Tuesday, June 30, 2009

May sees drop in WA Home Sales by 13.5%

Western Australia has suffered the largest fall of new home sales in May as national sales declined for the first time in four months, a survey shows.

The number of detached new home sales in the state dropped 13.5 per cent in May, according to figures released by the Housing Industry Association today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

They want us to build

Two of the nation's leading housing associations along with 30 suppliers and builders have today launched a campaign in Western Australia, encouraging potential home buyers to build. The "Build Now" campaign, spearheaded by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Masters Builders Association, was launched by Housing Minister Troy Buswell. The campaign is a bid by the housing sector to shake off the downturn at a time of historically low interest rates and declining property prices.

I think many builders don't understand the fear of being ripped off that probably puts off most people from building, at the very least me. So many things you hear about going wrong when people build. Maybe if they could think of a strategy to deal with this problem. For example, make a website which is interactive where people at various stages of building can share with each other their own experiences. Otherwise, buying an existing home seems to be an easier option.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Home Buyer Tips from a "Loan Man"

I was looking through a website called Not Good Enough and came across some tips from a user by the name of The Loan Man, giving tips to first home buyers about buying their first home.

1) Work out what you can afford if interest rates go up 2%, and dont be talked into anything above what you can afford.

2) Go to an experienced finance broker, as they will know what each banks lending criteria is. You could go to 8 banks and get knocked back but a good broker should have access to at least 2 banks who could do the deal as described above.

3) I would look for an independent broker, not one who is tied to a real estate agent as I would worry about their agenda, is it to get the loan approved so that the real estate agent sells the house or are they looking looking after the buyers needs to make sure they are not getting over committed.

4) Do you research on all houses in the area before signing a contract on property. Don't rush in.

5) Don't over commit yourself, your first home may not be your dream home, but to make money out of the real estate market you need to get into it. Your dream home will come later.

6) Don't believe everything the real estate salesperson tells you, talk to people who have bought houses before, whether it be parents, friends, work mates etc. Some agents talk crap just to get a sale.

7) Don't rush in just because the grant is expiring, as I feel it will drop back to $7,000 from the current $14,000, but when the grant reduces I feel sales of established houses will reduces and prices may drop even further.

8) Start budgeting now and saving for a deposit as this will open up all the banks to you. Try and save monthly what your monthly home loan payment will be, that way if you can save the money you will know that you can well and truly afford the repayments. If you are paying rent try and save the difference between the rent you pay and the loan repayment.

9) Be cautious and dont believe everything you are told.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How do you choose your Perth suburb?

One of the problems with buying a house is that there are so many of them, where do you start? Many people advise that you should know what you want, as in how many bedrooms, bathrooms and what kind of suburb you want to live in. Question for a first home buyer is, which suburb and how do you pick one? How do you avoid a dodgy suburb?

Here are a few factors that come to mind.

- Crime Rate: One of the most commonly search statistics for buying a house is the crime rate in the suburb. How can you enjoy your house when you are concerned with who is in your backyard? 
- Public transport facilities: If you never like catching the bus, perhaps this is one way you can choose a cheaper area which is not well serviced by public transport. Otherwise, having a bus stop outside your house may be a high priority.. just the concern of having people loitering outside your house "catching a bus" and the loss of privacy that comes with that.
- Schools and shops: For some, the corner deli, or now more like the corner Woolworths, is an essential for choosing a house. For others, distance from schools can be a deal maker. Think about what you need, and what you just want. 
- Broadband availability: Ha! Bet you didn't think about this one! You can't assume that every house you look at has access to fast broadband. You may need to get Telstra cable at Telstra prices so ask first.
- Friday nights: Have you considered parking your car in the area on a Friday night to see what its like? If someone calls the police, its probably a good sign.
What factors can you think of which many people don't think about when buying a house? Treat us with your dimes of wisdom or your measly two cents.

Monday, June 1, 2009

WA home sales in April drop

WA sales of new homes fell in April, despite national sales rising for the fourth straight month to their highest level in 14 months, new data shows.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) survey, released today, found new homes sales increased by 0.5 per cent to 8,191 homes, the highest since February, 2008, after a 3.1 per cent rise in March. 

"The combination of low interest rates and the first home boost have lifted prospects for the housing industry, which is expected to convert to a recovery in home building activity from the June quarter of 2009," HIA chief economist Harley Dale said in a statement. 

"The leading indicators point to housing as an emerging bright spot in the economy." 

But sales in Western Australia fell by four per cent, painting a bleak picture of economic health for the once booming state.

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