Auction results from Saturday 3 August. Auction clearance rates continue to indicate a strengthening property market with CoreLogic reporting that 68.3 per cent of 1100 residential property auctions held across Australia on Saturday 3 August produced a sale. In Melbourne, 500 auctions produced a clearance rate of 74 per cent. In Sydney, 381 auctions produced a clearance rate of 75 per cent. Brisbane’s 84 auctions produced a 55 per cent clearance rate. Adelaide had 74 auctions on 3 August with a clearance rate of 36 per cent. Home prices rebound, but not everywhere. Residential property prices rose 0.1 per cent across five of Australia’s capital cities in June according to the latest CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index. Home prices rose in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by 0.2 per cent. Darwin prices were up 0.4 per cent and Hobart home prices rose 0.3 per cent. In Perth, home values fell by 0.5 per cent. Adelaide home prices slipped 0.3 per cent and Canberra prices went down 0.3 per cent. Nationally, dwelling values are down 8.3 per cent from the peak in prices. Martin North from CoreLogic said prices could continue to fall in outer metropolitan areas. Are you a card collector? The number of credit cards on issue in Australia has fallen from 16.7 million to 15.8 million according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. Many Australians are finding alternatives to credit cards like Buy Now Pay Later services and Mastercard and Visa debit cards. But Australians who own a credit card have an average of about $2,000 debt on the card and credit card interest rates remain high, about 17 – 20 per cent p.a. in many cases. Many Australians have multiple credit cards accruing interest which can compound and create a problem debt. These people might be able to benefit from considering a debt consolidation loan. Great time to be a borrower Home loan rates have hit new historic lows in July after two 0.25 percentage point rate cuts from the Reserve Bank in the last two months. Vadim Taube, Chief Executive Officer of InfoChoice said now is a great time to be a borrower. “Never before have we seen home loan rates this low,” said Mr Taube. “The property market is showing early signs of recovery, regulators have eased home loan serviceability guidelines and lenders are cutting rates. “The fees involved in refinancing have come down a lot in the last few years and lenders are actively competing for business,” said Mr Taube. “In short, and depending on your personal situation, conditions seem quite attractive for borrowers and home buyers right now. Compare home loans from Australia’s major banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders here. Home loan rates keep going lower. The Reserve Bank of Australia is not expected to change the current official interest rate setting of 1.0 per cent when the RBA board meets on Tuesday 6th August. However, retail home loan rates continue to come down. “There are now so many lenders offering variable headline home loan rates under four per cent, it really is the perfect time to borrow,” said Vadim Taube, Chief Executive Officer of InfoChoice. “And there is an increasing number of lenders going under three per cent, which is quite amazing.” The lowest advertised home loan rates currently listed by InfoChoice are 2.89 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 2.89 per cent p.a.**) from Reduce Home Loan’s Low Rider Variable loan and 2.79 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 4.17 per cent p.a.) from Greater Bank’s 12 month Fixed Home Loan. The highest Australian savings rates currently listed by InfoChoice? The Australian official inflation rate is now 1.6 per cent, meaning savers need to find a rate over 1.6 per cent if they want their money to retain its buying power. Right now, in July 2019, the highest at-call savings account rate listed by InfoChoice is 2.55 per cent p.a. max bonus rate (base rate 1.15 per cent) from RAMS Saver when you make at least $200 in deposits & no withdrawals in a month). The best term deposit rate on 12 month Term Deposits is 2.50 per cent p.a. from Qudos Bank, when you deposit $10,000. Compare savings accounts from Australia’s major banks, credit unions and building societies here.