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[pullquote-left]House prices across capital cities rose in the three months to June, but it is still cheaper for most Australians to buy a home today than it was a year ago.[/pullquote-left] A national survey of home prices, released on Wednesday, shows the median capital city house price lifted 1.4 per cent in the June quarter, though it remains 3.1 per cent below its level a year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of apartments and other residential dwelling rose 0.4 per cent over the quarter, the Bendigo Bank/Real Estate Institute of Australia Real Estate Market Facts report showed. But those prices were still 0.4 per cent lower for the year. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank executive Dennis Bice said the report suggested the housing market may be gaining momentum. "People have been putting the big decisions, such as up-sizing or downsizing their housing preferences on hold for...

The Reserve Bank has cut its cash rate by 25 basis points, marking the biggest back-to-back monthly reductions since the depth of the global financial crisis. The central bank today dropped its key lending rate from 3.75 per cent to 3.5 per cent - its lowest level since November 2009. The onus will now fall on commercial lenders to pass the reduction on to borrowers. Today’s cut was expected by 13 of 27 economists polled by Bloomberg, with four of them tipping the RBA would repeat May’s surprise 50 basis-point reduction. The rest predicted no change. The central bank has now lowered its lending rate four times in its past seven meetings as slowing economic growth gives it more room to spur demand without risking a surge in inflation. The outlook for global growth, though, is dimming almost daily as Europe struggles to avoid...

[blue]Article by Michael Pascoe - Sydney Morning Herald - http://www.smh.com.au/business/dont-cut-rates--were-happier-whingeing-20120604-1zra9.html [/blue] Australia has marked the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by relieving the Poms of the  burden of being the world's biggest whingers – the UK now can enjoy the long  weekend and have a happy Olympic Games. Australians, though, have nothing but concentrated misery ahead of them: if  the economy is good, it will only get worse; if the economy is not good, it's  sure to become terrible; if the sun shines, we'll all get melanomas; and so  on. The national talent for highlighting the silver cloud's dark lining is on  display in the fevered calls for the Reserve Bank to cut its cash rate by 50  points tomorrow. Apparently Australia is in dire straits and urgently needs  greater monetary stimulus. Unemployment is skyrocketing, our key trading  partners are down the gurgler, there's no investment...