With 2016 done and dusted, it’s time to look at what’s going on in the property market for the year ahead. I’ve already given my property price predictions for 2017, but now I want to look at some of the general trends I think we’ll see across areas like market activity, home buying and renovating.
So whether you’re looking to get into the property market for the first time, or to grow your portfolio in 2017, here are my picks for the biggest property trends of the year:
Fixed rate mortgages – With more and more out of cycle rate hikes from the big banks, fixed rate mortgages are likely to be a growing trend in 2017. Although I have a feeling the best rate offers are already behind us, locking in a deal will still be tempting for borrowers who are nervous about rising interest rates this year.
Crack down on investors – In 2016 we saw a loosening of regulations that had previously made it harder for investors to get a really great deal on a mortgage. But with property prices on the rise – up by as much as 15% in Sydney – investors can expect to be dealing with a trend toward harder borrowing regulations again.
Rate-tracker home loans – I’m on the fence about rate tracker home loans. Historically, they haven’t been popular in Australia, but I think there’s potential for them to become more of a trend in 2017 as banks decouple from the official RBA cash rate. But Aussie consumers are a savvy bunch, and whether or not rate-tracker loans pick up speed will depend on the bank’s ability to make them a genuinely good deal.
Bright is back – As far as interiors go, designers are touting the return of bold colours, particularly green and blue. So renovators can cut loose and get creative with some of their favourite feature colours in 2017. Using these colours as part of your decorating or as subtle touches in a more subdued palette will stop them being overwhelming, and might be a particularly good idea if you’re renovating to sell.
Natural tones and textures – On the other hand, natural tones and textures, like stone, marble or wood, will also be a major trend this year – America’s largest paint provider, Sherwin-Williams, even named its colour collection of the year “Natural Wonder”. Combined with this is the idea of blending the old with the new – which is a trend that resurfaces every so often – so exposed brick and original wooden floors will also be popular.
Sleek, clean designs – I’ve jumped on a new trend this year in my own renovations by looking at integrating furniture into the design of a home. This trend is a natural progression of the desire to keep a home open and inviting. By building things like seating and shelves directly into the layout of a room, you can avoid having them freestanding and cluttering up the space.
Industrial influences – One trend I’ve noticed already this year is that handles are back on kitchen cupboards, moving away from the handleless trend of past years. Also in the kitchen, expect to see industrial influences such as large steel appliances and cast iron in 2017.
The property market
A good year overall – The overall trend for 2017 is set for a strong property market. Hubs like Sydney can expect low supply and high demand, leading to strong prices and growth. Country-wide, I wouldn’t be surprised to see total growth of around 7-8%.
Safe as houses – When it comes to houses, the existing trend toward strong prices is here to stay for 2017, especially in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. This is good news for investors after a safe bet, but young first-home buyers may not be so happy about it. On the other hand, apartments won’t see as much growth this year, due mainly to higher supply after the construction boom in major cities.
AirBnB hurting renters – There’s an interesting trend recently that’s seeing more and more landlords rent their inner-city houses through AirBnB, rather than taking on long term renters. Doing so means good yields for investors, so I’d expect to see this trend continue in 2017. It will spell trouble for renters however, as inner-city leases become scarce and prices rise.
Planning to enter the property market in 2017? You can find a home loan to make it happen in our comparison tables, or if you’d like some expert know-how to back you up, drop me a line below, and I’ll get in contact about negotiating a better deal on your behalf.