Finance advice

RBA delivers cash rate verdict

By Lucy Dean
RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced the official cash rate for September, following its monthly board meeting.

The RBA has decided to maintain the current official cash rate at its record low of 1.50 per cent. Having delivered the same result for 13 months, it is an RBA verdict that will surprise few.

The cash rate last moved in August 2016, ticking down by 25 basis points.

Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell said that he was unsurprised by the verdict, noting that the rhetoric from the RBA board around rates supported a steady rate.

Mr Flavell said: “In the minutes of the August board meeting, the board acknowledged that a prolonged period of rate stability was consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

“The Reserve Bank is forced to consider domestic and global economic factors when making their cash rate decision.”

Mr Flavell predicts the low rates will “keep heat in the market” and property demand will remain strong.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless concurred, predicting a hold verdict and adding that a cash rate hike in 2017 is unlikely. He said: “Record-high household debt remains a key concern for policymakers. Furthermore, wages growth is continually subdued.

“With the household debt to income ratio tracking at 190 per cent, households have become more sensitive than ever to the cost of debt, and the RBA will likely be very mindful of the capacity for Australian households to service their debt without a broader dent on household consumption.”

RateCity money editor Sally Tindall agreed, but argued that the RBA would like to hike rates but was not in a position to do so. “The economy is moving steadily rather than spectacularly, so the logical option is for the board to hold fire until there are major changes in the key economic indicators.

“This means the RBA is currently playing a waiting game. They won’t want to move rates until families get some relief from the current cost-of-living pressures. With little relief in sight, they’re likely to hold off until next year.”

Of brokers surveyed at HashChing, 93.62 per cent predicted a hold verdict in September, while all 33 panelists on the finder.com panel predicted a cash rate of 1.50 per cent and only two predicted a rate rise this year.

Jordan Eliseo from ABC Bullion said: “Latest economic data released, including today’s CAPEX results, will give the board confidence that the economy is stabilising and set to continue on its trajectory of steady, if not spectacular, growth. As a result, theyll be confident that they have the appropriate monetary policy in place for now.

Shane Oliver from AMP Capital added: “The RBA and rates are stuck between a rock and hard place – solid business conditions and labour market indicators along with the RBA’s expectations for strong growth argue against a rate cut, but subpar growth at present, risks around consumer spending, low wages growth and inflation and the rise in the $A argue against a rate hike.”

Dr Andrew Wilson from Domain Group was one of the two panelists to predict a rate hike before Christmas, noting that the RBA is “maintaining an optimistic medium-term view of the economy”.

Noel Whittaker from QUT was the other. He said: “I don’t think they are ready to lift yet – but they will be thinking about it.”

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
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  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
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  ["id"]=>
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  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
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  string(82) "common-referrer-practice-of-being-paid-on-both-sides-of-the-fence-coming-to-an-end"
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  string(246) "

The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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