More talk of interest rate cuts as GDP disappoints
The newly released data that shows a lower-the-expected growth of Australia’s economy could spell good news for those with home loans. Economists were already talking about the prospect of the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting interest rates as its next move rather than raising them, and these latest figures are intensifying that speculation. A cut of 0.25 per cent early in the New Year would make a small but welcome difference to your home loan repayments and would also add more optimism to the market. Of course the downside could be increased investor interest in the residential property market which would have the likely effect of pushing prices up again just as they are beginning to slowdown; not great news for first time buyers in particular.
Do property auctions cause you sleepless nights?
Homebuyers find auctions such a stressful experience that they have sleepless nights. A new survey by St George bank has been finding out how people view the auction process and it seems that we’re not that confident when it comes to bidding. More than half of those surveyed said that they are not sure how to bid and many felt that they had lost out on a dream home because of it. Buying (almost certainly) your most expensive purchase is always going to boost the adrenaline and can be an anxious time, but the report shows the importance of knowing how auctions work and knowing what to expect. While there may be simplified processes and more clarity in information needed to help auctions because less scary, it can be useful doing some work in advance to prepare. Going to an auction at the start of your house-hunting, with no intention to bid but just to observe can be useful. Also, taking someone who has bought at auction before could be helpful if you trust that they know their stuff!
Aussies love the sun…to power our homes
There has been a rise in the number of Australian households choosing solar power. Lower and middle-income families are particularly keen to embrace the environmentally-friendly and, crucially, cost-effective way to power their homes. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 14 per cent of households have solar panels to generate electricity. This includes all households with solar electricity, with or without a solar hot water system. The use of solar electricity varies between the states and territories with nearly one in four households in South Australia, one in five in Queensland and one in six in Western Australia using solar electricity. Mains gas is used by 50 per cent of households with LPG/bottled gas used in 20 per cent.