Bob Carr says Australian immigration should be cut by 50%

Posted by Henry | HOME OWNERSHIP,IMMIGRATION,POPULATION | Tuesday 16 February 2016 11:34 pm


Australia reaches population milestone

We all know that Australia’s population is growing, but you might be surprised to learn which city will be our biggest by 2050.

Former NSW Premier and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has called for Australia to consider reducing its immigration intake by up to one-half before growing population density on the eastern coast changes the Australian style of living.

“I think the Australian people, if asked, would want immigration slowed,” Mr Carr said at a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday. “We’ve got a third-world style population growth rate.

“If you bring 100,000 people into the Sydney basin every year, the price of housing goes up […] people wonder why their youngsters can’t get houses in the big cities… the answer is we are going for breakneck population growth.”

bob carr file pic image

“We are going for breakneck population growth”: Bob Carr.

Australia’s population was officially declared to have hit 24 million people shortly after midnight on Tuesday, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About 190,000 people will be admitted to the country under Australia’s managed migration program this financial year, according to federal government statistics. About 70,000 were admitted in 1999-2000.

Mr Carr said Australia had the highest rate of population growth of any developed country and that the growth was undermining policies by governments to make housing more affordable and to improve infrastructure. “It’s always never enough”.

“By the middle years of this century we’re going to have a huge concentration of the available land,” he said. “We can go the way of other cities so that the basic unit of housing is a unit in a high-rise tower, but I would rather think a lot of Australians would believe we’ve lost something of ourselves.

“There comes a point … at 50, million, 60 million, 70 million before the end of the century where we have to start thinking again.”

Mr Carr said new immigration would invariably be “crammed” on a “narrow coastal strip” in Australia’s east, despite the fact the country is among the least densely populated on Earth.

“There’s a case for pegging immigration back by easily one-third, perhaps even 50 per cent,” Mr Carr said.

He said reducing overall immigration was compatible with federal Labor’s plans to increase Australia’s refugee intake.

Mr Carr said Australia’s economy should focus on export-led growth and stop relying on an expansion in its domestic market.

Australia’s “net migration”, which subtracts the number of people leaving the country each year, has dropped from a 2008 peak of about 300,000 to about 200,000 in 2014. It remains at its highest level as a proportion of the country’s total population since about 1965, according to statistics from the federal Treasury.


Henry Sapiecha

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Basic Training: How to have a second bite at your mortgage cherry

Posted by Henry | HOME LOANS,INTEREST RATES,MORTGAGES | Monday 28 September 2015 11:00 am

cherry row image

Cherries, like a better mortgage rate, are always good for the picking.

The task of finding a better home loan deal is not right up there in the excitement stakes.

  • This is the latest in a series of stories for anyone just starting to manage their own financial future.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to forget about it, and keep paying too much. Or – as most of us do when buying petrol, milk, or any number of smaller things – you could shop around, and save a bundle.

Refresh your memory Check what your current interest rate is, and what the loan includes. Are you on a fixed or variable loan? If it’s fixed, are there discharge fees?

The fine print “The key to finding the cheapest home loan is that it’s not just about finding the cheapest interest rate – you also need to take into account the fees and charges associated with the loan,” says Shelley Marsh, a former stock market analyst who writes personal finance blog Money Mummy.

“This is why you should look at the comparison rate as well as the interest rate.”

She says the comparison rate reflects the actual cost of the loan as it takes into account fees and charges, plus the interest payment you’ll have to make over the entire life of the loan.

Featuring… If you want to pay your home loan off quickly (who doesn’t?), Marsh suggests looking for three top features: unlimited extra repayments without fees, a redraw facility and a 100 per cent offset account.

Play the field Do your research before tackling your bank. Comparison websites such as Finder, Mozo, Canstar or RateCity can link you directly to lenders.

New website HashChing, “Australia’s first online marketplace for home loans” – advertises special deals, and puts you in touch with a local mortgage broker who can help you get that deal.

Chief executive Mandeep Sodhi says mortgage brokers have access to better rates, and can do the heavy lifting for you.

Negotiate hard. Sodhi says if you’re dealing directly with a bank, dig your heels in, and don’t take the first offer.

Threatening to jump ship remains a smart tactic. “Do you want to stick with the bank that’s not looking after you?” says Sodhi.


