Category Archives: News

Five ways to manage home loan interest rate rises

 

It was inevitable that the Reserve Bank would eventually raise the cash rate from the record-low level to which it was reduced as an emergency response to the pandemic, and it certainly feels like the increases are coming in hot.

Today’s RBA announcement is the fourth consecutive increase this year and sees the cash rate increase by half a percentage point from 1.35% to 1.85%. 

Despite the subsequent rise in home loan rates, they remain low by historical standards – and will probably still be low even when we get to the end of this ‘tightening cycle’.

That said, it would be prudent to take steps now to make sure you can cope with higher interest rates. There’s no sugar coating it, adjusting to higher interest rates isn’t going to be fun but it doesn’t need to be painful either. Here are five suggestions:

1.  Review your last 12 months of bank statements and credit card statements, calculate your average monthly income and expenses and consider any discretional spend you can do without or simply reduce. This isn’t about going cold turkey on coffee or avocado on toast – it’s about reducing wastage. For example consider things like cancelling unused or underused streaming subscriptions or Apps.

2. Look for ways to increase your income. Are you overdue a salary re-negotiation? Is doing more overtime an option? Depending on your interests and situation you could possibly start a side hustle or rent out a spare bedroom.

3. If there’s one thing the Covid years have taught us it is the importance of re-evaluating what’s really important. Reducing expenses can feel limiting in theory but re-framed into deciding what means the most to you might help you to decrease your spending. A simpler life (and expenses column) might mean socialising more at home rather than out, buying less stuff and travelling locally rather than overseas. It’s different for everyone but frame your review with a ‘less is more’ lens and see where you end up.

4. Pretend your home loan rate is 1.50 percentage points higher, and pay the difference into your offset/redraw account or a separate savings account.

5. If it’s been some time (at least 18 months or more) since you reviewed your home loan you may be in a position to refinance to a lower-rate loan so future rate rises start from a lower base.

Of course, if you need assistance with any of the above suggestions or would like an insight into better home loan options available to you, please get in touch with your Green Finance Group broker.

You can also check out our home loan calculators should you wish to check on your updated repayments or how much you can afford to borrow.

Green Finance Group trio recognised in national commercial broker ranking

Green Finance Group’s commitment to customer excellence has seen the Brisbane commercial finance brokerage win three spots in MPA’s coveted Top Commercial Brokers list for 2022.

Green Finance Group’s Managing Director Daniel Green (Number 3 in the Australian ranking) Mark Anyon, Hospitality Finance Specialist (14) and James Kelder, Commercial Property Finance Specialist (15), were named in this year’s list – the most number of entries from any single brokerage.

Mr Green said the achievement was a testament to the commitment the brokerage makes to clients and the outcomes that sector specialisations deliver in the contemporary business world.

“We don’t get out of bed in the morning to win awards: our brokers are driven to ensure our clients’ business interests and investments are in the best possible position for their needs,” said Mr Green, who himself specialises in childcare, hospitality and transport.

“It’s nonetheless encouraging to be mentioned amongst the best commercial finance brokers in Australia. Our service offering is unique and proud that it resonates with our client base, as well.”

Key to Green Finance Group’s success has been bringing sector-specific insights to finance strategies.  

“Each industry has its own dynamics,” said Mr Green. “When you combine finance expertise with specialist industry knowledge, you attract a more discerning client. 

“For instance, if you’re dealing with a managing director of a logistics company that operates seven days a week, an appreciation of the nuances of transport costs, storage, stacking technology and more helps you provide greater service as a broker and develop a deeper relationship.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on, and why we’ve been recognised amongst our peers in the MPA Top 100 Commercial Brokers.

“With Mark (Anyon), he’s proven to be invaluable to hospitality clients over the pandemic as they manage restrictions and additional costs. James (Kelder) is a specialist in commercial property finance and his expertise has been in high-demand amongst the record-low interest rate environment.” 

