think that’s a great tip as well for people that are thinking about manifesting your reality, I think is very much something that’s a possibility and something that people should embrace as a concept and not think of it as being weird.
So hopefully we, if we can challenge one person to break down that mindset, I think we’ve done a good job here.
So, the other thing that you’re really big on is the importance of education and we’ve already touched on it a few times here.
But I want to understand why is it important for first-home buyers to educate themselves?
Well, you don’t know what you don’t know.
And when you educate yourself, you can save huge money.
Like even women who come along to our property sessions and they learn about mortgage brokers.
If they use the right mortgage broker, that’s gonna save them thousands and thousands of dollars than if they were to just walk into a random bank, you can go, hey, does my square profile fit your square cookie cutter?
And I think as well around insurances and cooling off periods, all that information, which we don’t know about it because why would we, we’ve never been taught it.
There’s no university subject.
We didn’t learn it at school.
Like unless you read about it or listen to podcasts like this, you don’t know about these different processes that can save you huge money in the long term.
And it can speed up the process as well as and that comes down to money as well, obviously.
But if you are unaware of something that can accelerate the time in which you can purchase, well, that’s a bit of a game changer too.
So like getting your pre-approval done.
Like some people go, oh, if I want to find a house, I start looking on real estate.com, I find a house I want.
It’s like, no, no, no, you get your pre-approval.
You’ll work out what your lending capacity is.
You’ve gotta get it in the right order which I know for many of our women.
Like again, why would we know?
We don’t know unless you’re speaking to someone and then again, if you’re speaking to the wrong people or you’re listening to your parents or friends of your parents and they didn’t know either, then yeah, you might not be getting the right information.
You’ll hear from Kent Lardner, the director of Suburb Trends.
Now, Suburb Trends is a property research firm trusted by some of the biggest names in Australian property.
During the chat.
Kent lamented how people have become a little too fixated on their property values and how he believes we need more social housing.
Michael asked Kent to share what he was seeing out there in the data.
Sometime in the nineties.
I think we all shifted our gaze to Gordon Gecko as our hero and we’ve all for the last 20 years we’ve all sat around the pub or the cafe bragging about how much our house price has gone up, you know, had good on us.
And for 30 or 40 years now we’ve neglected social public housing and we’re paying the price for that now and this will spill over.
It’s not an isolated cup.
And I, I’m sure there are some, some big takeaways.
And what would you see the biggest takeaway from this index now that we’re starting to monitor that you’re putting out now about the current states of rentals in Australia as a general observation.
I think the big take out is that the politicians, even though it may have taken 30 or 40 years to get here, a lot of the leaders now are focused on this.
So whether that be Chris Mins in New South Wales Anthony Albanese from a national perspective, this is a big focus now.
So supply is the issue, not some half-hearted rental cap.
You know, those rental caps are probably going to have the reverse of the intended effect.
And I think these politicians are calling that out.
They’re not playing cheap politics, they’re not playing short-termism, they’re actually recognizing that the only solution is supply-driven.
Rarely do I applaud politicians, but certainly they seem to be focused on the right thing now, but they’re carrying the can for 30 or 40 years of neglect.
And I guess that supply issue is definitely an issue and probably the conversation in its own right, because it’s got it’s it’s challenges.
But in Sydney, in particular, obviously, we’re seeing a steering away to some extent of that high-density type of housing and style of of a desirable asset class.
And where do you see that supply coming from in most of the capital cities?
The focus on New South Wales, for example, Chris Mins is highlighting that the infill is an important thing.
Density does need to go up.
So he’s looking at extra density, extra allowance for number of floors in return for an allocation of affordable housing.
So that’s a a trade that’s underway which is healthy.
Other things I’m seeing touted, are you a return to that medium-density town home come terrace home design?
So there’s a lot of common sense stuff coming out where they are calling out the limitations of the great urban sprawl.
And you know, in Sydney, we’ll pick on Sydney, you know, Sydney’s the basin and it’s kind of running out of space and pushing into flood plains as the last resort of a place where you know, places where you can build cheaply.
It makes no sense.
You’re not building cheaply, you’re just effectively kicking the can down the road until it floods and then when it floods, you can’t get insurance and none of us will get insurance and certainly you’ll pay the price long-term global warming.
I don’t, you know, climate change it doesn’t matter who you attribute the cause to or what you attribute the cause to it’s happening, right?
So floods will be more frequent, more common, more severe and these areas that we’re building are wrong.
And so the politicians are calling that out correctly.
And it’s funny you mentioned going back to what we’ve done.
I mean, I if you look back in inner Sydney, in particular, there is a lot of terrace houses and there was a lot of, you know, and it’s almost like, well, we did it at one point.
So we kind of at that stage knew and we pivoted away and now perhaps it’s more coming back to that type of style of housing that we once had and true.