Henry Sapiecha

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Home loans getting cheaper as lenders wage war

Posted by Henry | BANKS,INTEREST RATES | Tuesday 22 September 2015 7:56 am

There is a widening gap between the most competitive deals in the market and the average rates offered by the major banks image

There is a widening gap between the most competitive deals in the market and the average rates offered by the major banks. Photo: Louie Douvis

Some smaller lenders have slashed advertised interest rates on new owner-occupier mortgages by twice as much as the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The central bank cut official interest rates by 0.5 percentage points to 2 per cent over the past year to stimulate the economy. Several lenders have cut their most competitive advertised home loan interest rates for new borrowers by significantly more than this, figures from interest rate comparison website Mozo show.

The cuts have been prompted by fierce competition in mortgages, the biggest source of credit growth for banks.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens image

RBA governor Glenn Stevens expects some borrowers who have called themselves investors will become owner-occupiers. Photo: Louie Douvis

The most competitive rate offered by small lenders Credit Union SA and Community First Credit Union-owned Easy Street had fallen by more than 1 percentage point in the last year, with both offering loans at 3.99 per cent, while online bank ING Direct was also offering rates of 3.99 per cent, Mozo said.

The best home loan rate offered by National Australia Bank had also fallen 0.93 percentage points to 4.15 per cent in the past year, while Westpac’s rate had fallen 0.89 percentage points to 5.08 per cent, Mozo said.

“Margins are healthy right now, funding costs are fairly moderate, and the smaller lenders are taking advantage of the traditional spring property market to try to ramp up their loan books,” Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said.

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Competition is pushing down interest rates offered to new owner-occupiers. Photo: James Davies

Mozo’s figures are based on the best rates available to an owner-occupier taking out a new loan who has a 20 per cent deposit and is borrowing $300,000 over 25 years.

Rate cuts of this size have not necessarily been passed on to existing borrowers as banks’ specials are typically available to customers taking out a new loan or refinancing.

Ms Lamont also said there was a widening gap between the most competitive deals in the market and the average rates offered by the major banks.

Mozo data shows the average home loan interest rate offered by the big four bank is 4.86 per cent, which is 1.02 percentage points higher than the cheapest rate in the market, from iMortgage, owned by non-bank lender Homeloans.

Banks are targeting owner-occupiers because the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority wants lenders to slow their growth in the housing investor loan market to less than 10 per cent from the present 10.8 per cent.

In another sign of the competition for owner-occupiers, NAB last week said it would offer new borrowers in this segment enough frequent flyer points for two return flights to London.

The focus on owner-occupiers comes after most major lenders have raised interest rates for housing investors by 0.27 percentage points, opening up a two-tier interest rate market where investors pay more for debt.

Since these hikes were announced in July, thousands of customers had contacted their banks to update records so their loan was classified as an owner-occupied loan.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens on Friday said this trend would continue.

“I predict we will now see a number of people who used to call themselves investors are going to call themselves owner-occupiers because the relative pricing has changed. That will lead to some interesting dynamics, I suspect, over the next year,” Mr Stevens said.


Henry Sapiecha

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Posted by Henry | BANKRUPTCY,BANKS,GETTING OUT OF DEBT,HOME LOANS,MINING TOWNS | Thursday 27 August 2015 2:19 am

Mining regions are experiencing higher rates of mortgage arrears, Fitch Ratings says image

Mining regions are experiencing higher rates of mortgage arrears, Fitch Ratings says. Photo: Manfred Gottschalk

Job cuts in the resources sector are causing more households in mining regions to fall behind on their home loans, highlighting the risk to banks from the commodities slump.

Mortgage arrears rates are rising in mining regions across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Fitch Ratings said, due to deep costing cutting by miners.

At the same time, the house price boom in Sydney has dragged down the share of borrowers falling behind in suburbs in the city’s west and southwest – areas that have historically had among the highest loan delinquency rates in the country.

Mackay in central Queensland, a hub for the struggling coal industry, became the region with the highest share of loans by value that were more than 30 days in arrears, at 2.01 per cent.

This occurred after the region, which includes the Hay Point coal terminals, posted the sharpest deterioration in arrears in the six months to March, with a lift of 0.59 percentage points.

