Pokemon Go hits real estate market

THREE bedrooms, two bathrooms and a PokeStop. Pokemon Go is already hitting real estate listings — and some agents think even house prices may benefit.

“Just across the road is a huge park with sporting facilities — and we’ve even spotted some rare Pokemon!” reads the ad for 222 Charles Street in Townsville’s Cranbrook.

A rental listing for a two-bedroom apartment at 61/51 Playfield Street in Brisbane’s Chermside boasts an “easy five-minute walk to the busway”, a “15-minute drive to the airport”, and “close by to Marchant Park — Pokemon Go Central”.

And on renter social website Flatmates.com.au, Perth 24-year-old John’s profile describes himself as “a country boy who is loving the city … looking to move closer to the hustle and bustle”.

“Also, all that are around my place is water Pokemon and I’m looking for my spirit animal/Pokemon Snorlax,” he writes, adding, “Update. Got me a Snorlax, poetic I had to walk 10km to hatch it, its name is ‘Nuggies’.”

30 Tennessee Way, Kelso. Picture: Realestate.com.au

30 Tennessee Way, Kelso. Picture: Realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

6 Quarterhorse Court, Kelso. Picture: Realestate.com.au

6 Quarterhorse Court, Kelso. Picture: Realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

The ridiculous popularity of the augmented-reality smartphone app has led to everything from cliff falls and car crashes to wild mob scenes, police warnings, stabbings and armed hold-ups.

Some property owners, upset at scores of Poke-zombies hanging around, have asked to have their real-world locations removed from the fictional Poke-verse.

But some people — businesses and now property owners — lucky enough to find themselves sitting on top of a PokeStop or Gym are looking to cash in.

“My apartment building is a modded Pokemon stop and I have bagels, who’s coming over,” New York resident Helen Rosner tweeted on Monday.

“How long until apartments within the radius of Pokemon stops command higher rental prices than those without?”

Travel website Atlas Obscura earlier this week reported house and rental listings with Pokemon references popping up all over Craigslist.

“We live above a PokeStop, so if you are an aspiring Pokemon Go Master: Unlimited Razz Berries. Go crazy,” wrote two New Yorkers.

23 Henry Street, West End. Picture: Realestate.com.au

23 Henry Street, West End. Picture: Realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

9 Maynard Court, Condon. Picture: Realestate.com.au

9 Maynard Court, Condon. Picture: Realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

“There is a Lapras around sometimes,” wrote another ad for a Boston house, while one in Washington, under amenities, wrote: “Pokemon Go gym less than a five mile walk, three PokeStops within a seven mile walk”.

And one house in British Columbia was described as “conveniently located between two Pokemon Gyms and has eight PokeStops within walking distance”.

Rob Levy from Re/Max in Townsville is the agent for 222 Charles Street. He said the virtual locations in Pokemon Go would “absolutely” have an effect on a house’s rental or sales price.

“Especially among the under-35 first home buyers market, yes,” he said. “Townsville is a small town but a lot of people are selling. There are almost 4000 houses on the market.

“When you have 300 identical houses to choose from, why wouldn’t you choose one near a PokeStop?”

Mr Levy — whose best Pokemon is a 500 CP Pinsir — said the Townsville Pokemon community had exploded with more than 3500 members of the local Facebook group.

It was his idea to include the Pokemon Go reference in the Charles Street listing as a way of drumming up business, and he now has five listings featuring Pokemon.

“I’m just about to hop in my car and drive to those houses to make sure I can give accurate information about how close they are to PokeStops and Gyms,” he said.

“If you said this would happen a week ago, people would have thought you were crazy.”

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If you own property in one of these suburbs you are more likely to sell under the hammer than anywhere else

NEW figures have revealed the suburbs where selling by auction is more successful than anywhere else.

Of the three capital cities where auctions are prominent, Sydney’s Millers Point and Naremburn plus East Melbourne all recorded a perfect auction clearance rate in the past quarter.

Naremburn’s clearance rate increased from 82.9 per cent in the December quarter, while East Melbourne jumped from 80.8 per cent.

Brisbane’s best performer was the outer suburb of Runcorn, where the clearance rate was 77.3 per cent – well above the Brisbane average of 45.3 per cent.

Runcorn was a consistent performer for Brisbane with the suburb also achieving the best auction clearance rate in the December quarter.

In the December quarter no suburbs had a 100 per cent clearance rate.