There’s a great story online that talks about the history of why they stopped doing it.
And the government of the time they were the places where there were slumps so effectively when there were, whether it be health-related issues, a disease being spread or crime or other things after the depression, they kind of blamed, well, it, it appeared that the, the local government in Sydney, they blamed terrace housing and they never got past it.
So the Planning minister that highlighted this at the time was Rob Stokes.
There’s a great story online about it that says what happened to the terrace and effectively, we never got back on track.
So they were effectively banned and it never climbed back again yet.
I think anyone who walks through a Newtown or a Paddington in Sydney loves the vibe of the place.
Now, it’s part of the charm of the suburb.
It’s part of the charm.
So why wouldn’t you do more than that?
I just read something from, I think his name’s Matt Endicott and it was just a post that came out locally in Newcastle this morning about an hour ago and highlighting this same point.
That’s why it was top of mind.
And he was saying we should be focusing on a number of these suburbs should be looking at that style of dwelling.
And it’s like hallelujah, because I’ve lived in a terrace before in Newtown and it was on 100 and 27 square meters.
So quite a bigger block, but a lot of them are on 70 or 80 square meters yet they feel quite private.
But because of the design, you’ve got your own little courtyard out the back and I think they’re a wonderful approach to medium density.
And it’s just funny.
I had that thought cos you’d mentioned it and I was like, well, yeah, we used to do it and what happened, we obviously stopped and, and that’s what happened and you know, a dis whether it be disease or, or you know, whatever it might have been, there was a government hand in stopping it and that effectively put an end to it and, and we never really caught up again,
And we’re seeing a lot of duplex, I guess, style of housing now that’s coming up and cropping up in the different subs.
And that’s not, I don’t think it’s gonna have the same impact that something like a terrace.
It doesn’t have the same impact.
You know, we went into all these new sites and these Greenfield sites and just started building 3, 4, 500 square meter lots and imagine if they could have been 75 80 100 square meter lots.
No, no, it’s, it’s, you’re raising a lot of food for thought there.
And, and I guess that’s, that’s what politicians I’m assuming today are, are considering and.
They’re onto it. They are, they’re not ignoring it.
It’s just the problem is you can’t turn this problem around on a dime.
No, no cos you’ve got to appeal to the, to the consensus in the community.
And I think there is a sentiment in the community about this type of, you know, the dwelling and this high density, I guess type of living, which we, we as a community probably need to start to embrace as well.
So I guess that’s the challenge of the politicians.
Yeah, I mean, that’s what the city should be anyway.
You know, and there’s a lot of airspace above public transport and there has been a lot of nimbyism.
So if you talk to a lot of locals in and around these inner city locations, they don’t want high-rise nearby.
So that’s the trade-off, that’s the hard decision.
And finally to finish up this new year new home series.
Let’s go to Doctor Nicola Powell.
Nicola is the Chief of Research and Economics for Domain and she has to be one of the smartest people we’ve ever had on the show.
Nicola gets to see things from a higher level than you.
And I, so to start, Michael asked Nicola to explain what it is.
She actually does as the Chief of research and Economics Domain.
So I lead our research and economics team.
So that ultimately means we have the fabulous job of picking apart what’s going on in Australia’s property market, both at a macro level from Australia wide and we go all the way down to suburbs.
So we do various different reports such as rent reports.
So we do do rental markets, vacancy rates, we do other things like pricing.
We do a first-home buyer report.
We actually launched last year, a sustainability and property report and looking at how energy-efficient homes or more energy-efficient homes perform on the market in terms of, do they sell for more?
Do they sell for quicker?
So, yeah, we track obviously the the basic fundamentals of the property market such as auction clearance rates.
I mean, that’s a sport in itself, isn’t it watching the the auction market days on market or anything to do with property stats.
That’s what my team looks after.
And so you get to look at things at a much higher level.
And I guess at a more level as well than most of us, I wanted to ask you about some of the trends that you see from your vantage point and what trends are affecting first-home buyers.
But in particular, right now.
There are a few and one of the ones that occurred during the pandemic was this record price gap between houses and units.
We started to see it narrow a little bit, but it appears to be widening again, that obviously impacts first home buyers in a couple of ways.
Probably the first one is when they’re on the market and perhaps they purchase a unit is that upsizing that property leap from one property type to another has become harder.
And that’s a consideration when someone’s looking to get into the market in terms of what type of home is their first time.
But the flip side of that, you know, the fact that we have got such a wide gap.
So it’s still very elevated in terms of the price gap and this is largely across most of our capital cities.
It does mean that it either tells us two things about the market houses are overvalued or units are undervalued.
And I think there is this perception of value that units offer first home buyers and the fact that they haven’t, if we capture that COVID price gain as well.