To discuss your commercial finance needs, contact the team at Green Finance Group today on 07 3899 2866 or click here to email us direct.




Supply chain issues improving

Supply chain problems and price increases caused by the pandemic have impacted most of our daily lives. We’re feeling the effects in many areas, but especially in the cost of our groceries and fuel.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to discover that three-quarters of the companies surveyed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in February reported increases in their own business costs.

And more than one-third of these businesses (37%) said they experienced supply chain disruption in February.

But that’s a major improvement from the previous month. Almost half of Australia’s companies (47%) said they were having trouble in January.

Here are some key numbers in the latest ABS Business Conditions and Sentiments survey:

  • 88% reported increased time to receive products from suppliers
  • 80% said existing suppliers were unable to provide products
  • 75% had to pay increased prices (e.g. transport costs)
  • 50% were unable to source or substitute alternate suppliers for products

The Head of Industry Statistics at the ABS, John Shepherd, said while supply issues had eased they “still remain at elevated levels”.

Positively, the survey says the pain of COVID-related absenteeism has eased. Only 15% of companies said they had staff fall sick with the virus, compared with 22% in January.  

Mr Shepherd said: “Large businesses were more than four times as likely to report these absences (58%) compared with small businesses (14%).”

A total 35% of small businesses said they couldn’t cover for sick staff compared with 15% of large businesses.

Jobless rate tumbles to 4% – what it means for employers

Good news on the unemployment front keeps coming, demonstrating Australia’s economic resilience.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February is just 4% – a fall of 0.2% on the January number, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

It’s the lowest figure since August 2008 and only the third time unemployment has been 4% or less since the ABS began recording monthly data. The lowest-ever rates were back in 1974 when the data was produced quarterly.

Employment increased for a fourth successive month, with approximately 77,000 jobs created. ABS numbers show an additional 202,000 Australians are now employed than when COVID-19 hit more than two years ago.

Signs of our workforce recovering from the pandemic are also evident in the latest data. Hours worked rebounded +8.9% in February, having tumbled -8.6% in January as Omicron made its mark on our communities.

We’re just 0.2% under the recent high for hours worked, which was achieved last May before the impacts of the virus took hold in Australia.

Abnormally high rates of Australians registering no work hours in an entire week due to illness remains 80% higher than the long-term averages. However, in January, this figure was triple the usual rate – so that’s another sign the virus’s impact on our economy is waning.

If you’re an employer, it may mean you find it harder to find staff, or need to offer tempting packages to encourage good people to join you. 

The figures also show strong employment gains for women. 

At 3.8%, female unemployment is the lowest since May 1974. The rate for men fell to 4.2%, which is their best result since November 2008.

The participation rate rose 0.2% to 66.4% of the population – an all-time high.

The ABS Head of Labour Statistics, Bjorn Jarvis, said the increase in participation is “particularly pronounced for women, rising 0.2% to a record high of 62.4%.

This is 1.2% higher than when the pandemic began, he said.

The overall participation rate of Australians in the workforce is 0.6 percentage points higher than at the start of the pandemic.

If hiring staff is part of your business goals and you would like to speak with a broker, reach out. We can talk you through your options and help you find the right financing solution to grow your business. 

James Kelder named Best Finance Broker finalist at Better Business Awards

We extend congratulations to our very own Commercial Property Finance Specialist James Kelder who has been named as a finalist in the Better Business Awards 2022 for Best Finance Broker.

The Better Business Awards is the premier event in recognising the most distinguished professionals and businesses in the mortgage and finance industry.

Reaching the finalist stage is regarded as an incredible achievement across the Australian broking industry, showcasing the depth of dedication and commitment each individual and team brings to advancing the industry.

James believes the award is testimony to the fact borrowers and businesses are looking for good old-fashioned customer service backed up by proven experience.

“I’m so grateful to be recognised and proud to be named as a finalist in the Better Business Awards 2022 and I’d like to thank my clients and colleagues for continuing to support me and recommend my service,” he said.