The best performers were Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne, 95.7 per cent; Drummoyne (in Sydney) 89.4 per cent; Runcorn 76.2 per cent.

Runcorn returns solid auction clearance results. This home in Susan Court, is listed for auction on July 30. Picture: realestate.com.au.

Runcorn returns solid auction clearance results. This home in Susan Court, is listed for auction on July 30. Picture: realestate.com.au.Source:Supplied

The combined capital city clearance rate fell to 67.9 per cent during the June quarter down from 69.4 per cent over the first quarter of 2016.

In the regional property markets both Wollongong and Geelong had a clearance rate of more than 60 per cent during the June 2016 quarter.

It was the third quarter in a row that Geelong was the strongest performing regional auction market.

The Gold Coast was rated the busiest market for auctions, but it only managed a clearance rate just under 50 per cent.

June quarter 2016, auction clearance rates. Supplied: CoreLogic.
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Victoria Point property engulfed in flames prior to auction

A property with waterfront views at Victoria Point was engulfed in flames just hours before going to auction on Saturday.

LJ Hooker Birkdale agent Debbie Ward said she called the owner, who was out shopping, to inform him the two-bedroom cottage at 4 Colburn Ave was “gutted”.

“I got a phone call about 10.40am and called the owner straight away,” Ms Ward said.

“The house was to go to auction at 1pm but we had to cancel it.

“I said to him over the phone, ‘Where are you? You better get home, the house is on fire’.

“He had only called me that morning to say how beautiful the house looked.

“It’s just awful, he’s lost everything.”

The house at Victoria Point before it was destroyed by fire.

The house at Victoria Point before it was destroyed by fire.Source:Supplied

The owner, who asked for his name to be withheld, said he was in shock following the fire.

“I thought it was a hoax when I got the call,” he said.

“I can’t go into the home because it’s Asbestos, so I don’t know what we can salvage, if anything. I’m at the shops now buying clothes.”

He said he could not believe the house caught on fire the day it was to sell.

“We were confident it was going to sell today too,” he said

“I think it went up around 10am. I can’t believe how fast it went up, everyone I speak to said they didn’t see smoke or anything.”

Police said there was extensive damage to the house and are currently investigating the incident.

 

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Lavish Gold Coast mansion sells for $8 million after its asking price is slashed by half

A TAIWANESE businessman who four years ago put his lavish Gold Coast mansion on the market at $16 million has sold it for half that amount.

James Tsai’s 2638sq m Sanctuary Cove home has been bought by Chinese buyers in an $8 million deal that has already settled.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

It is at 7313 Bayside Close, an exclusive street with only 13 titles and in which a nearby home in 2010 sold for a then Sanctuary Cove record $7.22 million.

The sale lifts the top 5 buys for the year to close to $60 million, all in the past four months.

Mr Tsai built his giant on a $2 million site bought from Edwin Yu, owner of Robina’s The Glades golf course, in 2007.

The view from the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

The view from the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

The house was intended for Mr Tsai’s family and was completed in 2011 but, after his adult children opted against living in Australia, he decided to remain in Taipei.

Last year he sold another Sanctuary Cove home for $1.5 million and in 2012 was sued for failing to settle the $1.395 million purchase of a 38th-floor apartment in the Hilton Surfers Paradise.

Not too shabby ... the abode at 7313 Bayside Close.

Not too shabby … the abode at 7313 Bayside Close.Source:Supplied

The mortgagee resold the apartment for $780,000 and the court action subsequently was discontinued.

The buyers of Mr Tsai’s Sanctuary Cove mansion, Feng Kou and Aiyi Wei, have a home that barely has been lived in, overlooks the Coomera River and has a 78-metre frontage to a private harbour.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

The house was designed by David Carlson and Michelle Gibbons and has an internal lift that runs from the basement to the roof.

The basement has parking for five cars, plus golf buggies, and there is a theatre and a karaoke room, with its own bar, on the same level.

Dinner and a tune at the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

Dinner and a tune at the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

The home’s ground floor includes formal living and dining areas, a wine room off the dining room, a chef’s kitchen, casual living and meal areas, a study, guest bathroom, steam room, a large guest suite, and staff quarters.

The view from the mansion.

The view from the mansion.Source:Supplied

An external living area, which can be fully enclosed with both fixed and motorised screens, contains a 25-metre pool heated to 28C, teppanyaki bar and full outdoor kitchen.