The fact that units didn’t see as much growth during that period of time.
And actually they didn’t pull back in price as much as house prices had.
But I think that value is there in the unit sector relative to what we see in houses.
But I think when you go to that second home and perhaps your family is expanding and you want to have a house, you want to have a garden that upsizing has become harder.
You also mentioned the first home buyer report.
What’s that about?
And what sort of metrics are you analyzing and interpreting there for first home buyers?
And what’s the latest in that sort of space that you’ve seen?
So with domain, we’re actually really passionate about affordability and really helping first home buyers understand property market dynamics and understanding the journey they need to go in order to be able to purchase their first home.
So we do an annual report which is called the first home buyer report.
And there’s two main aspects to this report.
Firstly, we look at and calculate how long does it take to save the recommended and I’ll say recommended 20% deposit.
We know many people go with a much lower deposit than 20%.
So we look at the journey time it takes to save for a couple.
We focus it on that first home buyer age, which is the bracket between 25 and 34.
So the average age of a first home buyer is in the early thirties.
We also look at the change over the time.
So have we seen the journey time it takes for an entry-level house or unit change over the past year change over the last five years?
As you can imagine, the journey time it takes to save for a house in Sydney is the longest and this is an entry-level house.
It takes six years and eight months to save for an entry house in Sydney.
We have seen the journey time it takes to save for an entry house improve.
And that’s because obviously the interest rate environment has changed.
And what we do is we calculate savings rates and that compounded rate of saving obviously helped to speed up the time it takes to save the other part of the first home buyer report actually looks at the other side of the spectrum.
Cos there’s always two sides to the affordability conversation.
There’s I need to save X amount to have a deposit and gain access to the market.
Then I need to be able to service an ongoing mortgage.
And what is that cost of holding debt?
What we also calculate is mortgage affordability.
So what is the proportion or the percentage of income needed to cover the mortgage for an entry-priced house?
And what’s been very interesting?
So we do this report annually.
So the last time we did this was early this year.
So it was back in kind of February March time.
What we saw was a change in the affordability conversation.
Largely speaking, we’d seen the journey time it takes to save for an entry price, property decline.
So that’s good news for first home buyers.
But the conversation had really changed and morphed into a mortgage affordability conversation.
You know, this is totally your realm of expertise and we’ve seen that those interest rates have changed so dramatically over the last 12 months or so.
When we look across the combined capital cities, the amount of income required to service a mortgage repayment on an entry-priced house surged to 41%.
That’s increased from 29% in 2018.
Now, 30% is more or less the benchmark and when you go over 30% you’re deemed in mortgage stress.
So across the combined capital cities for an entry-priced house, it’s telling us that largely speaking, people in mortgage stress based upon that kind of aggregated data, but for units, it’s much better.
It’s 27% to cover an entry-price unit across our combined capital cities.
But again, it’s increased but not as dramatically as we’ve seen for houses.
It’s gone from 23% in 2018, up to 27% of your income needed to cover a mortgage repayment financial unit.
You mentioned that savings has been decreasing in terms of the time and correct me if I’m wrong here.
But the time that it takes for the average first home buyer to save is decreasing in time, is that a result of any incentives that have been in place or you know, there’s a 5% low home deposit scheme?
Do you guys look at that as part of the reasons as to why that might be occurring?
So we don’t take into account first home buyer incentives because obviously there are some people might not be eligible for those incentives.
So we really look at almost like a base case scenario.
This is a couple.
So obviously, if you’re a single, your situation is, is much different, but you’re really right, there are lots of incentives and I think it’s really important to remind first-home buyers if I’m ever talking to a first-home buyer, whether it’s a colleague, you know, whether it’s someone I meet in the street or whether it’s a friend.
My advice is always the same when you begin your journey of looking for a home, make sure that you are aware of the types of incentives that are currently in the market.
New South Wales is a really great example where they had that choice on stamp duty or property tax earlier in the year.
And then, you know, it was canned very, very quickly.
So things change.
And I think it’s important to be across, you know, get some advice from professionals that really like yourself that specialise in this space to help understand what are those either cash incentives or low deposit schemes that I can get access to?
Because as you said, like that low deposit scheme which there are 35,000 places is available this financial year, you can go with as little as a 5% deposit.
What that does is it supercharges your access to market and you’re in the market sooner.
So it’s a great incentive.
But I also think it’s important to do the pros and cons because not everybody’s situation is the same and that’s why it’s always important to talk to the professionals that know what they’re doing.
So that’s it for today’s episode.
If you wanna listen to the full interview with any of today’s guests, you can find the links to those episodes in the show notes on behalf of Michael Nasser and the entire podcast team.
I’m Jack Traynor and thanks for listening to another year of the home run.
You’ve been listening to the home run your guide for buying your first home in Australia.
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