No interest rate rise in March

Being the first Tuesday of the month again - don't they come around quickly! - the Reserve Bank board met again today to decide whether or not to raise the cash rate. Before the meeting, pretty much everybody in financial circles had agreed that there was no chance at all they would raise the rate (and last time everybody said that, they surprised us and did it!). Fortunately today the general punters were right, and the Reserve Bank has decided to allow the cash rate to remain unchanged at 4.75...
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Queensland floods and mortgage payments

It's been, for good reason, hard to see any news in Australia this past week other than the devastation and tragedy of the Queensland floods. As the clean-up and recovery begins, there are so many far-reaching consequences that it seems to me to be a constant surprise to see the numerous knock on effects these floods will have, not just for Queenslanders but for all Australians and even abroad. One such effect is that house prices in Queensland are likely to fall. Apart from the obvious prob...
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Mortgage and money resolutions for 2011

So, how do you plan to make the most of your money in 2011? The Herald Sun ran an interesting article this week about financial resolutions, divided up into some resolutions that each generation might want to make. For me as a generation X-er, they couldn't have been more right, pinpointing many in my generation as people who've recently upgraded from a unit or smaller home to a larger suburban family home - with a matching bigger mortgage. Getting ahead of such a mortgage (or sometimes even jus...
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Refinance your loan or keep paying through retirement?

Two main topics hit the New Year mortgage news this week, one of which was downright depressing but fortunately the other gave me a hint of optimism about our home loan. Perhaps I'll need a New Year's resolution or two to be able to make the most out of the alternatives to my current mortgage. Anyway, let's start with the bad news: one report out this week suggested that a huge proportion of Australians will still be paying off their mortgage after they've retired. Almost half - 49 per cent, ...
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Moving mortgages, bank staff perks and mortgages at Christmas

After last week's news about banning horrendous exit fees on mortgages taken out from July 1 next year, I've been wondering about whether I need to look into my current mortgage arrangements - even though I won't be eligible for the no-exit-fee deal, the talk is that even for existing mortgages it could well be worth changing. The Herald Sun had a useful article this week on moving your mortgage and its step by step approach is pretty logical - do the research (online), then get information from...
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Mortgage exit fees get banned, we can switch home loans freely

Just last week we were talking about the fact that few Australians consider changing their home loan provider, even though the figures would suggest that it's possible to save a lot of money by doing so. Definitely one of the reasons that not many people think about this - me included - is that we are concerned about the high exit fees we might have to pay if we get out of our mortgage early. Fear no more! For home loans taken out from July 1, 2011, the federal government has just announced t...
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No rate rise; Choice says change banks

Since today is the first Tuesday of the month, the Reserve Bank met again and made a decision on whether or not to raise interest rates. And the verdict is good for us mortgage holders - the official cash rate has remained on hold which means it is unlikely that any banks will increase their interest rates. And since there is no meeting held in January, that means we know where we stand with home loan repayments until at least February 2011. The Reserve Bank board statement made it clear that...
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What profit is the bank making from your mortgage?

Here's a topic I don't like to think about too much, but I couldn't resist reading a weekend article in The Daily Telegraph talking about banks and their profits - and in particular how much profit banks make on home loans. Now, I obviously know that banks aren't so kind as to simply want to help me out with my quest to own a home and/or investment property, but I have to admit that the figures suggested by this article did make me wonder why banks have got so stingy they don't even give out fre...
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Even tennis champions have mortgage trouble!

It's not often we head into celebrity territory on the Mortgage Seek blog, but the big mortgage news this week is that former Aussie tennis champion Mark Philippoussis has become a victim of the mortgage stress plaguing many of the major Australian cities. Somehow it's comforting to hear that the rest of us normal people are not alone in dealing with mortgage dramas, but that's no doubt fairly small consolation to Mark Philippoussis. The story goes, according to The Herald newspaper, that Phi...
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Many Aussies looking to change their mortgages, but be careful

It's probably inevitable that with a cash rate rise from the Reserve Bank and the subsequent interest rate rises on home loans - especially from some banks like the Commonwealth Bank whic hiked their rate by almost double the Reserve Bank's increase - there will be home loan customers who are thinking about switching to a different home loan, hoping for a better deal. In fact, news this week from mortgage brokers is that they have been flooded by home owners trying to find out if there is a b...
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Sneaky banks raise rates during Melbourne Cup

Were you busy watching the Melbourne Cup this afternoon? Perhaps even participating in a few Cup-related festivities? Even over here in Perth, most people I know were enjoying a Melbourne Cup lunch - the 3pm race in Victoria means it runs at midday here - and certainly nobody else I know was paying any attention to what the Reserve Bank or the big four banks were up to. And no doubt (I think!) that's one of the main reasons why the banks are already passing on the Reserve Bank's rate rise, wi...
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Mortgage stress in Brisbane and Melbourne

Last week you might recall that I was sympathising with Sydney-siders who have the worst mortgage stress in Australia. Apparently a lot can happen in a week because the new figures are now showing that Sydney people are no longer the worst off - this dubious honour now goes to mortgage holders living in Brisbane, with those paying off home loans in Melbourne being very close behind. Of course, many Sydney mortgage holders are still struggling but they're no longer top of the table! According ...
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Sydney-siders top for mortgage stress

If you've got a home loan and you live in Sydney, then unfortunately you win as belonging to the group of Australians suffering most from mortgage stress at the moment. Mortgage holders in Brisbane and Melbourne, on the other hand, are apparently in the best situation, all according to a recent Moody's survey. Sydney-siders with a mortgage have the highest rates of delinquency, defined in the survey as being more than 30 days behind with repayments (in other words, missing one or more mortgag...
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Australia’s an interest rate rise circus at the moment

If you'd been reading The Australian newspaper's website last week instead of ours, you might have thought for a short time that the Reserve Bank had raised the cash rate after all. According to the clever nit-picker that is Media Watch, The Australian obviously had a "interest rates have risen" story ready to go the second the Reserve Bank announced a change - as many had expected them too - but then they kept rates on hold! In some kind of technological confusion, The Australian still managed ...
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Mortgage rate stays on hold, for now

Another sigh of relief for my back pocket as the Reserve Bank made a decision on Tuesday to leave the cash rate unchanged! Shortly before their Tuesday meeting the odds seemed to be on a rate rise, and the major banks sound like they were all very keen for there to be an increase - they are complaining about the higher deposit rates and lower mortgage rates that they are currently dealing with (and not liking). However, none of the major banks wanted to be "the bad guy" who put up interest rates...
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