In conjunction with the Reserve Bank of Australia having left interest rates on hold for the time being, property values are widely forecast to remain relatively flat over the coming months. It's times like these when you may be considering taking the investment plunge, especially in light of anticipated rental growth during 2011. Before you make any decisions however, there are a few things that you should consider...
While it is widely belived that the days of 100% loan to value ratio (LVR) loans (i.e. no deposit loans) are behind us, some lenders are beginning to relax their lending criteria in order to reintroduce 90-95% LVR loans. If you’ve got a deposit saved already, or have built up equity in your own home, you might be able to enter the current market without too much trouble. If you don’t have a deposit ready right now, you could be in for a more difficult time – while there are ways to make saving easier, even with the relatively mild value growth being predicted for this year, you could end up running short of what you need.
Remember when entering the investment world that just because conditions are likely to remain calm over the coming months, it doesn’t mean that you should snap up the first property you find. Be sure to do your research before taking the plunge to ensure that you avoid investing in an area that’s not likely to see future capital growth.
Rentals are expected to rise this year, so you could end up seeing a slightly greater return on your investment than you initially expected if you can find and keep some good tenants. However, you shouldn’t invest in property expecting to get rich quick – if it were that easy, everyone would do it! It’s important to remember that property is typically a long-term asset class, hence investments in property should usually be undertaken with an expectation of growth over a long period rather than growth over just a couple of years.
Overall, if you're confident in your own unique financial circumstances, now could be a relatively good time to consider investing in property. Just remember that if you choose to go down this road to do your research, consult with professionals and carefully consider your decisions rather than trying to chase the next hotspot.