A biennial PWC survey of analysts and fund managers shows an increase in their anxiety about rising interest rates, with the issue rising from 30th in concern in 2012 to 6th today. Australian banks appear exposed – around half of their lending is made to residential housing. Regulatory risk remains the top concern, followed by poor "sales and business practices" and the "pricing of risk.” The survey also shows banks are increasingly concerned about social media’s impact on reputation. Read the full story here.

Low income renters can’t find shelter.
Research surveyors from Anglicare Australia found found single Australians on government payments are "seriously disadvantaged" in the housing market, with less than 1 per cent of properties examined deemed suitable. Single people with no children living on the minimum wage were slightly better off, with 4 per cent of listed properties found suitable, according to the study. Canberra, for example, had 600 additional properties on the market compared with the same period last year, but no affordable and appropriate rental properties for eight of the 13 low-income categories. Families reliant on a government allowance and single-parent households on full-time minimum wages are priced completely out of the market. Less than one property in 200 is affordable for families with two minimum-wage incomes. The survey defined affordable rental as costing less than 30 per cent of a household's income. Read the full story here.

Dubbo debating housing diversity
Dubbo in New South Wales is amid a strident public debate about a controversial development plan – the South Dubbo Housing Choice Planning Proposal – to encourage a mixture of units, villas, townhouses and duplexes in a section of South Dubbo. The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REI) Orana division has consistently called for housing types to suit baby boomers and retirees but the planning proposal authored by the council also has fierce opposition from residents fighting rezoning. Read the full story here.

Study: Low-income Australia makes the most use of solar power
Lower-income families and regional communities are most likely to put solar systems on their roofs, according to a study produced by the REC Agents Association (RAA). The study released Tuesday, measuring the uptake of solar panels and hot water systems by postcode and income, found that almost all households of the top 10 solar suburbs in each Australian state and territory had a lower income than the state average. Solar installation of solar systems in the capital cities were typically characterised by postcodes in the outer metropolitan mortgage belt, with an inverse relationship between average incomes and solar penetration levels. Read the full story here.

Banks take a hiding as stock tide turns
 The ASX continued its downward trend yesterday taking the big lenders’ stock prices with it.  With some stock analysts  predicting that the only direction for the big banks is down, NAB and Westpac both fell 1.3%, ANZ dropped 1% and Commonwealth Bank fared the best, shedding 0.6%. Both NAB and Westpac received stock buying downgrades by Citibank, with Morgan Stanley predicting a high likelihood that NAB has further value downgrades to come. Read more here

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