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Timely News

Quarterly Regional Market Report

CoreLogic RP Data Quarterly Regional Market Report for June focuses on some of the larger regions outside of the Australian capitals.

 

Regional report highlights (June Quarter):

• The Illawarra region recorded the largest increase in home values, up 12.2 per cent for houses and 9.8 per cent for units.

• Townsville was the only region to see home values fall over the year to June 2015, down -2.0 per cent for houses and -1.2 per cent for units, indicating some overall weakness across the market.

• The Richmond-Tweed region had the biggest increase in transaction activity, with dwelling sales up 7.3 per cent over the 12 months to May 2015

To read the full report click here.

Brisbane Youth Services is our New Charity Partner

Brisbane Youth ServicesIn furthering our culture of giving back to our community, Time Home Loans is proud to announce a new corporate partnership with Brisbane Youth Service.

Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) seeks to facilitate new futures for disadvantaged young people. In doing so BYS works tirelessly to support homeless and at risk young people and their children in realising their potential, reducing or eliminating homelessness and disadvantage, and most importantly fostering and upholding individual dignity in the process.

Operating in Fortitude Valley since 1977, BYS assists vulnerable young people to find and maintain appropriate housing, address physical & mental health issues and establish successful relationships & support networks. Their services also include a number of emergency and longer term support programs including specialist housing for young women, crisis support and parental skills development.

If you would like to learn more about the vital services that Brisbane Youth Service provides or would like to make a donation to help them continue their caring work, please visit their page at
http://www.brisyouth.org/get-involved/donations/

Sydney property boom won’t stop further rate cuts

Sydney
The Reserve Bank of Australia has admitted that while Sydney house price growth is “concerning”, it is not strong enough to deter further easing of monitory policy.

In his opening statement to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on Friday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens noted that price rises in Sydney are “very strong, and they are pretty solid in Melbourne”.

“On the other hand they are much more mixed elsewhere,” Mr Stevens said.

“Excluding Sydney, the rise for Australia as a whole over the past year was about 5 per cent. That is a healthy pace but not alarming, and some cities have seen price falls,” he said.

“Developments in the Sydney market remain concerning, but in the end we did not see these trends as overwhelming a case for a further easing in monetary policy that was made on more general grounds.”

Mr Stevens noted that APRA has announced its supervisory approach to managing the potential risks posed by the rise in lending to investors in housing, which involves more intense scrutiny of investor loan portfolios growing at over 10 per cent per year, with the possibility of additional capital being required if APRA deems it necessary.

APRA has also reiterated its expectations for other elements of lending standards such as interest rate buffers and floors, he said.

“ASIC has begun a review of interest-only lending in the context of consumer protection legislation,” Mr Stevens added, noting that the central bank welcomed the steps and would keep working with other regulators in these areas.

Majors revise rate forecasts as oil price bites

Market pricing is giving a one in four chance of an interest rate cut next week, but one major bank remains bullish.

Westpac’s view is that the case for lower rates is strong.

“The December Leading Index adds to this, showing growth momentum remains weak,” Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said in a research note yesterday.

“With commodity prices continuing to fall in 2015, incomes and confidence remain under pressure,” Mr Hassan said.

“We expect the December quarter inflation report due out later today will show sufficient scope for the RBA to cut rates, with a February move seen as more attractive for the Bank given that it coincides with a full Statement on Monetary Policy and a full revision to its forecasts,” he said.

Falling oil prices and a devaluing Aussie dollar have forced two major banks to revise their cash rate forecasts ahead of next week’s decision.

In another research note released yesterday, NAB Group chief economist Alan Oster said that while two rate cuts this year are still expected, their timing will be “very dependent” on data flow and “could start a touch later”.

Mr Oster said lower oil and other commodity prices will lead to cuts to national incomes and lower inflation in the short-term.

“Unemployment will continue to deteriorate but peak lower (6.6 per cent) and later (Q4 2015),” he said.

Meanwhile, ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the major bank has factored in two 25 basis point rate cuts over the first half of the year.

However, ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has urged the Reserve Bank to hold fire on interest rates and expressed confidence in the health of the Australian economy.

Speaking to BlueNotes on video yesterday, Mr Smith said while plunging commodity prices were having an effect, the declining Australian dollar was mitigating some of the damage.