Three bedroom suites on the first floor include a master suite with a sitting area complete with a fireplace.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

The house is topped by a 595sq m roof deck with 360-degree views, a bar area and provision for a hot tub and barbecue.

Construction took more than 18 months and materials used included 34,000 concrete blocks, 1500 cubic metres of concrete, 95 tonnes of steel, and 140 steel foundation screw piers.

The mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove from the street.

The mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove from the street.Source:Supplied

A total of 1750sq m of natural stone and vitrified tile was used on floors and walls inside the house and another 750sqm on patios, balconies and pathways.

The house has 80km of electrical and data cabling.

Forget the barbie, this place has a teppanyaki bar.

Forget the barbie, this place has a teppanyaki bar.Source:Supplied

Top 6 sales for 2016

$15.5 million, 57-59 The Corso, Isle of Capri

$13.25 million, 159 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach

$11 million, 18-20 Southern Cross Drive, Surfers Paradise

$11 million, 107 Albatross Ave, Mermaid Beach

$8 million, 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove

$6.25 million, 3001 & 3002 ‘Ultra’ 14 George Avenue, Broadbeach

The property at Sanctuary Cove.

The property at Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.Source:Supplied

Inside the mansion at 7313 Bayside Close, Sanctuary Cove.
[source :-news]

Real estate: Up to 90 homes in Castle Hill set to be sold as a ‘mega lot’ for $360 million

ALMOST 90 homes in a northwestern Sydney suburb are set to be sold together as a “mega lot” in the biggest group sales ever recorded in the area.

The Hills Shire Times reports the residents of Castle Hill have pulled together on a deal — worth up to $360 million — in a bid to have density changed on their land to allow high-rise development.

The properties are located in the Showground Priority Precinct but are all zoned for townhouse dwellings, under plans proposed by the NSW Government.

The nine-hectare site, which is being sold by LJ Hooker Baulkham Hills, includes the western end of Fishburn Cres and parts of Cadman Cres, Chapman Ave and Dawes Ave — combining them in one master planned community to be called Orange Blossom Heights.

.

.Source:The Daily Telegraph

“The economics of townhouses just will not work,’’ said local resident John Allen, who is one of the group co-ordinators.

“When you work out all the costs of buying a new home and what we are being offered by developers (due to the lower zoning), there is just not adequate incentive to get everyone to move. In fact we would lose money.

“The real value is if we can do it together we have an opportunity to create almost a green field site.’’

By combining their land together, the group is confident they will be able to work with the government to change current zoning restrictions because of their size.

Residents John Allen, Lisa Stokan, Jerome Wicks / Picture: Phil Rogers

Residents John Allen, Lisa Stokan, Jerome Wicks / Picture: Phil RogersSource:News Limited

The mega site, which could include 1.5ha for parkland or a school, is being offered to local and international developers through expressions of interest and has taken 12 months to arrange.

It has the potential to have a mix of dwellings include mid-rise apartments, plus terraces.

Listing agent Leanne Nehme believes there is an opportunity to create something special for the future of Castle Hill.

“We would like to see it looking like Rhodes, Olympic Park or even Breakfast Point,’’ she said.

“We are profiling the developers we would like and inviting them to see what they would they would like to create on the site.’’

Properties in the Showground Rd precinct, which are zoned for high-rise units, are currently commanding a premium price of between $3.5m and $4m, with many homes already under option.

CLEARANCE RATE: Sydney boom keeps rolling on

The streets involved are currently quiet, suburban areas.

The streets involved are currently quiet, suburban areas.Source:News Limited

Those zoned R3 — some located just across the road from future high-rise apartments — are selling for around the same as those zoned R2, at $1.5m-$1.6m.

Mr Allen argues that townhouse sites are worth less because of their proximity to units and the restrictions on the number of dwellings developers can build on the land.

Almost 90 homeowners have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) and privacy agreement as part of the group allowing the site to be sold.

“We all have to stick together, every square metre is the same and every homeowner is the same,’’ Mr Allen said.

The Showground Precinct in Castle Hill, where a lot of development is set to take place. Picture: CinemAir Aerial Photography

The Showground Precinct in Castle Hill, where a lot of development is set to take place. Picture: CinemAir Aerial PhotographySource:Supplied

Dr Lisa Stokan joined the group sale after an early planning proposal had a road running through her Castle Hill home. She felt there was little option for her family until approached by her neighbours.

