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26/02/19

Are you finance ready in 2019?

Record low interest rates and solid construction loan enquiries, it’s not all bad news for the local lending market in the wake of the banking royal commission. Port Macquarie Mobile Home Finance Manager Kathryn McGuire shares her insights…

Qn: How would you describe the current lending market for home finance locally?

In the Port Macquarie-Hastings region, the market has seen solid enquiries for construction loans, investors, owner-occupied and first home buyers. With interest rates near historical lows, I am seeing enquiries from people looking to purchase their first, second, third home or investment property. Westpac remain proud to provide a thorough responsible lending platform and all lenders undertake scrutiny of loan applications, to better fulfil their regulatory obligations and customer’s needs.

Qn: How does this compare to the previous 12-month period? 

We have seen demand from investors slowing over the past 12 months with the owner-occupier and first home buyer market remaining strong, and housing construction remaining at high levels.

Qn: What extra information is lending institutions seeking from applicants now?

When we are assessing the loan application we will help our customers with the process, making sure all aspects of property ownership are factored into their expenses including council and water rates, insurance and general living expenses. It’s important that any current liabilities including unsecured debts are taken into consideration to avoid exposure to debt levels that may not be manageable in the future. Westpac’s approach is to place the customer in a successful financial position and retain their business with annual reviews of all products and services held to ensure they remain the most appropriate for their circumstances.

Qn: Is this affecting finance approval timeframes?

It is our priority to give customers prompt and efficient service for their property purchase and other financial needs.

Qn: What is the average total home loan/mortgage price you’re experiencing now?

This varies based on the needs and circumstances of first home buyers, investors and upgraders. Westpac is also seeing an increase in enquiries for relocation loans where pre-retirees are seeking a sea change from the city to what is truly a magical place to live – Port Macquarie.

Qn: What are your top tips for people who want to buy a home and may be in the process of, or even struggling, to save their deposit?

  1. Come in and speak to me first to determine affordability
  2. Explore your options when preparing savings, including regular reviews to ensure you remain on track.
  3. Discuss the options of a Parental Guarantee if this is an option to save costs and to help reach your home ownership goal sooner.
  4. Talk about the benefits and features of Packaged Home Loans that could help to save you time and money.
  5. What you’re seeking is an approval in principle to support you in your home loan journey.

Qn: What are your predictions for the housing finance market in 2019?

With interest rates predicted to remain relatively stable, and population growth in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region driving development and economic growth, the home finance market in 2019 looks to be in good shape.

Disclaimer: Conditions, fees and charges apply. These may change or Westpac may introduce new ones in the future. Full details are available on request. Lending criteria apply to approval of credit products. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it. Read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement, before deciding. Unless otherwise specified, the products and services described are available only in Australia from Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.