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As 2018 stretches out ahead, figuring out the direction the property market will take beyond autumn this year is something on the mind of home-owners, first-home buyers and experienced iproperty investors.

In the eyes of some leading property experts, 2017 was a boom time that saw media prices in our biggest cities – Melbourne and Sydney – hit a peak that then began to slow, perhaps in direct response to the implementation of new policies that were set up to protect our economy’s foundations of property prices and debt levels.

As these regulations filter down through lending institutions, buyers and specific property markets across the country, there are a handful of trends that will show themselves.

Keeping your eye on 5 property market trends for 2018 is a good way to increase your knowledge and prepare with confidence:

1. Interest rates will rise

The prediction is that the Reserve Bank will lift the official cash rate from its recent record low, sometime late in 2018 – a move that will have an impact on household mortgage repayments. And if that prediction doesn’t come true? Borrowers are still best advised to brace themselves – these low interest rates can’t – and won’t last forever.

2. The property market will cool down

There have been years of double-digit percentage price gains in the Sydney property market and in Melbourne the growth has already slowed visibly – a shift that experts say will continue throughout 2018. Don’t expect any dramatic drops, of course. Do your research and keep your eye on different markets to find the price that suits your long-term plans.

3. The return of the first-home buyer

As investors step back for a while, the signs point to first-home buyers perceiving more opportunities and coming back into the market.

Stamp duty savings in NSW and Victoria are helping but there is still more assistance required to really get them back in the picture.

4. Renovation Rules

Stamp duty taxes are costly and it’s a fact that anchors many Australian home-owners to their existing property – leading to their decision to renovate, rather than move. The trend has been proven by lending institutions reporting a growth in loan applications related to renovation work – such as refinancing with top up cash – and in 2018, it looks set to continue to grow in popularity.

5. Owner-occupiers Celebrating Competitive Rates

As fewer investors apply for property finance, owner-occupiers are making a grand comeback. Many lenders have some seriously great deals on the table to capture the owner-occupier market and it means that there are bargains to be found with some careful research.

It’s important to note that, although trends do cause intermittent fluctuations in the property market, buying property with the right research and market analysis to guide your decision is always a good investment – especially if you’ve got the patience to be in it for the long haul. Interest rates may soon rise but by talking to an experienced mortgage broker, there are great deals to be found to suit your individual circumstances.

If you’re interested in finance as an owner-occupier, first-home buyer, or are keen to refinance your mortgage to renovate your property, talk to our team of home loan professionals at Lending Specialists today.

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