Regional Western Australia, which includes mining hubs such as Broome and Kalgoorlie, was the second-worst performing region, with an arrears rate of 1.88 per cent.

Fitch said mining-heavy areas of the Northern Territory were also affected by the trend.

“The slowdown and job cuts in the mining industry have hit non-metropolitan regions in the outback of Western Australia, in Northern Territory, and in the north and outback of Queensland,” the report said.

Despite more loans in mining areas falling into arrears, Fitch analyst James Zanesi said there had previously been higher arrears rates of 2.5 per cent to 2.6 per cent in other areas, such as Fairfield and Liverpool in Sydney or the Gold Coast after the global financial crisis.

“It’s the worst performing region, but in the past we’ve had worst performing regions with a higher delinquency rate,” Mr Zanesi said.

The best performing areas, in contrast, were the inner suburbs of Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The report also said there had been a “remarkable” improvement in performance in outer west Sydney, Fairfield and Liverpool, and the central coast of NSW, which had been among the worst performing regions in the past decade.

The 30-day arrears rate had fallen from 1.92 per cent to 1.19 per cent in Fairfield-Liverpool in the year to March. While this is still higher than average, the improvement is significant.

Mr Zanesi said one reason for this change was Sydney’s booming housing market, which allows banks to sell houses with mortgages in default more quickly, moving them off their books. Borrowers in difficulty are also more likely to sell their house before defaulting when prices are rising.

“If you have a booming housing market you actually have an opportunity to sell the property before financial difficulties materialise,” he said.

Henry Sapiecha
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ASIC catches out banks on interest-only home loans

Posted by Henry | ASIC,BANKS,INTEREST RATES | Thursday 20 August 2015 9:52 am

ASIC has uncovered flaws in banks' interest-only home lending image

ASIC has uncovered flaws in banks’ interest-only home lending. Photo: Sasha Wooley

Banks and other lenders have been put on notice by the corporate watchdog after it found significant flaws in credit standards in the booming interest-only mortgage market.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission sent banks a blunt message to lift their game on Thursday, as it released a critical review into how 11 lenders, including the big four, were assessing customers for interest-only mortgages.

Interest-only loans account for $479 billion in mortgages, 37 per cent of home loans held by banks, building societies and credit unions, and have been growing rapidly.

In findings it described as “troubling,” ASIC identified instances where lenders’ practices may be putting customers at risk, in turn falling short of responsible lending obligations.

A review of 140 customer files found that in 40 per cent of cases, lenders wrongly calculated how much time borrowers had to repay the principal when the interest-only period of the loan ended, assuming they had more time than was actually the case.

In more than 30 per cent of files, there was no evidence the banks had properly considered whether an interest-only loan was appropriate for the borrower.

And in more than a fifth of cases, the lender had not properly assessed the borrower’s living expenses.ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell signalled the regulator’s concerns were broad-based.

“It’s not a case where we found there were just two or three bad apples so to speak, this is a message to the entire industry. Lift your game when it comes to responsible lending around interest-only loans,” Mr Kell said.

Major banks backed the regulator’s calls, with Westpac saying it was working to address ASIC’s recommendations.

An ANZ spokeswoman said the report provided “appropriate recommendations to all key participants in the industry which will ensure interest-only home lending practices remain consistent with responsible lending obligations of all Australian credit licence holders.”

A National Australia Bank spokeswoman said the bank was “supportive of ASIC’s recommendations and any moves to further strengthen lending practices in the industry.” CBA said it “constantly” reviewed lending standards to ensure they were prudent.

Demand for interest-only home loans has jumped by 80 per cent since 2012, and interest-only loans accounted for a near-record 42 per cent of all home loan approvals in the March quarter.

While they are most popular with investors, who can claim a tax break on interest payments, owner-occupiers accounted for 41 per cent of interest-only loan approvals in December last year.

Mr Kell said delinquency rates on interest-only loans were low, but ASIC had acted to review the sector “before significant problems emerge.”

Penalties for breaking responsible lending laws can be up to $1.7 million per breach, and ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said ASIC would consider individual action against lenders over the issue.

“We can do this the hard way, or we can do this the easy way,” he said.

“We’ve gone out and we are disclosing these results today, we will look at taking some action, investigation and enforcement, and most importantly we will be back,” Mr Medcraft said.

