Post Pandemic Purchasing

It has been suggested that a lot of city dwellers will leave the big smoke behind for fresh regional air amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

We have seen an increase in enquiries from potential buyers looking to make the tree change with many house hunters seeing the benefits of country living.

With working from home options now a realisation for many major businesses, a lot of households are seeing this as an opportunity to escape the hectic city lifestyle and get back to basics.

One of the more positive stories to come out of COVID-19 was that people were able to adapt to change and try alternatives such as working from home and home schooling.

With access to fast NBN and close proximity to Melbourne CBD, Kyneton and other regional centres in the Goldfields are excellent lifestyle options for people wanting to make a tree change.

This is reflected in the recent Domain House Price Report (March 2020) with the average house price sitting at $710,000 – an increase of 45% from five years ago.

While house prices are starting to plateau in the city, regional towns and house prices are starting to increase as the health crisis shifts household focus into the home.

COVID-19 has embedded a love of home-life into many households with desires to plant veggie patches, raise chickens and a simpler life high on the agenda. With this new found home life on the increase, a post-pandemic migration to the country could be on the cards for many.

We are expecting to see a rise in demand for properties in regional Victoria with many potential buyers realising they don’t need to live in metropolitan areas any more. Now that we can welcome people to private inspections and open houses, we have started to see an excited market of positive minded buyers looking for a simpler lifestyle and nurturing community.

Here at Raine & Horne we are happy to discuss buying and selling in this current market. It’s a new territory for everyone, but feel secure in knowing that we know Kyneton and the great potential it holds.

Buying in times of uncertainty

There is so much change taking place in our world right now as we navigate our way through a new way of living as the COVID-19 global pandemic unfolds.

Our home is our castle and we are truly at bay, remaining cautious with concerns about job security, household income and our new stay-at-home lifestyle.

The property market is also changing and we are receiving a lot of questions from both sellers and potential buyers seeking advice on the current landscape.

With job losses on the immediate horizon and financial security at the top of minds around the country, it is difficult to look to the future and to make major decisions based on purchasing or selling.

Like a breath of fresh air, it is with welcome relief that many organisations are already starting to look forward to spring in the form of a light at the end of the tunnel, and this is the same in the property industry.

The cost of borrowing is lower than it has ever been; interest rates are at an all-time low and banks are continuing to lend. With stimulus packages coming into play over the coming weeks and month, it is likely that the property market will remain stable on the back of additional funds being put back into the economy.

So should you be selling or buying in the current market? First you need to understand what your rationale is for purchasing or selling. Is your decision a financial or emotional reaction?

For investors, sellers and buyers, this is a time to seek out opportunities and to research your local area. As a real estate agent, I can provide you with market insights and trends which are changing daily. Dependent on your needs, your local agent is a vital source of knowledge during uncertain financial times.

While coronavirus is making the community nervous, the supply and demand of property will always be there. While we may see a short period of disruption – like with all industries – the property market, which has an excellent foundation following a price growth in 2019, will still maintain its strong hold through this stormy ride.

Taking care of an historical home

There’s something fantastically dreamy about owning and potentially renovating your own slice of history. The fantasy of touching a worn bluestone corner, a much-loved timber bannister or simply becoming caretaker to over a century of stories can be a breathtaking opportunity.

Being on the cusp of the Goldfields run, the mid 1850s saw a huge growth in the township of Kyneton which quickly became the main agricultural centre of the state. Large bluestone flour mills were built to house the wheat, courthouses, churches and hotels serving as accommodation and eateries followed soon after.

Kyneton is rich in history and you can see this down most streets, in particular the iconic Piper Street which is home to the original Bank of NSW, now the Kyneton Museum positioned alongside many great preserved properties.

Bluestone buildings, old warehouses, faded ghost signs on the sides of buildings are just some of the fascinating indicators of times of the past.

Becoming an owner of an historical property can become a full-time job in itself. Heritage overlays, permits and restoration require research. A caretaker of an historical property doesn’t just invest money, but love and time.

The local historical society and the Victorian Archives can provide assistance when researching your historical home. These organisations can open up a treasure trove of information on your property which can assist with planning renovations or restorations. You could find photographs, articles on previous owners, plans, maps and more.

I meet many buyers or just curious property sleuths who are searching for their periodic home, perhaps a house with a story or something old that they are hoping to inject a fresh breath of life into.

Kyneton is a beautiful bluestone building country capital. Preservation is a role of passion and if you are looking to secure your own slice of the past, I can help you find your new historical adventure.

New Year. New Home. New scheme.

*This article first appeared in the February 2020 Midland Express.

First-home buyers will need to move fast to benefit from a new federal government guarantee scheme.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme began on January 1 and allows first-home buyers to get a loan with a 5 percent deposit, rather than the standard 20 percent. The government will then guarantee the remaining 15 percent – effectively allowing buyers to avoid taking out lenders mortgage insurance.

But there is a catch. Just 10,000 loans will be approved each financial year.

It’s important to clarify the guarantee is not a cash payment to the first-time buyer. Rather, it’s like a promise from the government to the buyer’s home loan lender that if the buyer fails to repay their home loan, the government will pay the lender the guaranteed amount (15 percent balance based on a 5 percent deposit).

The guarantee of 10,000 loans each year to first home buyers is on a first-in, best-dressed basis, and only applies to owner-occupied loans with principal and interest repayments.

Applicants will be subject to eligibility criteria, including having taxable incomes up to $125,000 a year for singles and up to $200,000 a year for couples, as well as dwelling price thresholds.

The scheme – which also involves 25 non-major lenders whose guaranteed loans will be rolled out from 1 February. Only two of the big banks, NAB and Commonwealth are currently offering the loans.

All lenders have committed not to charge eligible customers higher interest rates than equivalent customers outside of the scheme, and many will be offering other incentives.

With applications coming in thick and fast, and the scheme being essentially a lottery it is advisable that if you are eligible and interested that you get on board as soon as possible.

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What does Climate Change mean for the property market?


*this article first appeared in the January 2020 Midland Express

As climate change makes extreme weather events increasingly frequent and severe, could the Australian property market take a hit?


A Climate Council study warns the value of Australian property could plunge over the next decade unless governments have the political will to deal with climate change.


The Climate Council report estimates $4 trillion could be wiped off economic growth over the next 80 years if carbon emissions do not fall.


The research estimates residential property value losses of $571 billion by 2030 related to increased extreme weather events, along with higher insurance premiums, particularly for those in bush fire prone and coastal areas. That would wipe approximately 9% of the total residential property value in Australia.


The report also indicates that these losses would not be evenly spread, as an estimated 6 % of property owners would bear the brunt of climate change risks, most likely through insurance costs.


Insurers, however, will continue to underwrite the risk at an individual property level. Where the risk is high, it will be reflected in the individual premium. Increasingly, Australians are going to struggle to pay for insurance. On current trends, by 2030 one in every 19 property owners faces the prospect of insurance premiums that will be effectively unaffordable if they are living in higher-risk areas.


Homebuyers can now find out whether climate change will hurt the value of the home they’re interested in by predicting the costs of various climate-related scenarios.


Online tools like VicPlan can generate a property report, including bushfire hazards, or the My Hazards App supports understanding weather-related and natural disaster risks that could potentially affect homes and businesses.


Real estate will always be a business of location. But as the climate change era marches on, buyers and sellers need to be aware of what risks might come with their investment.


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