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Household Debt

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RBA switched rate priority on house prices versus jobs

RBA Governor, Philip Lowe, says that surging house prices are not as important as full employment, but a previous Governor, Glenn Stevens, had other priorities, putting the "elevated level of house prices" first.

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Housing prices from black hole to blue sky

Housing prices and construction rose dramatically until 2016, and since then, low interest rates are helping home owners weather the storm of falling prices. How long until the blue sky shines again?

Will the Royal Commission end our debt obsession?

The tightening of credit conditions for home lending driven by the Royal Commission has not fully translated into aggregate statistics, and the slowdown may already be worse than we realise.

Perfect storm brewing for local retailers

A decline in activity related to household construction, combined with the arrival of foreign retail brands, does not bode well for Australian retailers. And an online behemoth may be an even bigger threat.

Debt binge main cause of house price rises

Household borrowing, mainly for property, now far exceeds business borrowing, but it is businesses that create jobs and wealth. The crackdown on housing debt is overdue.

‘Silent seconds’ are the landmines of Australian residential property

Second mortgages are far more common than is recognised, often in the form of expensive debt. These 'silent seconds' may sit unnoticed until market conditions deteriorate and payments cannot be met.

The pace and structure of lending stifles Australia

The lending patterns of households and businesses, when compared against GDP and disposable income, can provide useful insights into where the economy is headed.

Don’t treat bank shares as defensive assets

Other sharemarket opportunities than banks are likely to be more resilient in the event of a market correction. Banks have large exposures to residential property which is doubling up on risk for many Australians.

Where to put your money these days

Investment conditions across all asset classes are especially challenging at the moment, with investors struggling to find attractive yields or capital appreciation while managing risk.

Australia’s residential property boom

By many measures, Australian housing is overpriced, largely due to the restricted availability of land and low interest rates. What can the Government and the Reserve Bank do to prevent a bubble from forming?

Until debt do us part, Act 1

When the media latches onto stories dealing with debt, the tone tends to be alarmist. Such news lifts ratings but it doesn’t always shed light on the issues at hand. How much is 'too much’ debt, and what debt are we talking about?

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10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

Check eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has no asset test and a relatively high income test. It's worth checking eligibility and the benefits of qualifying to save on the cost of medications.

Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

The focus is on Magellan for its investment performance and departure of the CEO, but Douglass says the pandemic, inflation, rising rates and Middle East tensions have not played out. Vindication is always long term.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.

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