ASIC plans to revisit the issue in the second half of 2016.

The report said a “high” proportion of interest-only home loans were written by mortgage brokers, some of whom may have an incentive to write interest-only loans because it could lead to a larger trailing commission payment.

CLSA banking analyst Brian Johnson said the report was a further sign credit standards were not as high as banks had previously said.

While stressing ASIC’s report should not be overplayed, he said it also raised the risk that contracts were not enforceable if a lender had not followed responsible lending obligations

Henry Sapiecha
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Westpac caps LVRs on investor mortgages at 80pc on loans

Posted by Henry | BANKS,HOME LOANS | Wednesday 8 July 2015 8:19 am


Westpac and the other major banks are taking action to curb investor lending. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Australia’s biggest lender to landlords, Westpac, will require new property investors to have a deposit of at least 20 per cent, as banks escalate their attempts to dampen the booming growth in borrowing by housing investors.

Westpac will from Wednesday cap loan-to-valuation ratios (LVRs) for new property investor loans at 80 per cent, the toughest limit imposed by a major bank so far.

ANZ Bank is also introducing a 90 per cent cap on LVRs for investor loans as well, which will take effect on Wednesday as well.

National Australia Bank last month capped investor home loan LVRs at 90 per cent, while the Commonwealth Bank has said it will not take the tax breaks borrowers receive from negative gearing into account when LVRs on investor loans exceed 90 per cent.

Westpac’s change is the latest step by a bank to slow in growth in housing investor credit – which expanded at 10.4 per cent in May – in response to the banking regulator’s 10 per cent a year speed limit in this part of the market.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority announced the cap in December but official measures of investor credit growth have failed to slow in the first few months of the year, prompting the regulator to up the pressure on lenders.

A Westpac spokeswoman confirmed the introduction of an 80 per cent LVR cap for investor loans and pointed to APRA’s cap.

“As mentioned earlier this year, we are making appropriate changes to ensure we are in line with a 10 per cent benchmark set by APRA for investment property loan growth,” she said.

ANZ’s note to brokers, sent on Monday said: “The housing market is experiencing strong growth across investor lending. In light of these conditions and recent regulator guidelines, ANZ is adjusting its appetite for investor loans and reviewing our serviceability standards.”

Previously, Westpac had allowed housing investors to borrow up to 95 per cent of a property’s value.

The note to brokers said that if borrowers were able to provide two or more properties for security, and one is owner-occupied, these customers may still be able to borrow more than 80 per cent of a property’s value.

A mortgage broker in Sydney, Andrew Woods, said this would make it tougher for people with fewer assets – including first home buyer investors – to enter the market as investors.

“If you’re already rich, with a valuable owner-occupied home, you are going to be fine,” Mr Woods said.

“It’s going to knock out the small-time investors who may be trying to buy their first investment property.”

Westpac’s $150.9 billion investor home loan portfolio is the largest in the country, according to latest statistics from APRA.

In the year to May, Westpac, ANZ and NAB all expanded at a quicker pace than the regulator’s 10 per cent a year speed limit but the banks have vowed to slow down over the coming months.

The banks’ more recent focus on LVRs comes after various other changes from banks in May and June, which included cutting interest rate discounts for investors and a toughening in underwriting standards.

In a sign some of these changes may be having an effect, two of the countries biggest mortgage brokers, Mortgage Choice and AFG, both this week reported a significant decline in the proportion of new loans going to property investors.

Regulators are especially concerned about Sydney’s housing market, where the share of loans going to investors is at record highs and prices rose 16.2 per cent in the year to June 30, according to CoreLogic RPData.

AFG managing director Brett McKeon said that if the recent decline in new lending to property investors continued, it “should help allay concerns about overheating in Sydney.”

Some economists believe the Reserve Bank may be more inclined to make further cuts in official interest rates as measures to rein the borrowing by investor borrowers take effect.

After leaving the cash rate on hold at a record low of 2 per cent on Tuesday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said the central banks was “working with other regulators to assess and contain risks that may arise from the housing market”.


