Cheaper to buy than rent in Sydney everywhere except for Ryde: RiskWise

Cheaper to buy than rent in Sydney everywhere except for Ryde: RiskWise
Cheaper to buy than rent in Sydney everywhere except for Ryde: RiskWise

Apart from one standalone area, it is cheaper to buy a house in Greater Sydney than it is to rent, according to RiskWise Property Research.

Ryde is the only SA4 where the interest-only loan repayments for owner-occupiers in all of Greater Sydney are higher than the annual rent. In all other areas interest-only loan repayments are low, and in some cases well below the annual rent. There are also areas where only a small additional amount is required to also cover the ‘full mortgage’, i.e. both the principal and the interest repayments.

Co-founder of Buyers Buyers, an aggregator providing affordable buyer’s agency services to all Australians with its national panel, Pete Wargent said that while there are multiple factors that should always inform a buying decision, the buy versus rent equation has shifted this year due to lower mortgage rates.

“In the current environment prospective buyers need to consider the reliability of their employment and whether they have a reasonable buffer” Mr Wargent said.

“However, it’s clear that without as much from competition from investors many first-time buyers are now looking to get in”.

RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said ultra-low interest rates had created a unique environment where buying a house in many areas was cheaper than paying rent on one.

He said in many areas, rent money was dead money, and that renters with secure jobs were better off buying a house than continue paying someone else’s mortgage.

“Except for Ryde, interest-only loan repayment amounts for owner-occupiers in Greater Sydney are below the equivalent annual rent, so it often makes sense to take advantage of the current ultra-low interest rates rather than continue to rent,” Mr Peleg said.

“In addition, except for in the Inner West, North Sydney and Hornsby, and Ryde, it's also cheaper to buy than rent for interest-only property investors in the whole of Greater Sydney, despite declining apartment rents in some areas”.

He said for principal and interest loans, owner-occupier repayments were higher than the annual rent of Greater Sydney, however, the monthly difference was less than $500 in five SA4 areas which included the Central Coast, with only a $15 difference, and outer suburbs such as Outer South West, Outer West and the Blue Mountains.

“Areas such as the city’s western suburbs and the Central Coast have enjoyed exceptional capital growth over the past 10 years with further positive projections in the medium to long term, especially as more and more people work remotely and can enjoy a sea or tree-change without having to seek accommodation close to employment hubs, but rather move for lifestyle benefits,” he said.

“If you buy a house you can start building equity, particularly when you take a long-term strategic view and are in a good position to negotiate well and buy a ‘Grade A’ property that will serve your family to many years to come.

“Our research also shows that nationally the interest-only repayments for both owner-occupiers and investors is lower than the annual rental cost of renting in most of the 88 areas at the statistical area level 4 (i.e. SA4s). Therefore, funding costs are lower than rental payments across all states and territories.

“And, except for Sydney and Melbourne, in all other states and territories, even the principal and interest repayments are lower than the annual rent, assuming that you have a 20 per cent deposit.

“No interest rate rises are expected in the foreseeable fortune and the intense competition between the banks is only going to further intensify, meaning buyers are in a very strong position to continue enjoying ultra-low interest rates.”

Mr Peleg said the biggest savings were in the capital cities where rental returns were the highest.

Mr Wargent of Buyers Buyers said “a sustained period of ultra-low interest rates seems almost certain in the foreseeable future and is likely to have a positive impact on the market during 2021. In fact, RBA research has found that for every 1 percentage point reduction to the cash rate, property values may increase 8 per cent over the following two years.”

Ultra-low interest rates have led some lenders to offer introductory home loan variable rates of 1.99 per cent, a move which follows the launch of the first fixed rate of less than 2 per cent.

Over the medium and the long term, Mr Wargent said solid price growth was highly likely for houses, particularly due to a systematic undersupply in the inner and middle rings, and also in the more affordable outer areas with good access to the CBD, such as the western suburbs.

Mr Peleg of RiskWise said “what this all means is now is the time to buy if you are a first home buyer or an owner-occupier as this current slowdown in the property market is only temporary, with houses in popular areas likely to experience solid capital growth in the medium to long term. However, it must be stressed that units carry a higher risk and at this point of time so this strategy should only be considered for houses.

“Once the COVID-19 issue is resolved, most likely in 2021, the traditional connection between low interest rates and increase in dwelling prices is likely to take place."

Mr Wargent of Buyers Buyers said investors with a long-term view could also benefit despite interest repayments for investment properties being slightly higher.

“If the rent covers their monthly interest repayments, they are in a good situation. There is a relationship between low interest rates, low out of pocket expenses and stronger demand and this is very attractive to investors,” he said.

Sydney Ryde

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