Editor of The Adviser Annie Kane said that “The Better Business Awards gets bigger and better every year, and the 2022 edition is no different. With the residential and commercial mortgages market continuing to break records, the broking industry has been busier than ever to help Australian borrowers realise their dreams and set them up for future success.

Given the increasing uncertainty around the future of interest rates, changing lender policy, the huge range of options on market and the fact that finance brokers act in the best interests of their clients – more borrowers have been flocking to finance brokers than ever before. Our most recent industry reporting indicates that brokers now originate approximately 70% of all home loans and 40% of all business loans.

The winner will be announced at the Better Business Awards ceremony being held in Brisbane on 28th April and we wish James all the best in taking out the win.

 

James Kelder, Best Finance Broker 2022 Finalist
James Kelder, Commercial Property Finance Specialist – Green Finance Group

Flood Relief Financial Assistance 2022

The recent weather events in Qld and NSW have impacted many of our clients and our own team members and we understand the devastating disruption this has on family life and business. I hope you and your family are safe, first and foremost.

If you are based locally in Brisbane and need assistance please reach out…the team are happy to help in any way we can – from the desk or the street – Mud Army V2.0!

In the meantime, many financial institutions and the Government are offering emergency assistance in the form of financial payments and/or relief as listed below:

BANKS – Financial Assistance Options

Financial disaster relief options will vary from lender-to-lender and may include:

  • Customised payment arrangements for your home loan, credit card or personal loan
  • The deferral of scheduled loan repayments, including interest only
  • Waiving the establishment fee for restructuring business facilities
  • ​​​​​​​Concessional loans to customers seeking support to restructure existing facilities to assist in repairs, restocking and re-opening for business
  • Waiving the establishment fees for business and agribusiness customers
  • Working capital assistance for business and agribusiness customers
  • Waiving the early withdrawal interest adjustments for the early withdrawal of term deposits
  • The refund of merchant rental fees for an agreed period
  • Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval)

We can assist you to navigate the options that are available to you right now, based on your lender and loan structure. Simply call or email and we’ll work through a plan together.

Government Assistance

QLD & NSW: Residents affected by the flood can apply for payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child under the Federal Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment scheme. Eligible persons can apply for the payments via MyGov or calling Services Australia on 1800 22 66. For more information visit: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/natural-disaster

It is anticipated that additional measures will be released in the coming days and we will keep you updated. In the meantime, please stay safe, reach out to your GFG Finance Consultant as you need and know that the entire Green Team wishes you and yours the strength and support you need to get through this. 

Header Photo: Taringa, Brisbane 28.2.22 – @RachelLoise

Top 5 Reasons to Refinance

With the current state of play, it is rare to be hit up with a positive news story. So, I’ve decided to buck the trend and pay it forward by seeing if I can save you some money.

As your broker, it’s my job to make sure your interest rate remains competitive, works hard for you, and suits your current situation.

Here are five reasons why refinancing might be the right option for you: 
  • Rates are at an all-time low. Now is the time to take advantage of the market.
  • There are more and more cashback offers in the market. I have access to 60+ banks and lenders so I can negotiate to get a better rate for you and see if you’re eligible for a cashback offer.
  • Refinancing could open doors to new loan features and benefits.
  • Consolidate those debts into one package (hopefully at a lower interest rate!).
  • Invest in home equity and use the extra funds to help with your current circumstances.

Did you know? A 0.5% p.a. decrease in interest rate on a $500,000 loan saves you $208 per month. That’s an extra $2,496 in your pocket every year from just half a percent decrease. Now that’s a positive news story!

While we can’t control lockdowns or border openings, we can help you take control of your finances. The easiest way to get started online, simply fill out your details below and we’ll be in touch asap. Or if you’d prefer, let’s meet online via Zoom or have a quick call to chat about your options.


