Trending Financial News 6 August

Most borrowers are clueless about their loan rate

Three quarters of Australian borrowers don’t know their home loan interest rate according to new research released by UBank. That is still an improvement from 2018, when 86 per cent did not know what rate their lender was charging them on their mortgage.

The market leading variable and fixed home loans rates are now under three per cent, with many lenders offering comparison rates well under four per cent.

Compare great home loan products from Australia’s banks, credit unions, building societies and non-bank lenders at InfoChoice.

Bitcoin booming again

Bitcoin prices are up A$1224 in the last 24 hours and up $3600 over the last week. The price of one Bitcoin is now A$17,373, up 80 per cent on the price from 12 months ago.

To invest in crypto, you need to first select and download an online wallet. Crypto trading is increasing under scrutiny from the tax office so records should be kept. Australian crypto exchanges are regulated and comply with money laundering laws. The Aussie dollar is a common currency for buying and selling crypto, you can also use BPay and POLi to buy crypto in Australia.

You will need to provide ID and personal details to buy crypto in Australia.

What government schemes can help me buy a home?

Australia has many schemes to help first home buyers.

New South Wales has the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, Victoria offers a First Home Buyer Duty Exemption and a First Home Owners Grant for new homes outside of Melbourne.

Queensland has a first home owner grant and other states have similar schemes. The federal government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme lets first–timers save up their deposit within their super.

Good information and advice is important for first home buyers.

Does Australia need more rate cuts?

The Australian National University’s RBA Shadow Board is nine experienced and respected economists who comment on Reserve Bank interest rate settings.

The RBA Shadow Board is 68 per cent confident that the RBA should leave rates unchanged in August at 1.0 per cent.

Over the rest of 2019, the RBA Shadow Board says there is a 29 per cent probability the rate should remain at 1.0 per cent, a 33 per cent probability of more rate cuts and 38 per cent probability of rate increases.

ANU RBA Shadow Board member Dr Timo Henckel said low wage growth, low household consumption, falling business confidence and uncertainty in the global economy are all weighing on the RBA.

Is there a shortage of houses to buy?

27,848 properties were listed for sale in Australia during July, taking the total number of properties currently for sale to 207,883.

This is the lowest number of homes for sale in ten years according to CoreLogic. Newly advertised stock is 22 per cent down on a year ago and total stock for sale is 3.5 per cent down on last year.

CoreLogic says the low number of listings is due to winter and weak vendor sentiment.

“There is a strong chance listing numbers will rebound sharply [in Spring],” said CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher.

“The big question is whether buyer demand will rise.”

Qantas Amex giving away flights and points

Qantas American Express Ultimate credit card is currently giving away 55,000 bonus Qantas frequent Flyer points to approved online applicants who spend $3,000 on the new card within 3 months.

The card has a $450 annual fee and also offers $450 of Qantas Travel Credit each year (terms and conditions apply). The Qantas Amex Ultimate card has a purchase interest rate of 20.74 per cent pa with up to 44 days interest free and an ‘earn rate’ of 1.25 QFF points per dollar spent on eligible purchases.

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