Australian banks lead digital global race

AUSTRALIAN banks are outperforming their peers in North America and Europe as the transition to digital services rolls out but a new report has found there is still more work to do. The top 10 banks, including Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, National Australia Bank, Westpac and one mutual bank, are offering retail customers a wider range of account products online compared to their international counterparts, according to a new report by software developer for the banking industry Avoka. Avoka’s second annual […]

The Commonwealth Bank reduces the maximum loan-to-value ratios from 95 to 90 per cent

AUSTRALIAN property investors are set to be hit again as the nation’s largest bank tightens the screws on investment lending. Investors will be forced to stump up larger deposits to buy property after the Commonwealth Bank revealed it would reducing the maximum loan-to-value ratios from 95 to 90 per cent. This means borrowers must have a 10 per cent deposit instead of five per cent which was previously allowed to buy an investment property. This means for a $300,000 property […]

The 10 words that may signal a gathering storm for housing investors in Australia

“Supervisory measures have contributed to some strengthening of lending standards.” This 10-word sentence from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Australia’s housing market in its March monetary policy statement could signal something important. It seems to be a step back from the more confident tone expressed just one month earlier when it said “supervisory measures have strengthened lending standards and some lenders are taking a more cautious attitude to lending in certain segments”. “Some” strengthening. Like many of our […]

RBA leaves cash rate on hold in March

THE Reserve Bank has left the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent for the sixth meeting in a row. The RBA was widely expected to keep rates steady at its March meeting after the national accounts released last week showed a marked turnaround in economic growth. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe last month spoke three times about keeping rates on hold to balance the need to boost inflation while maintaining financial stability amid record household debt. Real […]

CBA: Victoria’s tax on vacant homes may be a blueprint for other cities in Australia

Following in the footsteps of policymakers in Vancouver, the Victorian government announced yesterday that it will introduce a 1% “Vacant Residential Property Tax” from January 1 next year, designed to raise revenue from investors who choose not to occupy or rent out a vacant dwelling. It will be based on the improved value of a taxable property, and will target homes around the inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne. For an investor with a vacant property worth $500,000, the tax […]