Aqua Wealth | finance
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finance Tag

Start off the New Year on the right foot by making sure you choose the right mortgage that suits your needs. Here are 6 mortgage traps to avoid: Honeymoon rates that cost you long term. Watch for honeymoon rates that revert to high interest rates after 6 to 12 months. Any savings you achieve in the first year won't make up for the loss over the term of the loan. Lower rates but higher transaction and account keeping fees. Do your sums to make sure that one saving doesn't outweigh the other. You need to consider the entire cost of the loan - not just the interest rate. Paying for a loan that has all the bells and whistles when you don't use any of the added features anyway. Restrictions on redrawing money or making/extra payments. These are handy options to have but don't assume...

If medals were handed out for making money, gold would go to property investment according to this year's BRW Rich 200 List. The list ranks property as the single biggest source of wealth among Australia's 200 wealthiest people. Despite all the attention given to mining wealth, the number of mining magnates in the list has dropped from 28 to 22, a sign of the trouble in commodity markets over the past year. By contrast, 55 of the list entrants gained their wealth from property and many of those who didn't make their fortunes in property have stored their wealth by investing in property. "The rise in the number of Rich 200 members to make most of their money from property perhaps also points to volatility in equity markets", reports BRW. "Although the property market has had its own problems, it remains a relatively...

[pullquote-left]First home buyers have the best chance in more than two years of buying a property, a survey shows.[/pullquote-left] Financial comparison website ratecity.com.au says housing affordability is now back at the same level it was in March 2010. Its latest first home buyer index, which measures how hard it is for first home buyers to enter the market, fell by nine points to 114 in the 12 months to July. The result, which is based on factors including household income, loan size and mortgage repayments, was the biggest fall since the index launched three years ago. "For the first time since we began this index three years ago, we haven't seen the first home buyer market improve so dramatically in a 12-month period," spokeswoman Michelle Hutchison said in a statement on Saturday. "Interest rates are down, property values and the national average first home loan...

[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...

Borrowers hoping for a rate cut will have to wait at least another month with the Reserve Bank of Australia keeping the official cash rate on hold at 3.5 percent at its August meeting today. The RBA board has already slashed the cash rate by 75 basis points this year — a half-percentage reduction in May followed by a quarter-percent drop in June. Nine finance editor Ross Greenwood said the RBA is overlooking historically low inflation and concerns about a potential rise in unemployment, which would "enhance the case for a rate cut". "The decision is based on a potential turn around in the economic fortunes of the US and Europe," Greenwood said. "It's a long shot but it's colouring their thinking at this time." A freeze on the official rate was widely tipped with an AAP survey of 15 economists published on Monday revealing...

Property owners looking to undertake a property depreciation report to obtain legitimate tax deductions for their property investments should only use properly qualified companies that are fully compliant with ATO rulings and certified members of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS). AIQS is the professional standards body for quantity surveyors throughout Australia. Over recent years, AQIS has worked with the ATO on the review and revision of the requirements for investment/rental property depreciation reporting. Paul Bennion, Managing Director of DEPPRO says it is essential for property investors to get the right advice regarding their property. Property depreciation is a complex area of finance and tax and expert advice is important. “The ATO has spent a lot of time removing ambiguities from the legislation dealing with depreciation on residential properties. As part of this process, the ATO consulted with professional bodies such as...

  [dropcaps]T[/dropcaps]here's a very public stoush going on between the banks and the politicians about out-of-cycle rate rises. While each side argues its case, consumers are left confused about whether they are getting a raw deal. Since the RBA began cutting interest rates by 125 basis points from last November, there has been a shift in the tradition of lenders moving their rates in line with the RBA. Lenders have instead chosen in many cases to withhold part of each reduction and to make their rate announcements up to two weeks after the RBA's first-Tuesday-of-the-month announcement. We have lately fielded many questions from confused clients, asking  'who is driving rates', 'am I being ripped off', 'why are out-of-cycle rates rises happening'? Here we'll take a look at both sides of the argument and what it means for you as a mortgage holder. The government argues ...

[dropcaps]T[/dropcaps]he stereotypical Aussie family home made up of mum, dad and a couple of kids is on the wane, as couples without children fast become the family norm. As our population ages and baby boomers become 'empty nesters', it is predicted that couples without children will increase the fastest of all family types, making up 43% of all families by 2031. Other big changes include a massive increase in the number of Australians living alone - again largely a result of an ageing population. This type of household is expected to increase by up to 91% over the next 25 years, representing the fastest growing household type over the period 2006 to 2031. The number of people in our households will continue to decline until it reaches an average of between 2.4 and 2.5 by 2031. By 2016 Australia's household size is projected...

[dropcaps]M[/dropcaps]ortgage holders hoping for a third successive rate cut will have to wait at least another month after the Reserve Bank of Australia today left the official interest rate on hold at 3.5 percent. Announced at 2.30pm AEST, the RBA board's decision comes as no surprise to economists who widely backed no change to the official cash rate this month. "At today's meeting, the board judged that, with inflation expected to be consistent with the target and growth close to trend, but with a more subdued international outlook than was the case a few months ago, the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate," RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement. A survey of 21 economists conducted by AAP earlier this week found unanimous belief that rates would stay on hold following the release of positive employment and GDP figures. The RBA has slashed...

[dropcaps]H[/dropcaps]OUSE prices will mirror Australia's two-speed economy as a two-tiered  property market develops over the next three years, a leading forecaster  says. Home owners and investors in New South Wales and resource-rich Western  Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory will benefit from above  inflation price growth but in other parts of the country they will ''fall in  real terms,'' economists BIS Shrapnel said. A BIS Shrapnel report Residential Property Prospects, 2012 to 2015  predicts a recovery in those states that will ''gain traction through 2013'' as  resource investment flows through to other sectors of the economy. By contrast, conditions in the other non-resource states (Victoria, South  Australia, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory) would continue to be  tough. "Median house price growth in Melbourne is forecast to be minimal. After  accounting for inflation, prices are actually forecast to fall by 6 per cent in ...