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 […]

Melbourne suburbs where you can’t buy a house for under $1 million

House hunters who do not have a seven-figure budget have already been priced out of five Melbourne suburbs. And as house prices continue to climb, more home owners will come to grips with the idea that $1 million will not stretch far in this city. Big-ticketed suburbs such as Toorak and Hawthorn may have the most expensive houses, but it is the city’s smallest pockets with the highest entry prices. Last year, not a single a townhouse or house changed […]

RBA likely to leave interest rates on hold amid record household debt, as ASIC examines lending standards

Philip Lowe has some high-powered backing if he leaves interest rates on hold Tuesday as widely expected. Days after the Reserve Bank of Australia governor signalled that rate cuts weren’t in the national interest amid record household debt, the securities regulator said it was looking at mortgage lending standards across the banking sector. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development last week highlighted risks posed by Australian property and private debt. Sydney house prices have soared 73 per cent in […]

Commercial property sentiment hits record high

Sentiment about the commercial property market has gone up with National Australia Bank’s (NAB’s) Commercial Property Index rising five points to +21 in the fourth quarter of last year. These results come from NAB’s Commercial Property Survey Q4 2016 which surveyed 250 panelists and put the index at its highest point since the survey began in 2010. These improvements over the fourth quarter were due to big gains in CBD hotels (up 34 points to +88) and small gains in […]