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RBA Interest Rate Decision – 6 August 2019

  At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.00 per cent.   After two months of consecutive rate cuts, the RBA Board has left the cash rate unchanged, as it waits to see the economic impact of previous rate cuts. Here are some of Philip Lowe's commentary surrounding the decision: Economic growth in Australia over the first half of this year has been lower than earlier expected, with household consumption weighed down by a protracted period of … [Read more...]

The Downside to Interest Rate Cuts. Have you fallen for this trap too?

Falling interest rates mean it's likely you're now paying less interest and your monthly home loan repayments have dropped. This is good news for home buyers and home owners, right? Absolutely!   So how can there be a downside to lower rates if it means you're saving money? We're not going to talk about the long term economic effects of low interest rates - perhaps that's a discussion for another day. But what we want to talk about is a sense of complacency we see in … [Read more...]

July 2019: Housing Affordability at an all time high

What is 'Housing Affordability'? Housing affordability refers to the relationship between expenditure on housing and household income. And according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Affordability Index, right now housing affordability is the best it’s been in 20 years. The HIA Affordability Index takes into account the latest dwelling prices, mortgage interest rates and wage developments. Which means that despite the fact that house prices have risen significantly faster than … [Read more...]

How have the lenders responded to the RBA July 19 cash rate cut?

Just when you thought you knew what interest rate you were paying on your loan, the goal posts have moved again! It’s good news though, with another round of rate cuts announced by the lenders. This is what we know so far… CBA rate changes (effective 16 July): - Rates on variable loans (OO and Investment) with P&I repayments will drop by 0.19. - Rates on variable loans (OO and Investment) with IO repayments will drop by 0.20 NAB rate changes (effective 12 July for existing … [Read more...]

RBA Interest Rate Decision – July 2019

    The RBA has cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points to a new record low of 1%.  So, why has the RBA cut the cash rate again, after cutting the cash rate to the previously historic low of 1.25% on June 4?    RBA Governer Phillip Lowe says this second rate cut was made to support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target. Lowe's additional comments below re-iterate those made by the RBA post the … [Read more...]

What is a ‘Family Guarantee Loan’ or ‘Limited Security Guarantee’ loan?

What is a Family Guarantee or Limited Security Guarantee Loan? A Family Guarantee Loan is where a family member - usually your parent(s) - use equity in their property to help you purchase your new home. A Family Guarantee Loan allows you to buy property - without needing a large cash deposit saved. In some cases, you don’t really need much in savings at all. A Family Guarantee Loan also allows you to avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance,  because your total borrowings are less than … [Read more...]

First Home Buyer ACT Stamp Duty Concessions from 1 July 2019

As of 1 July, if you’re a first home owner purchasing in the ACT, the first home owners grant of 7K will no longer be available. However, the good news is that as a first home buyer with a household annual income of less than $160,000,* providing you satisfy eligibility criteria, you will not be required to pay any stamp duty (or ‘conveyance duty’ as it’s referred to by the ACT Government) on your purchase. Up until now, first home buyer stamp duty concessions have been offered on new … [Read more...]

Planning for your ‘Off-Plan’ purchase

Whether you're buying a property as your first home or purchasing an investment property, purchasing off-plan is a common way to achieve both these objectives. Over the years, we've assisted many clients purchase off-plan properties and have published posts about this buying strategy here and also here. However, due to changes in the lending environment - and some recent instances where clients have experienced difficulty obtaining finance for their off-plan purchase - we wanted to revisit … [Read more...]

RBA Interest Rate Decision – June 2019

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent. Here are some extracts from Phillip Lowe's comments following the rate decision.  At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent. The Board took this decision to support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target. The outlook for the global economy remains reasonable, … [Read more...]

Fixed Rate loan Break Costs

So, you’re thinking of refinancing to another lender to take advantage of some attractive interest rates you’ve seen around. The thing is, you have a fixed rate loan. And as a borrower with a fixed rate loan, you already know that your fixed rate loan essentially locks you into an agreed interest rate and specific repayment for a set period of time “the fixed term”.  And that if you refinance this fixed rate loan, it’s likely you’ll incur ‘break costs.’ So what exactly is a break … [Read more...]