Find out how much you could save:

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Fuel to the Fire: Service Stations Proving a Hot Investment

Service Stations as an asset class proved their resilience through the worst of the COVID shutdowns and as such have become an enviable asset for investors seeking consistent reliable returns underpinned by long leases.

As public transport was abandoned and border restrictions saw many forced into local travel for ‘quick escapes’, domestic road travel increased as did demand for fuel and convenient retail and fast food and beverage services.

There are now more than 6,000 service stations across Australia and some 789 motor vehicles per 1,000 people, the sixth-highest level globally. A growth in service station appetite is evidenced in an increase in sales from $493 million in 2020, up 39 per cent from $354 million in 2017.

Despite improvements in public transport infrastructure, ride-share technologies and a pending (long-term) transition to electric vehicles, Australians continue to have a heavy reliance on cars. And, according to a study released by Viva, one of Australia’s largest energy suppliers, it’s a trend set to continue over the medium term.

With an entry level buy-in of about $4 million, this asset delivers a sound investment case based on historically long-term leases, consistency in performance and the added opportunity for development potential based on often high-profile or sought-after locations.

In more recent years, yields have tightened and now average sub 5.5 per cent with further tightening expected as demand for this type of asset intensifies and shifts to business cases with quality tenants and upside potential.

Service Stations – The Finance Facts

Bank appetite reflects demand in the asset class, which has more recently seen the following market parameters:

Investment:

  • Cost of Debt ranging from 1.8-2.9% (Floating BBSY 30 days: 0.06%)
  • LVR: 50- 65%
  • Term: 3-5yrs
  • Structure: Interest Only

Construction:

  • 70-75% TDC or 50-65% GRV
  • Interest Rate: 2.25% – 2.75% (Floating BBSY 30 days: 0.06%)
  • Line Fee 1 – 1.5%
  • Interest Capitalised

Risk parameters and weightings will differ from lender to lender with a broader focus on:

  • Environmental Remediation Risk
  • Age & Material of Tanks i.e. fibreglass or steel
  • Location: Metro vs Regional
  • Complimentary QSR offering
  • Alternate Site Use
  • Quality of Operator

Ultimately, each bank will assess the availability of funding differently and that’s where I can help.

The success of your service station investment hinges on (a) ensuring you approach a lender with an appetite for the business (b) the correct presentation of your business case and loan submission (c) the structure of your finance to evolve with your business.

At Green Finance Group we have a specialist finance team who work with business owners and investors to successfully secure funding for development, acquisition, and refurbishment ongoing. We’d be happy to talk you through a number of recent client case studies and provide a concise review of improved finance options available for your next commercial property acquisition or current portfolio.

Contact your Green Finance Group broker or give us a call on 07 3899 2866.

Green Team takes out Record Finance Broker Awards Haul

Last week the Green Team won a record 24 awards in six categories at the annual Queensland finance brokerage awards held by our aggregator Loan Market (Australia’s largest 100% family-owned finance brokerage/aggregator), at the Victoria Park Golf Club.

From our home and investment loan specialists to our franchise and business finance specialists to our diversified commercial finance division and everything in between, together we assisted almost 700 clients to obtain funding last year and can claim one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the market!

A full list of our team award winners is as follows:

AWARD – Highest Settlement Volume 2020/21

Chairman’s Club – Top 1% of Finance Brokers (Australia)

Platinum Elite – Top 3% of Finance Brokers (Australia)

Elite Club – Top 4% of Finance Brokers (Australia)

  • Rod Weir – Residential & Business Finance (Cairns)

Premier Club – Top 20% of Finance Brokers (Australia)

  • Mark Anyon – Commercial & Equipment Finance Specialist
  • Karen Donato – Home & Investment Loan Specialist (Cairns)
  • Terri Johnson – Home & Investment Loan Specialist (Rockhampton)
  • Derek Parsons – Business & Franchise Finance Specialist

Personal Bests – Volume of Client Loan Settlements

Career Milestones

A special mention to James Kelder who also scored a finalist berth in the award category of Highest volume of Real Estate Settlements 2020/21. This is for his work in procuring client finance for commercial property developments and acquisitions and is in addition to him joining the Platinum Elite Club in recognition of being in the Top 3% of Finance Brokers in Australia (based on $ client funding settled, number of clients and his customer satisfaction rating). Go James!

