The year ahead for buyers and owners

A new year is filled with anticipation for what's to come. When looking at the property and home finance markets there are a few headline predictions for 2015 that will impact property owners and buyers.

The CoreLogic RP Data Home Value Index Release reported combined capital city home values grew 7.9% in 2014. This was good growth however almost 2% less than 2013. In 2015 we expect this downward trend to continue with modest growth in our capital cities.

In the property finance sector, low interest rates will continue due to a weakening economic outlook, with a further rate cut possible mid year. Competition amongst lenders will remain high and a rate cut will unveil further incentives to switch.

Here's how these predictions will impact homeowners, property investors and buyers in the year ahead.

Property buyers in 2015

The continued high demand and low availability of property on the market will continue to drive competition and prices up. This means buyers, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne markets (and increasingly Brisbane), should expect crowds and rivalry. Auctions and open home inspections will remain busy and people will make attractive offers quickly. To secure the property they want, buyers will need to be well prepared.

If purchasing property is on the cards for 2015, pre-approved finance should be organised. To remain in the competition buyers will need to know their options, not just what their bank is offering. Understanding maximum borrowing capacity, the impact of each incremental bid and having the confidence to make an offer quickly will be essential for buyers this year.

Homeowners and property investors in 2015

Owners of property will continue to enjoy low interest rates in 2015. This year is a great time for owners to review their existing home loan to ensure they're still getting the most competitive rate for their needs.

There are many fixed loan products currently available that are as low or even lower than current variable rates. Property investors and homeowners planning on holding onto their properties for three years or more could benefit.