“They (the government) did us almost a favour by zoning us R3 because it has forced us to come up with this,’’ Dr Stoken said.

“We bought here because it was close to shopping and child-friendly.

“We know that within five years it will be construction site with dirt and dust — but my kids are asthmatic and I don’t want them living in that.’’

Mr Allen said the group had been encouraged by the support and conversation with both the state and local government.

“We have continually briefed them on what we are trying to do and they have been nothing but supportive of our efforts to see a master planned result,’’ he said.

The mega site, which could include 1.5ha for parkland or a school, is being offered to local and international developers through expressions of interest and has taken 12 months to arrange.

The mega site, which could include 1.5ha for parkland or a school, is being offered to local and international developers through expressions of interest and has taken 12 months to arrange.Source:News Limited

KINGS OF THE CASTLE RAISING THE ROOF

Aidan Devine

GROUP property sales expert Steve Cox says the proposed 90-home deal in Castle Hill would easily beat the record for Sydney real estate sales.

Mr Cox, the residential director at leading real estate agent Savills, has pushed through several group sales in recent years.

“I can’t think of anything that’s come close,” he told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

Mr Cox said the nearest in scale was a Frenchs Forest site listed earlier this year, comprising 62 homes.

The neighbours combined their rezoned homes near the new Northern Beaches Hospital to create a 4.3ha site, which they hope to sell for about $200 million.

More than 30 other sites are on the market across Sydney consisting of three or more houses being sold together.

“Homeowners are trying to capitalise on the potential upside to their properties from rezoning,” he said.

Recent collective sales included 17 homes on Kenneth and Burchmore Rds in Manly Vale listed together in May.

Combined, the houses could sell for between $30 million and $55 million, although no price guide for the deal has been released.

Another group of neighbours in Castle Hill joined forces the same month to sell their 25 properties as a single development site estimated to be worth about $100 million.

Mr Cox warned that bigger sites were not always more attractive to developers.

“People are hearing about these sales and the profits you can make, but it’s not always that simple,” he said.

“Once there are more than about 10 homes, financing and planning becomes a lot more complicated for developers. Those sites are harder to sell.

Combined, the houses could sell for between $30 million and $55 million, although no price guide for the deal has been released.

Combined, the houses could sell for between $30 million and $55 million, although no price guide for the deal has been released.Source:News Limited

RATE CUT TIPPED AS HOUSING PLATEAUS

Sophie Foster

SYDNEY property prices are continuing to plateau, giving the Reserve Bank of Australia more reason to cut the official interest rate to a historic low of just 1.5 per cent today.

The latest CoreLogic Home Value Index shows an average property price rise of 0.8 per cent in July, after 0.5 per cent in June, 1.76 per cent in May and 1.7 per cent in April.

CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said there was a sharp slowing of price growth over the past couple of months, although sales activity was still relatively strong in Sydney.

He said he was expecting the RBA to cut rates at its meeting this morning.

“I think interest rates will probably be cut, largely because inflation is very low,” he said. “But the RBA will keep a close eye on the housing impact of any rate cut.”

He said given a big pullback by investors and the fact that first-home buyers were sluggish, it was upgraders that would drive the market — something he believed would eventually see prices in Sydney hit the brakes.

“That’s the thing that will eventually slow Sydney. It’s not financially viable to upgrade every three or four years,” Mr Kusher said.

“They will probably reach a point where not many upgraders will be active. It will happen within this decade, but as to when — it’s anyone’s guess.”

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said the recent moderation in the rate of capital gains should be seen as a positive sign that dwelling values “may be returning to more sustainable levels”.

“However, the growth trend rate is still tracking considerably faster than income growth resulting in a deterioration of housing affordability,” he said

GROUP SALES

— 25 homes on two sites (19 on one site and 6 on another), Showground Rd, Carrington Ave and Sexton Ave, Castle Hill

— 16 homes on Middleton Ave and Hughes Ave, Castle Hill

— 13 homes on Fishburn Ave Castle Hill

— 10 homes on Old Northern Rd and Winchcombe Pl, Castle Hill

— Eight homes at 121 Cecil Ave, Castle Hill

— Seven homes on Partridge Ave and Ashford Ave, Castle Hill

— Seven homes at 22-34 Ashford Ave, Castle Hill

Originally published as $360 million: 90 homes to sell in ‘mega lot’ sale

 

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Warnings of a credit card late fee ‘free-for-all’ after High Court rules the practice is acceptable

WARNINGS of a free-for-all by banks that slug credit card users with hefty late fees have emerged, after a landmark High Court decision.

