Is your mortgage set to be 0.5% cheaper this year?

irsThe banks certainly think so. According to a number of industry pundits, cheaper mortgages are on the cards in 2015.

Westpac, for instance, expects lower inflation will provide the Reserve Bank of Australia with just the excuse it needs to cut rates at its board meeting next week.

Both Westpac and NAB believe that interest rates will be cut by half a percent this year. Westpac is banking on a reduction of 25 basis points in February, before a further 25 basis points are slashed in March, while NAB is forecasting two interest rate cuts of 25 basis points: one in March and another in August.

More on interest rates, and the latest market conditions, in this Market Watch from Your Mortgage:

Could interest rates be cut next week?

There is increasing speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia may cut interest rates as early as next week as economic data continues to show weakness. With inflation figures out today expected to show low consumer price increases and the dollar bouncing down to 79 US cents already this week, many analysts are talking of lower rates and that could happen sooner rather than later. Source: The West Australian

Which bank tops the satisfaction league for home loan customers?

Consumer satisfaction with the big four banks was at an 18-year high in November last year and was roughly the same in December with 82.6 per cent saying that they are satisfied. The Roy Morgan survey reveals that across all services CBA is the single bank whose customers are the most satisfied (81.6 per cent) followed by Westpac (80.9 per cent), NAB (80.3 per cent) and ANZ (79.3 per cent).

However it is ‘other banks’ that got the highest approval rating at 86.5 per cent. When it comes to home loan customers there is a clear leader though with Bendigo Bank on 93.2 per cent and it is also the bank whose customers were most likely to recommend it. Suncorp was second among its mortgage customers (84.8 per cent) with Westpac the best of the ‘big four banks’ at 79.8 per cent. Source: Roy Morgan Research

Warning over homes with pools

Homeowners are being warned that new regulations on the safety of pools and spas could stop them selling or leasing their property if standards are not met. The New South Wales government has set a time limit of 29th April for owners to register their pools and with a long waiting list being reported for inspections and repairs, it may already be too late for some.

A certificate of pool safety will be issued where the correct standards for things such as fencing and signage and will have to be attached to the sales contract or lease before the property can be marketed. Individuals are responsible for single house while units will generally need to be registered by the strata owners’ corporations. For buyers, the law will allow them to cancel the purchase if the safety certificate is not supplied within 14 days. Source:

Woman in court for alleged involvement in massive mortgage fraud

A woman accused of being part of a $110 million home loan fraud has appeared in court. Manija Zayee from Melbourne has been charged with obtaining property by deception but has yet to enter a plea. Najam Shah and Aizaz Hassan are jointly accused by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission of conspiring to defraud banks and other lenders by allegedly falsifying documents. The case has been brought in relation to 350 loans but the regulator says the extent of the alleged fraud could involve up to twice as many. Source: The Australian


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