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Big bank makes rates prediction for 2015

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Westpac predicts interest rate will be cut in 2015… twice!
Any talk of interest rates being increased in the next 12 months seems to be ebbing away as a growing consensus of economists predicts that the RBA will cut rates instead. With yesterday’s GDP figures showing lower than expected growth and the Australian dollar staying higher than the ideal, Westpac has become the first big bank to adjust its forecast for next year. Chief economist Bill Evans is now predicting a rate cut in February and a second cut in March. Many other economists are also talking of rate cuts in two stages with a 2 per cent figure expected to be in place well before this time next year. A cut of half of one per cent would certainly be welcomed by those making home loan repayments although savers may be further encouraged to become property investors to increase their yields.
 
Victorian property auctions set to be close to record highs this weekend
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria is predicting near-record highs for the auctions this coming weekend. Last weekend there were 1,399 auctions achieving a clearance rate of 65 per cent; this weekend the figures are expected to rise to 1,660 auctions. Richmond, St Kilda and Port Melbourne are scheduled to have the highest number of auctions. The record number of auctions was set at the end of October when 1,682 properties were listed.
 
Footscray grows in popularity (and population!)
In the 2011 census Footscray had a population of 13,203; by 2031 it is predicted to have more than doubled to 30,000. With annual growth of more than 3 per cent the suburb, 5km west of Melbourne, is becoming increasingly popular with a young crowd attracted by a vibrant jobs market and restaurants, bars and retail outlets. It is also attracting lots of students and staff from Victoria University and the rental market is booming as a result. Apartment prices have seen growth of around 11 per cent every year since 1996 and rents have increased by up to 8 per cent in the last decade.
 
Sometimes, you just don’t want to move
When you find a home you love and if circumstances allow it, then maybe you decide not to move, but there won’t be many people who will chalk up as long in their home as one Sydney couple. Tom and Jean Cheatham moved into their semi-detached home in Sydney’s Spencer Road in 1938, renting for a while before buying it and the property next door for what is believed to have been around $3,000 for the pair. The Cheethams moved into a nursing home two months ago and their home is up for auction this weekend and expected to sell for $1.4 million. It may have been a long-term investment, but that’s still not a bad return!
 

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