Will the RBA cut the cash rate in June? (Published 29 May 2019)

31 consecutive meetings. That's how long the RBA has kept the record low official cash rate at 1.5%. All the way back to August 2016. Will this streak remain uninterrupted? Or are we heading towards a change? Speculation has hit overdrive that the RBA will make a rate cut when it meets next week. Here we examine the main reasons we may see a cut to the official cash rate and what a rate cut could mean for you and your home loan.   Inflation reasons Australian Bureau of … [Read more...]

Will the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme actually help first home buyers?

It often take years for the average household to save 20% deposit for their first home to avoid paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI). As a way to help first home buyers get into the market, the government has announced a new scheme which promises to drastically reduce that time by lowering the deposit required to just 5%. We've been fielding lots of questions about this new scheme - like the ones below - so thought it would be helpful to share our responses here.   Can this … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Make Moving House Less Stressful

Fridges that don't fit through doorways, precariously narrow hallways and third floor apartments are just some of the things that can make moving house a nightmare.   Congratulations! You've just secured your dream home. Now the fun begins - moving time! Here are our top five tips to guarantee less mess, less stress, and ultimately, more moving success.   Make a moving list/ budget A moving budget doesn’t just help manage the cost of moving, it can also act as a checklist … [Read more...]

5 Common Credit Card Traps

Let face it, most of us like to spend money. Science shows us that often when we go shopping our bodies start producing greater amounts of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Credit card providers know this all too well and have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to encourage us to load up that credit card. Here are some of their most common traps.   1. Points and bonuses Sometimes people end up spending a lot more on their credit cards than they would otherwise, simply … [Read more...]

What the 2019 federal budget means for your family’s finances

Despite the 2019-20 budget being a series of election promises rather than a set-in-stone budget, here's how it could affect your family's monthly budget. Middle-income tax relief Middle-income workers earning between $48,001 and $90,000 could receive immediate tax savings of up to $1,080 for a single or $2,160 for a dual-income family as early as July 1. Workers who earn $90,001 to $126,000 don't miss out on the action, either. However the more you earn over $90,000 the less you'll … [Read more...]

Building a House? Here’s what you need to look for in the build contract.

Congratulations! You’re thinking about building a house! Building the house of your dreams is a very exciting time, but it can also be extremely stressful. There are so many details to get your head around and about 1,000 ways you can get yourself into financial trouble (or end up with a home you don’t want). We’ve helped countless clients finance the home of their dreams and whilst you’re probably some way off reviewing building contracts, here’s a few things we suggest you keep in mind … [Read more...]

MMO in the Media: Canberra Weekly Edition 14 March 2019

Thanks to the Canberra Weekly team for sharing our story.   You can read the full article here.    … [Read more...]

Comprehensive Credit Reporting: What is it?

Many of us pay our bills on time to avoid late fees and a bad credit rating. But there's been a big change recently which means you can now be rewarded for making timely repayments. Towards the end of 2018, ANZ, NAB, Westpac and CBA all agreed to commence Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR). It's something that has been around since the middle of last year, but has taken a while for the larger lenders to get onboard. CCR is seen as a more “positive” reporting system than the … [Read more...]

MMO in the Media: Canberra CityNews 7 March 2019

Thanks to the team at City News for featuring our story.   You can read the full article here.      … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Improve your Home Without Increasing Loan Repayments

Not ready to upgrade your home, but keen to give it a bit of a makeover? Or maybe you’re thinking of upgrading later this year and keen to do a few things now that could help to make your house more saleable come Spring time. Here are five easy ways to improve the look and feel of your home, without increasing your loan repayments.   1. Gardening and landscaping It's time to get those hands dirty. One of the fastest ways to instantly increase the 'wow' factor of your … [Read more...]

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