Have you ever wondered if you are better off renting or buying a home in the ACT? There’s no question that most of us want to own our own homes in the long run. However, if you were to consider how you would fare on a monthly basis – paying rent versus paying a mortgage – which is the better choice?
According to the September quarter edition of the Adelaide Bank/Real Estate Institute of Australia Housing Affordability Report, a combination of decreased rental affordability and improved housing affordability now makes the difference almost negligible.
Darren Kasehagen, Head of Business Development, Adelaide Bank says, “Housing affordability is still a major issue in Sydney and Melbourne, but there are some bright spots in the latest report from the other capitals that are also worthy of note. The ACT had the largest decrease in average loan size for the quarter. 18.5% of family income in Canberra was devoted to meeting average loan repayments – which is still the lowest in the country – and the gap between renting and buying in Canberra is now only 0.4%. [It’s] an equation that may see more people now renting in the ACT deciding to take the step towards home ownership.”
Those definitely feeling confident enough to take that step are Canberra’s first home buyers, with the number of loans to first home buyers in the ACT increasing by 20.0% over the quarter (a 64.4% increase compared to the September quarter 2016). The average loan size for first home buyers also decreased by 4.2%.
The wave of confident buyers is likely due to a combination of record low interest rates, low unemployment in the ACT and lots of available housing.
Damian McNamara, Senior Branch Manager at Calwell Community Bank, says “With interest rates forecast to rise and rents almost costing as much as a mortgage, many first home buyers are seeing this as the ideal time to take their first step into home ownership.
“It’s an exciting time, but it can also be a little daunting. That’s why Bendigo Bank launched a new program this year, specifically to help first home buyers get into their happy place. We wanted to make the process simpler, and guide them step by step through the process so they feel confident and there are no surprises.”
The Bendigo ‘Own Your Happy Place’ campaign supports first home buyers with:
- Help understanding the First Home Owners grant and how to apply;
- Determining how much they can safely afford to borrow;
- Transparent guidance on the entire purchasing process;
- No loan establishment fees;
- Very low interest rates.
“We should feel proud to live in a city recognised as one of the most affordable in Australia to buy a new home,” says Damian. “Many people move to and live in Canberra for the improved quality of life, and this latest affordability report certainly demonstrates that.
“I’m also incredibly proud to work for a community bank that returns 80% of profits back to Canberra. When you buy your new home through us, it doesn’t just benefit you. Your home loan could be the reason a new community program gets funded, or a new community facility gets built. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ mentality that means banking doesn’t just support the individual – it supports our entire community.”
For more information about applying for a home loan through Canberra Community Bank® Group, pop into any one of the four local branches at:
Curtin: 1/20 Curtin Place, Curtin. Ph: 6260 5140
Jerrabomberra: 2a/2 Limestone Dr, Jerrabomberra. Ph: 6299 8357
Wanniassa: Wanniassa Shopping Centre, Sangster Place. Ph: 6231 9024
Calwell: Calwell Shopping Centre, Webber Crescent. Ph: 6291 3385
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