The Weekend Post - Real Estate


It’s not just the outside temperatur­e where the mercury is rising.

- Tom Quaid is the REIQ Zone Chair for Cairns

SUMMER is well and truly upon us, with a very sneaky weather change from cool Cairns winter to scorching days almost overnight.

Offering a similar heat is the property market as it transition­s into the last quarter of 2021, with home sales continuing apace as stock remains tight and buyers on the hunt.

With the Reserve Bank holding steady at a cash rate of 0.1 per cent, we are unlikely to see change on that front for some time, though APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) has announced tougher lending criteria which will be expected to flow through to banks shortly.

In a relatively small change, from November 1, the buffer applied for mortgage stress tests by a bank will rise from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent on new loans. Put simply, even though you are borrowing at 2 per cent (for example), your bank factors in a potential interest rise to make sure you can still cope down the track; in this case they will now test you at 5 per cent. For the moment, your repayments won’t be affected, though your total borrowing power might ease back a little.

This change is designed to limit those who might be overextend­ing in their borrowing and is most likely to affect those borrowing to their maximum capacity – particular­ly in capital city markets which continue to break records (and make headlines) each month, despite lockdowns.

While there are concerns elsewhere of an overheatin­g market, Cairns prices are still playing catch-up for the most part, making up for years of little to no growth post-GFC.

With rental yields still high and replacemen­t cost still higher than sale prices in many cases, there is an argument that the market has legs yet, as long as interest rates (and lending policies) remain steady. There are great opportunit­ies for sellers in a variety of price ranges, and an updated appraisal is a must if you are thinking of making a move.

Rounding things out on a slightly different tack, I (as well as many members of the local real estate industry, no doubt) would like to congratula­te Angela Capitanio of Ray White on her retirement after over 30 years in the industry. As someone that had led a storied career long before my entry and whom I had the privilege to work with on rare occasions, Angela leaves behind a stellar reputation as she moves to new endeavours. All the best!

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