The nation’s highest court of appeal yesterday dismissed a six-year class action by ANZ customers, who argued the bank charged excessive fees for late payments on credit cards totalling $75 million in a single year.

Consumer advocates are now calling for new legislation to stop the “fee frenzy”, warning that banks will now have a free pass to charge as much as they like.

Late payment fees charged by Australian banks range from $15 up to $35, but there are bargains to be found; scroll down to compare the full list of credit cards.

Consumer Action Law Centre chief executive Gerard Brody said the decision allowed the banks to continue charging exorbitant penalty fees, calling on the government to legislate against the gouging.

“The fees charged by banks and other businesses need to actually reflect the cost and not be used to add to their bottom line,” Mr Brody said.

“Late credit card fees as high as $35 are ridiculous and bear no resemblance to what a late payment actually costs a bank.”

Alan Kirkland, chief executive of consumer group Choice, said the banks were charging out-of-proportion fees while posting record profits.

“This disappointing decision shows that our laws are not able to protect consumers from the powerful banking sector,” Mr Kirkland said. “With this decision, we expect the banks to continue their fee frenzy.” The average household pays about $468 a year in bank fees, or $9 a week.

The law firm that took the ANZ case to the High Court — and has similar class actions against the other major banks — also called for law reform.

Maurice Blackburn national head of class actions Andrew Watson said the ruling meant banking customers had no effective means to challenge bank fees which bear no relationship to their real costs.

“The law should recognise the reality of the banking transaction which is that customers ought not to be levied fees which bear no relationship to actual costs,” he said.

Mr Brody said with Australian consumer law under review, the ruling demonstrated why unfair contract terms needed to be a focus of change.

The ANZ class action argued that late fees of up to $35 were an exorbitant penalty that went far beyond the losses suffered by the bank as a result of late payments, which one expert witness estimated at $2.60. It looked at 2.4 million late fees worth $75 million in the 2008-09 financial year.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Cameron Hanson said the court was not prepared to use consumer protection provisions to rewrite a contract freely entered into by a customer who knew the fees would be payable.

“The court accepted that companies have a legitimate interest in earning a profit and that fees and charges can be one of the ways in which they earn that profit,” Mr Hanson said.

“The court was also concerned that customers who pay on time are not effectively forced to cross-subsidise those customers who pay late.”

ANZ reduced its fee from $35 to $20 in December 2009, the year before Maurice Blackburn filed its class action.

Chief executive Fred Ohlsson has dismissed the predictions of a fee hike and opposes legislative changes.

“We have no plans to raise our fees at ANZ,” Mr Ohlsson told Fairfax Media.

CREDIT CARD LATE PAYMENT FEES

$25 — $35

B&E Personal Banking Visa Credit Card $35

Jetstar MasterCard $35

Jetstar Platinum MasterCard $35

Macquarie Bank Black Card $35

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Oswal and US company Apache Corporation have settled their part of a mammoth legal case

PANKAJ and Radhika Oswal and US company Apache Corporation have settled their part of a mammoth legal case over the sale of the Indian couple’s Australian fertiliser business.

However, the main legal stoush continues as the former Perth couple seeks up to $2.5 billion in damages from the ANZ bank and receivers over the sale.

It is likely Apache will drop out of the complex civil case that involves numerous claims and counter-claims.

The US oil and gas company’s barrister Stewart Anderson QC on Thursday said the terms of a settlement have been agreed between the Oswals and Apache.

For the settlement to go ahead, the Federal Court will be asked to vary an order freezing Mrs Oswal’s assets in a separate case involving the taxation commissioner.

“With goodwill I’ve got every expectation that Apache has resolved its difficulties with the Oswals and it may be that Yara does the same,” Mr Anderson told the Victorian Supreme Court.

Talks between the Oswals and Norwegian chemical company Yara are continuing.

Pankaj Oswal leaves court in Melbourne. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP

Pankaj Oswal leaves court in Melbourne. Picture: Julian Smith/AAPSource:AAP

The Oswals argue the $US560 million sale of their stake in parent company Burrup Holdings in 2012 represented less than half its true value and the bank was simply interested in getting the debt the Oswals owed covered.

Apache, which supplied gas to the Burrup ammonia plant in Western Australia, bought 49 per cent of Burrup Holdings while existing shareholder Yara lifted its stake to 51 per cent. Yara now owns 100 per cent.

