Property Insights

“When rates drop, property prices will escalate!” Mark Bouris & Effie Zahos

05th Mar, 2024

Mark Bouris is joined by Effie Zahos, Chief Content Officer & Money Commentator at InvestSMART. Previously Editor-at-Large of Canstar, Effie is now ambassador for the comparison site, where she brings her passion for financial literacy and wealth building to help consumers gain a better understanding of their finances.

In this episode of Property Insights, Mark and Effie discuss the importance of financial education and accessible market information, the affordability challenges faced by first home buyers entering the property market, and finally, possible policy changes that could address the economic burden placed on lower-income Australians.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Why should the investment world be only for the rich?” Effie discusses her goal of making investment accessible to all, emphasising the importance of moving beyond simply saving money to focusing on building wealth. She explains how robo-advising platforms like InvestSMART offer a cost-effective limited advice alternative to costly financial advice.
  • Effie highlights the importance of financial education, so investors can use access to timely and practical information to understand asset classes and investment options and make informed decisions. While interest rates are low now, looking forward, changes may make dividend-yielding investments more attractive. “Look to diversify and look at your options.”
  • Mark and Effie agree that with markets nearly recovered and clearance rates so strong, “there seems to be no stopping the property market,” particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Their review notes the ongoing potential for yields in the regional market despite recent pull back and queries the feasibility of living or investing in such areas. Effie also highlights the significant 45% gap between house and unit prices which is making it difficult for first-time buyers to enter the market, especially in areas like Perth and Darwin.
  • What about new investors? Effie and Mark consider the obstacles for young investors beyond high property prices and availability, with a focus on stamp duty as well as HECs debt, strata fees and even owning your own car acting as obstacles to entering the property market. “A lot of first home buyers do lose hope.. but it’s just a case of what are you willing to sacrifice, where are you willing to buy and do you jump in as an owner or investor?”
  • Issues relating to payroll taxes, stamp duty and GST among others are explored as Mark and Effie highlight the need to relieve the large burden on certain parts of society and take a deeper dive into the arguments for changes to economic policy in Australia.

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