Henry Sapiecha

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Lenders ‘conservative’ with low-deposit loans on investment homes

Posted by Henry | BANKS,HOME LOANS,INTEREST RATES,INVESTMENTS | Monday 1 June 2015 10:19 am

suburban house roofs image

Banks are considering tighter rules on deposits as they try to slow housing investor credit growth.

Banks are offering fewer low-deposit home loans, another sign of tightening credit standards in the mortgage market.

Figures from comparison website RateCity show the share of home loans in its database with a maximum loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR) of 95 per cent has edged down from 72 per cent to 71 per cent in recent months.

It comes as banks consider tighter LVRs as another response to the financial regulator’s demand that housing investor credit growth slows to no more than 10 per cent.

“At the same time as it is becoming cheaper to borrow, there are fewer loans available to buyers with a small deposit,” RateCity spokeswoman Laine Lister said.

Repeat of 2008

Otto Dargan, managing director of mortgage broker, said that while many lenders’ products still allowed LVRs of up to 95 per cent, in reality they were being “conservative” in assessing applications.

“This is a repeat of what we saw in 2008, when the banks backed away from 90 per cent and 95 per cent loans,” Mr Dargan said.

Commonwealth Bank subsidiary Bankwest introduced a maximum LVR of 80 per cent for housing investor loans in May, and Mr Dargan said more lenders were likely to change their policies in this area.

“This is just the beginning, when one bank changes their policy, then investors and mortgage brokers flock to the ones that are still open for business,” he said.

Imposing tighter rules on deposits has been a key response to overheating housing markets overseas, notably New Zealand, which is requiring investors in Auckland residential property to produce a 30 per cent deposit.

Steady decline

RateCity’s figures only indicate the products banks are offering to customers, not actual their lending behaviour, but there has also been a steady decline in the share of home loans going to borrowers with small deposits in recent quarters.

The share of loan approvals with LVRs of 90 per cent or higher fell to its lowest level since December 2010 in the March quarter, official figures showed last week.

Banking sources said tighter LVR rules was one of several “levers” being  considered by lenders if housing investor credit growth does not slow to under the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s 10 per cent cap.

The Reserve Bank has been reluctant to clamp down on LVRs because it argues this would make it even more difficult for first home buyers to enter the market.

So far, few Australian banks have introduced LVR caps, with all of the big four lenders instead cutting interest rate discounts for property investors.


Henry Sapiecha

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Owner-occupiers may get cheaper loans than investors due to APRA cap

Posted by Henry | HOME LOANS,INTEREST RATES | Tuesday 19 May 2015 8:22 am

home balancing on green $100 bank notes images

Home owners paying off a mortgage on the house they live in are on the way to becoming the new prime customer for the nation’s banks.

Facing new rules on lending to investors, banks are set to fight hard for borrowers who intend to live in the home they are borrowing against and that could mean bigger interest rate discounts for these customers.

Just this month a wholesale lender owned by National Australia Bank introduced larger discounts for new owner-occupier borrowers than new investors.

“We’ve got a bigger discount for owner-occupied lending than we have for investor lending,” said National Australia Bank’s executive general manager of growth partnerships, Anthony Waldron.

“It’s a direct response to us having a higher appetite for owner-occupied lending.”

NAB's Anthony Waldron image

NAB’s Anthony Waldron says the bank has ‘a higher appetite’ for owner-occupied lending. Photo: Daniel Munoz

The reason is that the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which maintains the safety of the banking system, is demanding that banks slow investor credit growth to less than 10 per cent a year, meaning banks must compete for other customers.

Mr Waldron said the bank’s wholesale white label lending business, Advantedge, which sells loans through brokers under different brand names had this month introduced changes that meant new owner-occupier borrowers received deeper interest rate discounts than investors.

Advantedge​ is offering owner-occupiers a discount that is about 15 basis point larger than the discount given to housing investors, he said. The change does not apply to NAB-branded loans, but it could be a sign of things to come.

Mr Waldron said each bank would respond to APRA’s 10 per cent growth cap differently, but the “differentiated pricing” approach may become more common, as banks seek to expand in home lending while still complying with APRA’s cap.

“Within a 10 per cent cap, I think you will see that play out more and more over the next few months, as we see people really try to grow their owner-occupied books and operate within the guidelines as set out by the regulator,” he said.

