Consider this: 30 years ago it cost about 3.5 times the average annual salary to buy an average priced Australian home — today, it costs around 7.5 times our yearly earnings 1. With the average new home loan nudging $444,0002, it’s more important than ever to look at strategies to shrink your mortgage and work towards greater financial freedom sooner.
The good news is interest rates are at record lows. The bad news is the average mortgage size in most Australian capitals has hit an all-time high. The challenge for many borrowers who are used to low rates could be keeping up with payments when rates inevitably rise. Those who want to get ahead will be taking steps now to make the most of low rates so they have a buffer down the track. But if you are already feeling weighed down by debt, it may be time to lighten the load.
If securing your first home, stepping up to something better or securing an investment property is on your to-do list for 2015 then it may be in your interest to maximise your borrowing power. Understanding how much you can borrow will help you make critical decisions, especially when it comes to what to buy and when.