Congratulations to the entire team and a big thanks to the customers and colleagues who trust, support, and recommend us year in and year out! Thank you also to the team at Loan Market for all your work behind the scenes and for your dedication to championing the highest of professional standards in our industry.

Social distancing made a team pic a little difficult, but I think the slightly dazed and crazed look of happiness on James Kelder’s dial sums up the team feeling on the night.

 

If you need assistance to secure finance for your home or business, or simply want to see if there is a better deal available to you, a member of our award-winning team can help.


Find a better finance deal today. Compare Now.

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Personal & Business Risk Insurance Advice & Solutions for GFG clients

If the last 18 months have taught me anything it would have to be, to expect the unexpected! Or more specifically, plan for the unexpected!  So, at the very least, you can sleep well at night knowing that everything you’ve worked for, and more importantly, everyone you care for, will be protected in the event of the unexpected impacting you or your business. 

With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce a timely re-launch of the Green Wealth and Insurance (GWI) service offering with a bolstered team offering a full suite of tailored personal and business life risk insurance advice solutions and products including:

  • Death, Disability, Trauma & Income Protection Strategies
  • SMSF Member Cover for Family Protection, Fund Liquidity & Debt Protection 
  • Adviser Facilitated Estate Planning (Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney)
  • Business Protection including:
    • Keyperson Debt and Guarantor Protection 
    • Keyperson Revenue Protection
    • Shareholders (Buy-Sell) Protection 
    • Business Succession Planning (Buy-Sell/Shareholders Agreements and Special Purpose Insurance Trusts)

Advisors on your side

GWI is a joint venture between Green Finance Group and Personal Risk Professionals, one of Australia’s leading Life Insurance advisory practices, providing you with direct access to a team of in-house expert advisers and support staff.

Andrew Proudfoot (Head of Advice, Succession & Claims) and Corey Evans  (Life Risk Advisor) are your dedicated specialist risk advisory team now conveniently located at our brand spanking new office at:

Level 1, 161 Robertson St
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Whether you have existing cover in place or are starting fresh, this dedicated duo will guide you through the advice process, strategies and products available and help you to decide what you need to be covered for and, just as importantly, what you can do without!

IMPORTANT: Major changes coming to income protection cover from 1 October 2021

Did you know stricter guidelines are about to take effect on most income protection insurance policies? This will likely include:
 
  • The definition of insurable income will change.
  • After 2 years on claim, insurers will assess the ability of the insured to return to work in ‘any’ occupation – not just their ‘own’ occupation.
  • Most policies will offer a 70% pre-disability income replacement ratio (rather than the current 75% ratio) with some paying up to 90% for the first 6 months of a claim.
  • Removal of specified trauma and injury benefits.
  • Ongoing ‘passive’ income offset clauses will become more prevalent.

Book your consultation now

If you think you need income protection but have not organised it, now is a great time to take some advice on what to do, before these changes are introduced.

Similarly, if it’s been some time since you’ve reviewed your insurance cover, you want to save money or would like to look at how you can better manage your insurance costs to improve cash flow, please touch base with the team direct:


Andrew Proudfoot, Head of Advice, Succession & Claims
 Andrew Proudfoot 

 Head of Advice, Succession & Claims
 Book Appointment Online
 Phone: 0418 136 381
 Email: [email protected]

 

Corey Evans, Life Risk Advisor

 

Corey Evans
Life Risk Advisor
Book Appointment Online
Phone: 0491 270 210
Email: [email protected]

 

Or of course, give me a bell at the office on 07 3899 2866 and I will be happy to introduce you.