Mr Oswal has been accused of misappropriating more than $150 million in Burrup Fertilisers money for the couple’s personal benefit, including Mrs Oswal’s vegetarian restaurant chain, luxury cars and Perth mansions including the unfinished “Taj Mahal on the Swan River”.

Mr Oswal argues the payments were partly in restitution of debts connected with the plant’s construction.

Receiver Simon Theobald of PPB Advisory is giving evidence about the alleged misappropriation on Thursday.

 

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Big four banks fail to pass on full rate cut

ALL of Australia’s largest banks have disappointed borrowers by refusing to pass on the benefits of this afternoon’s interest rate cut.

While the Reserve Bank of Australia has slashed the cash rate by 25 basis points to a historic low of 1.5 per cent, the Big Four won’t be passing on anywhere close to that.

NAB has announced it will only be passing on 10 basis points to its customers. This takes NAB’s standard variable rate for home loans to 5.25 per cent.

ANZ will cut its rate by 12 basis points while Westpac will reduce its standard variable rate by 14 points.

The Commonwealth Bank will also not deliver the full cut to its home loan customers.

Instead, the bank will reduce its standard variable mortgage rate to by 13 basis points to 5.22 per cent from August 19.

It means customers will save $38.41 a month on a $500,000 loan, $30.73 on a $400,000 loan or $23.05 on a $300,000 loan, according to a Canstar analysis.

By comparison, the average borrower across all lenders stands to save $70.66 a month on a $500,000 loan, $56.53 on a $400,000 loan or $42.40 on a $300,000 loan

“While the circumstances of each RBA rate decision will always vary, we’ve carefully considered the current environment and the needs of both borrowers and savers,” said Matt Comyn, group executive Retail Banking Services.

“Today we’ve reduced our mortgage rates to a record low while increasing term deposit rates to provide an opportunity to the millions of Australians who rely on savings.”

Mr Comyn cited increased funding costs and capital requirements, and the need to “balance the needs of both customers and shareholders”, as the reason for the bank’s position.

He said the three previous rate cuts over the past two years had saved the bank’s owner occupier home loan customers about $939 a year on the average loan of $350,000.

NAB similarly tried to justify its decision. Its chief operating officer, Antony Cahill, said in a statement: “We have to strike the right balance between providing customers with competitive mortgage rates and continuing to generate attractive returns for our 584,000 shareholders, while recognising that NAB’s funding costs have been steadily increasing due to a range of factors, including the need to strengthen our balance sheet.”

NAB said a customer on standard variable home loan with a $300,000 loan will save $18 a month.

Smaller lender Bank Australia was the only bank to announce it was passing on the full rate cut to its customers, which will see their SVR rate fall to 4.74 per cent.

 

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Home loan interest deals should be in the three per cent range after RBA cut

HOME loan customers should be paying an interest rate with a ‘3’ in front or phone up their bank and demand a better deal.

Following this week’s cash rate cut to 1.5 per cent, owner occupier home loan rates have continued to tumble, pushing many deals well below the four per cent mark.

And St George Banking Group economist Hans Kunnen is predicting there will be two more cash rate cuts to come — in November and May — which would pull the cash rate down to one per cent and home loan rates down even lower.

One of the nation’s mortgage broking firms, Australian Finance Group’s general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt, said if customers don’t have a rate in the threes they’re doing themselves a “disservice.”

“Without a doubt you should have a three in front of your rate or you should be considering your options — go to your lender or broker,’’ he said.

“There’s deals that are 3.6 or 3.7 per cent on variable and fixed rate deals for owner occupiers especially if the customers have a low loan to value ratio.”

BANKING ANALYST: BANKS RIGHT NOT TO PASS ON FULL CUT

RBA cuts cash rate to new record low of 1.5%

Home loan customers should be hunting around for mortgage deals below the four per cent mark.

Home loan customers should be hunting around for mortgage deals below the four per cent mark.Source:istock

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also attacked the big banks on Wednesday after they failed to pass on the cut in full.

“They owe it to the Australian people and their customers to explain fully and comprehensively why they have not passed on the full rate cut,’’ he said.

Mr Hewitt said with more rate cuts on the horizon, sticking with variable is the better option.

Analysis by financial comparison website RateCity found on a $300,000 30-year owner occupier loan there are nearly 90 variable rate deals on the market below four per cent.

