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The ‘F’ word. Don’t let finance and housing affordability get you down

You can’t seem to move these days without hearing about housing affordability. The media has us hyped up to believe that we’ll never get to own property because it’s being constantly priced out of reach… or is it? When you scratch beneath the surface, it’s not as simple as you’d think. I listened to a fantastic podcast recently, in which finance ex...
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Online tool to help users find the right financial advice

A new online toolkit developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s MoneySmart will enable Australians to better understand and navigate the financial advice process. ASIC’s MoneySmart Financial Advice Toolkit is a free educational tool that breaks down the complexity within the financial advice process. It will assist consumer...
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Fixed rates could be on the way up

Australia’s lenders will soon start raising their interest rates – that’s what Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell believes. “There is growing speculation that the United States’ Federal Reserve will lift the official cash rate at its next board meeting on December 14,” he says. “Furthermore, other central banks from across the glo...
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If the ‘bond market rout’ continues it could affect home prices

By Christine Brown , Monash University For the past three decades the yields on long-term bonds have been on a downward trend. This has dramatically reversed since the election of Donald Trump, with more than a trillion dollars wiped off the global bond market in the past week and a half. But it’s not just investors that are affected by this specta...
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Changes to the pension asset test could affect housing market

By  Warren McKeown , University of Melbourne On January 1, 2017, the age pension will undergo significant changes . Changes to the assets test, which determine who can receive a pension and how much, could see 166,000 pensioners receive an increase in their entitlements . But many people will also have their pensions reduced and others will become ...
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Further falls predicted as latest figures released

These were always going to be interesting times for building and construction in Australia, now the resources boom has passed and residential building has peaked. The release of the latest industry forecasts by the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) illuminate a turbulent next 10 years as the Australian economy recalibrates from a once-i...
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New APRA guidance on lending will hurt homeowners when it should be the banks

Pat McConnell , Macquarie University The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has moved away from its non-prescriptive “principles based” regulatory approach to a one size fits all explicit guidance but it doesn’t appear to be encouraging lenders to be more prudent. The housing market may be getting away from APRA and the Reserve Bank ...
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Asian home buyers less likely to default on their mortgage: study

Reza Tajaddini , Swinburne University of Technology and Hassan F. Gholipour , Swinburne University of Technology People from cultural backgrounds where getting financial assistance from families is the norm are less likely to default on their mortgages, new research shows. This includes those from South East Asian countries. We also found in societ...
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Investor borrowing shows resilience

Despite tighter lending rules intended to cool the property market, new data reveals that borrowing by real estate investors declined by only two per cent last quarter. Investors might also expect the cash rate to drop further, with data revealing that fewer borrowers have fixed their home loan rates compared with the previous quarter. The findings...
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‘Let them eat avocado toast’: Sydney/ Melbourne FHBs will never save a deposit

With debate raging over whether millennials should give up their cafe brunches and start saving their pennies, new analysis by Mozo.com.au has revealed that first homebuyers saving 10 per cent of their income each month will never save enough for a deposit in Sydney or Melbourne. The comparison website says that if median house prices continue to g...
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Banks make millions in delaying interest rate cuts

By  Abbas Valadkhani , Swinburne University of Technology When Australia’s central bank moves interest rates as part of its monetary policy, it’s not just politicians who stand to lose if banks don’t follow suit. Retail lending markets form an integral part of the monetary policy transmission mechanism. If interest rate rises are passed on at a dif...
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ASIC report suggests lenders showing more responsibility

  The home loans industry has improved its performance over the past 12 months, according to a review from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), adopting better “responsible lending” practices although there’s still room for improvement. ASIC has released its report ( which you can download here ) Review of interest-only home...
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Housing loans fall, but more buyers opt for fixed rates

  The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on housing finance highlight a sharper than expected fall in July 2016, though the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says it’s not as bad as it looks. “In contrast to the GDP result earlier in the week where the focus quickly turned to the dim spots below a glowing surface, let’s...
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Rate steady at 1.5 per cent

After two rate cuts this year, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has decided to hold the record low cash rate at 1.5 per cent. Tim Lawless, CoreLogic head of research, says the RBA is likely to be keeping a keen eye on the housing market; since the May rate cut and subsequent cut in August, many of the key housing market indicators have bounced h...
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Comparison rate ignorance holding borrowers back

There are concerns that low levels of financial literacy could be costing unsuspecting homebuyers, particularly when it comes to spotting hidden fees and charges on their home loan. A national mortgage survey, commissioned by member-owned financial services provider CUA, has revealed that the vast majority of homebuyers and those looking to refinan...
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You’ve got to haggle for best home loan deals

Mortgage holders in Australia are being far too complacent when it comes to approaching their lender for a cheaper home loan, new research by comparison website Finder.com.au shows. The national survey of 2033 participants found 65 per cent of Australian home loan customers have never asked for a better interest rate – but for those who did, it has...
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A-REITs not attracting high levels of investor interest

  Australian Real Estate Investment Trusts (A-REITs) have failed to attract the same level of investor interest as other asset classes, despite a run of outperformance that stands in stark contrast to recent negative returns from Australian and global shares. According to the latest Australian Listed Property Securities Sector Review, published by ...
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Why credit rating agencies’ economic advice shouldn’t be trusted

Imad Moosa , RMIT University The Australian government is using warnings from rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P), which placed Australia on a negative watch during the election , to make the case for passing budget measures. In reality, S&P (and the other two agencies in the credit rating industry) has no moral ...
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Economists react: RBA cuts rates to 1.5%

Jenni Henderson , The Conversation The Reserve Bank of Australia has lowered the cash rate to 1.5% in an effort to stimulate growth, boost inflation and encourage a fall in the Australian dollar. The cut of 25 basis points from 1.75% is the last decision from outgoing RBA Governor Glenn Stevens. In a statement on the rate decision he says: “Low int...
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RBA cuts cash rate to 1.5%

It was a close call as to which way it was going to go, but today the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to drop the cash rate from a record low 1.75 per cent to a new record low = 1.50 per cent. Governor Glenn Stevens said in his statement that recent data confirms that inflation remains quite low. “Supervisory measures have strengthened lend...
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