Each month we provide a wrap of the biggest issues in personal finance.
At the end of last month Westpac became the first major bank to raise interest rates this year – 2 of the other 3 majors followed suit in September. Whenever interest rates move there is likely to be a whole lot of press on the impact on property prices – this time was no exception. Elsewhere, the royal commission looked into life insurance and guess what….they have also been charging dead people.
Interest Rates on the Up
At the end of last month Westpac became the first major bank this year to raise their interest rates. Their variable rates increased by 14 basis points – ANZ and CBA quickly followed suit raising their rates by 16 and 15 basis points respectively. NAB is the only bank to abstain keeping rates on hold to “rebuilt trust” – how long this will last is hard to predict.
Last month we wrote a post highlighting how banks are known for ripping off existing customers while offering great deals to new customers – this is often done via the interest rates passed recently. Plenty can help assess your current mortgage and see if you are in the best loan possible – get started now.
Property Prices Remain in the Headlines
There is one thing you can always count on when interest rates go up – a whole raft of so called experts trying to predict property prices. On 60 minutes there was analysts predicting anywhere from a 10 to 40% decline in the next 12 months, UBS are predicting prices to fall a further 12% over the next four years, while CBA are forecasting a far more modest 3% decline – there are even those who think prices will stabilise by the end of the year.
It all makes for quite scary reading if you currently own a home (and a possible opportunity if you don’t). Whatever side of the coin you are on it’s important not to get too sucked into the hype – property is a long-term game and short-term market fluctuations shouldn’t cloud that.
Royal Commission Rolls On
Life Insurance was the latest sector to be put under the royal commission’s blow torch and it was a tough week for the industry. This article summarises the long list of wrongdoings by a wide variety of industry participants including charging dead people (a recurring theme) and an instance of an insurer hiring a private investigator to follow a client.
Life insurance is critical, but it can be difficult knowing how much and what to buy. Furthermore, going direct to insurers is often more expensive then going through a financial adviser. Plenty gives tailored recommendations in our free financial roadmaps – find out more here.
The information contained on this page is of a general nature and may not be appropriate for your personal circumstances. You should obtain personal financial advice before acting on this information.