It follows Westpac’s comment earlier this month that it would apply tougher tests to new property investor borrowers when assessing how they would cope with higher interest rates.

better risk cartoon image

The focus on investor lending comes amid signs the Reserve Bank of Australia is torn between cutting interest rates again to push the local currency down and further stimulate investment and holding them to prevent over-indebtedness in Australian households, according to one senior board member.

Deputy governor Philip Lowe told an investment conference in Sydney on Monday that it was not in Australia’s long-term interests to “engineer” a debt-fuelled consumption boom through a low cash rate.

“This is especially so when debt levels are already high and prospects for future income growth are not as positive as they once were,” he told a gathering of chief financial officers.

The comments come on the back of fears from ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft about property bubbles in Sydney and Melbourne.

At the same time, however, monetary easing around the world had stymied to some degree attempts by the RBA to lower the value of the Australian dollar to accommodate the economic transition away from resources-related investment.


Henry Sapiecha

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Posted by Henry | INTEREST RATES | Tuesday 5 May 2015 10:57 am

Reserve Bank of australia wall sign image

THE Reserve Bank has cut the official interest rate by 25 basis points to 2% as predicted by economists.

The cut could save a borrower with a $300,000 mortgage around $47 per month in repayments if it is passed on in full by the banks.

At its monthly meeting today, the Board lowered the rate to the historic low, sighting Australia’s ‘falling trade terms’ as one of the reasons.

“The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, but commodity prices have declined over the past year, in some cases sharply,” a statement released by the RBA read.

“These trends appear largely to reflect increased supply, including from Australia. Australia’s terms of trade are falling nonetheless”.

“The Federal Reserve is expected to start increasing its policy rate later this year, but some other major central banks are stepping up the pace of unconventional policy measures. Hence, financial conditions remain very accommodative globally, with long-term borrowing rates for sovereigns and creditworthy private borrowers remarkably low.”

The Australian dollar initially dipped following the RBA’s decision but has since bounced back.

The cut is effective as at May 6, 2015.

CoreLogic RP Data head of research, Tim Lawless says the RBA is in a tough position, trying to stimulate economic growth without adding more fuel to the housing market demand.

“The Sydney and Melbourne housing markets are already responding to lower mortgage rates; since the previous interest rate cut in February,” said Mr Lawless

“CoreLogic RP Data have reported auction clearance rates moving to new record highs and the annual trend in capital gains has rebounded higher after moderating over most of 2014.

“The RBA are clearly prepared to look through the strong housing market results, as they should be well aware that the high rate of capital growth is evident only in Sydney where dwelling values are up 14.5% over the past twelve months and Melbourne where values have moved 6.9% higher.

“Every other capital city is recording annual growth in dwelling values of less than 2.5%.

“With mortgage rates now moving even lower we are expecting dwelling values will continue rising, however it is hard to imagine the high rate of capital gain in Sydney won’t start to moderate over the coming months as investor demand is curbed by tougher lending standards for investment loans and also by diminishing rental yields and affordability.

“Potentially we may start to see stronger housing market conditions in cities like Brisbane and Adelaide where capital gains have been relatively muted over the past two cycles of growth.”


YOUR home loan repayments could be just a touch cheaper after today with the Reserve Bank of Australia expected to cut rates when the board meets later today.

It would be the second time this year the RBA has cut rates.

That February reduction was the first time in 18 months that the RBA felt compelled to tinker with the figures.

If it is cut, those paying off an average mortgage of $300,000 over 25 years would save less than $50 a month.

Financial news network Bloomberg found 23 economists out of 27 were predicting interest rates to tumble another 25 basis points or a quarter of one percent, bringing the rate to an all-time low of 2%.

To put this number into context, when the cash rate was first established in 1990, it sat at 17%.

It gradually fell throughout the 1990s and into the noughties, with a few exceptions, reaching a record low of 3.5% in late 2009 as the Global Financial Crisis began to bite into Australian industry.

The rate briefly recovered, but returned to 3.5% in October 2012 and has been gradually falling since.


Henry Sapiecha


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Posted by Henry | Uncategorized | Monday 4 May 2015 1:59 pm

Property investors face tougher loans

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer says the bank will also tighten its lending to foreign investors in real estate.

4:05pm | Westpac will apply tougher tests to new property investor borrowers when assessing how they would cope with higher interest rates.

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