Here's what you need to know post-JobKeeper
With JobKeeper officially over and JobSeeker now reduced, economists are reflecting on how the change to these financial lifelines will impact everyday Australians.
To help make sense of what could be to come, we've taken a close look at what the end of JobKeeper means for homeowners and investors. We also spoke to Tim Lawless, Executive Research Director Asia Pacific at CoreLogic, to gain an insight into what it means for the property market in general.
Will the end of JobKeeper impact owner-occupiers and investors?
With economic advisory firm KPMG anticipating that one in ten JobKeeper recipients will lose their job now that the program has concluded, it's clear there will be ripple effects throughout the economy.
If you are one of the unfortunate Australians affected by this change, there continues to be government support programs designed to help. This page from Centrelink will help you identify programs you may be eligible for if you are impacted by unemployment or a reduced income.
Financial hardship provisions are also available from various service providers as a measure of last resort. If you're having difficulty making your home loan repayments, our financial hardship team can be reached on 1300 793 741, with specialists on standby to discuss a suitable arrangement to suit your circumstances.
For investors, it's worth noting that financial relief for tenants, as well as eviction moratoriums and other support, ended at around the same time as JobKeeper. This will see a return to normal rental agreements and requirements after a transition period. What this means will vary from state to state, but the measures have been designed to find a middle ground that protects the interests of both tenants and landlords. Information on changes to each state/territory's laws can be found below:
Positive signs on the horizon
The good news is that there is confidence from market experts and the government in the economy's ability to stand on its own two feet moving forward. Those directly impacted by reduced support measures can be reassured that their prospects are expected to improve relatively quickly.
According to Tim Lawless, the phasing out of government support is a positive sign that the country is back on track economically.
"The support and response from the federal government was unprecedented in terms of spending. It has helped provide resilience to the economy and specifically the housing market, seeing Australia perform much better than expected through 2020," he says.
Despite rising house prices, CoreLogic data shows there have been 20 per cent fewer property listings than expected at this time of the year. This suggests that those in a position to upsize or relocate are being cautious about entering the market, unsure of their prospects.
With prices high, Tim acknowledges some investors may be looking to cash-in on their portfolio but warns that a flattening of the market may be on the horizon.
Tim says the end of widespread government assistance, combined with rising property prices and an increase in living costs, may lead to a gradual slow-down in market conditions and a muting of the pace of Australia's recovery.
"Less government support and the absence of real wage growth against a backdrop of rising prices could slow the property market to a more sustainable level," says Tim.
If you are looking to buy your first property or next investment, Tim advises waiting, playing it safe, and closely watching how the economy reacts to the withdrawal of government subsidies and support.
While it's difficult to predict with any real certainty how the next six months will play out – particularly given how quickly things can change (as evidenced by Queensland's most recent lockdown), Tim says historically low interest rates are unlikely to be reduced further. For good signs that Australia's economy is continuing to recover and isn't headed for another downturn, look out for sustained downward trends in unemployment and increases in consumer and business confidence.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians. The above is general commentary only and is not advice tailored to any individual's financial situation. We recommend seeking advice from a finance professional before implementing changes relating to your finances.