Trending Financial News 29 July

Limit $100 notes says government taskforce

Australians are keeping wads of $100 and $50 notes hidden away and the government’s taskforce into the black economy doesn’t like it.

The ‘black economy’ is illegal business and crime including illegal drug sales and is estimated to be worth about 3 per cent or $50 billion of the total Australian economy according to the Treasury’s Final Report of the Black Economy Taskforce.

The Final Report recommended a $10,000 limit on cash payments and has released a draft law for discussion, with comments to close on 12 August 2019.

Believe it or not: Australia has a land shortage

The Housing Industry Association reports that demand for residential land is continuing to hit new record low levels because of the decline in demand for new homes.

HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said: “A shortage of land is one of the factors that have driven home prices to increase.”

However despite decreased demand, land prices have continued to rise.

“Nationally, the weighted median price increased by 0.9 per cent in the March 2019 quarter,” said Mr Reardon.

Auction clearance rates hit new highs

Melbourne’s auction market recorded its highest clearance rate, 74 per cent from 546 auctions held on Saturday 27 July, in almost two years according to CoreLogic.

In Sydney, 391 auctions produced a very high clearance rate of 78 per cent while in Brisbane 70 auctions were held on Saturday 27 July producing a clearance rate of 42 per cent.

Nationally CoreLogic reports an improving auction clearance rate of 71 per cent from 1115 residential property auctions this week, indicating an improving property market.

Commonwealth Bank gives cash to refinancers

Australia’s biggest lender, the Commonwealth Bank, has cut fixed rate home loan rates and is offering $2,000 cashback to borrowers who refinance and switch your home loan to us.” 

The $2,000 offer is available on loan amounts from $250,000 for refinancers that apply before 7 October 2019 and have their loan funded by 9 December 2019 (terms and conditions apply).

Commonwealth Bank’s new two-year fixed rate is 3.33 per cent (comparison rate 4.78 per cent) and the two-year package rate is 3.18 per cent (comparison rate 4.61 per cent).

Commonwealth Bank’s three-year fixed rate is now 3.43 per cent (comparison rate 4.68 per cent) and the three-year package rate is 3.28 per cent (comparison rate 4.54 per cent).

Three simple things Aussies want from their bank

There are three key expectations that Australians have for their bank or credit union according to DBM Consultant’s Consumer Atlas survey of over 60,000 Australians.

Australians want these three things consistently from their bank:

1) Can be trusted to do the right thing

2) Have competitive prices with no unnecessary fees

3) Offer convenient ways to connect, have good service and are efficient

Customer satisfaction ratings for the big four banks has risen in the last three months after falling to its lowest level in February 2019 according to DBM Research. Westpac has the highest customer satisfaction score among the big four banks with 7.4 out of 10.

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