Of fixed rate loans, about one in three available are below four per cent — or the equivalent of about 90 deals.

Home loan customers could make significant savings by switching to a more competitive interest rate.

Home loan customers could make significant savings by switching to a more competitive interest rate.Source:ThinkStock

Their database shows the lowest ongoing variable rate is 3.59 per cent from Reduce Home Loans and the lowest three-year fixed rate is 3.67 per cent from loans.com.au and Mortgage House.

The average variable rate is 4.46 per cent and if this week’s cut is passed on in full customers’ monthly repayments would drop by about $45 to $1512.

RateCity spokesman Peter Arnold said for owner occupiers with 20 per cent or more equity and on a salary they are “an ideal borrower and there are big discounts available.”

1300homeloan director John Kolenda said all mortgage customers should review their mortgage said “anybody paying over four per cent is paying too much.”

While the big four announced their rates moves on Tuesday, the majority of the market is yet to make an announcement following the rate decision.

HOW TO GET A BETTER HOME LOAN DEAL:

1. Check your interest rate.

2. Go online and search the best deals available.

3. Ring your lender and ask to speak to the retention team.

4. Demand a better deal or threaten to leave.

5. If your lender doesn’t budge shop around, talk to a mortgage broker or other financial institutions.

 

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Banks hit back at calls for a royal commission

THE banking industry has hit back at calls for a royal commission into the sector, saying it would send the wrong message to the world about the stability of Australian financial institutions.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has renewed his attack on the big four banks after they failed to pass on this week’s official interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank to its customers in full.

“The decision by the banks to hold back the rate cut from hardworking Australians does nothing to help their credibility,” Mr Shorten said.

The big four banks — ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac — have stirred up a political hornets’ nest by failing to pass on the latest official 0.25 per cent interest rate cut in full, instead making only modest reductions to their standard variable mortgage rates of 0.10 per cent to 0.14 per cent.

Labor has repeatedly called for a royal commission in the wake of a string of financial scandals that have hit thousands of mum and dad investors.

But Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg said a royal commission was unnecessary because the institutions were already dealing with the issues.

“It’s better for us to be fixing those problems now than waiting for some drawn out royal commission,” he told ABC radio.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admonished the banks on Wednesday for not passing on the cut, demanding an explanation from the bank’s chief executives.

‘UNFAIR ADVANTAGE’

But Mr Shorten called Mr Turnbull’s “lecture” to the banks “weak and pathetic” and said confidence had been eroded in the system.

“Mr Turnbull will give the big banks another empty lecture and a tax cut. I’ll give the banks a royal commission.”

Influential crossbench senator Nick Xenophon believes the big banks would be more likely to pass on the full extent of interest rates cuts if the Murray financial system inquiry’s recommendations were implemented.

These include dealing with the unfair cost advantage they have over smaller banks by virtue of the way they are treated by ratings agencies.

“Right now the ‘four pillars’ are like a big brick wall when it comes to passing on the full extent of rate cuts to consumers,” Senator Xenophon said.

“If only the banks were as quick in cutting rates when they go down as they are at increasing them when the cash rate goes up.”

He said if the Turnbull government failed to act soon on the recommendations of the FSI he would introduce legislation to “level the playing field so regional and co-operative banks had a fighting chance to compete more fairly for the benefit of consumers”.

‘THEY ARE MAKING ENORMOUS PROFITS’

A former Reserve Bank board member backed the need for an inquiry into banks, insisting the quality of financial advice they provide needs to be examined more closely.

“Their authority in that area is becoming vastly bigger than it was even a decade ago, and I think that’s where we need to get a better idea of what the culture is and how good the performance and practice is,” John Edwards, who was economic adviser to former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, told ABC TV.

Independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie said the central bank wanted to kickstart a slowing economy and the banks need to do their part.

“It’s not like they are scrapping for cash here, they are making enormous profits and should pass (the rate cut) in full,” Mr Wilkie told Sky News.

It comes at a time when Labor has been pressing for a royal commission into the banks in the wake of a string of financial scandals.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen admits only the prime minister and his cabinet can call a royal commission — the parliament can’t.

“But we can apply continued pressure on the prime minister and treasurer to deal with this issue,” Mr Bowen told ABC radio.

The government has repeatedly dismissed the idea of a royal commission.

Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham said the Australian Securities and Investments Commission already has the powers of a royal commission that can uncover wrongdoing in our banks and ensure prosecutions occur if needed.

 

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