“I think if I was the central bank I would wait and see how this plays out because if the currency can take most of the shock it’s a much better way to deal with it,” he said.

“And of course it does leave you the option of monetary policy later.”

Mr Smith said he still sees Australia as relatively well placed.

“I’m still not too worried by the Australian economy,” he said.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is now calling on the RBA to cut the cash rate following the release yesterday of the latest consumer price index figures.

The December 2014 quarter CPI figures show the RBA’s underlying trend series measures of inflation continue to be well within its target zone.

REIA president Neville Sanders said this should translate into good news for home owners.

“In the December quarter, the CPI rose by 0.2 per cent and an annual rate of 1.7 per cent,” Mr Sanders said.

“These figures are below the RBA’s target zone of 2-3 per cent and should not put pressure on the inflation outlook.

“The annual changes for the analytical series of trimmed mean and for the weighted median were 2.2 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively and compared to the changes for the 12 months to the September quarter 2014 of 2.4 per cent for the trimmed mean and 2.3 per cent for the weighted median.”

The housing group increased by 0.5 per cent for the December quarter which was the same as the September quarter and an annual rate of increase of 2.4 per cent.

The main increase in the December quarter for the housing group was for new dwelling purchases, which increased by 1.1 per cent.

Rents increased by 0.5 per cent for the quarter and 2.4 per cent for the year.

“With inflation under control combined with a slowdown in housing finance, it’s appropriate that the RBA board seriously considers a cut in interest rates at their meeting next week,” Mr Sanders said.

Source: Mortgage Business | James Mitchell

Market Watch: Could interest rates be cut next week?

Interest Rates WatchThere 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

AMP announces a 20 bps discount

ampAMP have announced a 20 bps discount on our Basic 2 and 3 yr fixed rates and they are now as per below. These are now ultra competitive and don’t forget with the basic youcan split this rate with the basic variable

Fixed Rate Loans – change effective Monday 12th January

  • Basic 2 Year Fixed Rate decreasing 20 bps to 4.65%
  • Basic 3 Year Fixed Rate decreasing 20 bps to 4.65%

Please see rate sheets and aggregator software for the comparison rate for this product.

 

Please click here to download the sheet: Int rates

Economic Commentary and Australia & NZ bulletin for 2015

Below is the first Economic Commentary and Australia & NZ weekly bulletin for 2015.

  • Market commentary:
  • Despite holiday season there is plenty of two-way market volatility with a number of key catalysts globally that are driving current market activity.  Last week we saw daily swings of 2% in both directions in the global equity markets.
  • In terms of our Australian equity market, we have commenced the year showing equivalent volatility to the US equity market.  We have seen strong swings in local market trading in both directions during the first week and half of the year.  This is very consistent with our expectation calling for an increase in two-way volatility as likely following the move to more normal levels of volatility that we saw toward the end of 2014.
  • For the week last week, the ASX200 started the week around 5,440 and ended only marginally higher at 5,465, however the market was 120 points lower mid-week before recovering in the second half to regain the losses.  Again daily commodity price movements, predominantly oil and iron ore prices continue to drive the daily direction to our market given the high correlation to the commodity sector.
  • In US equities, the US market also finished the week mostly unchanged however traded with significant day to day price swings with circa 2% overnight movements.  The S&P500 started the week around 2,040 and ended at much the same level, however the US index traded as low as 1,995 early in the week before recovering to trade as high as 2,060 on Thursday.
Equity Market Indices
Index Region Current Level Week’s Movement (%) Month-to-Date Movement (%) Year-to-Date Movement (%)
ASX200 Australia 5,466 0.55% 1.01% 1.01%
S&P500 United States 2,045 -0.65% -0.68% -0.68%
EURO STOXX 50 Europe 3,043 0.65% -0.68% -0.68%
MSCI Asia ex Japan Asia 567 2.39% 0.49% 0.49%

 

  • The price of oil continues to dominate global market activity with oil prices having more than halved since only mid last year, down around 54% since June to move to new lows again last week below US$50 a barrel.  Energy sector stocks globally are continuing to trade weaker with Saudi Arabia particularly, as the biggest exporter within OPEC, showing their willingness to continue to supply oil production irrespective of the record lower prices.  This lower oil price has now translated across to 5-year lows for petrol prices both here in Australia as well as in the US.  In line with this oil price movement, last week we saw the US trade deficit shrink to its smallest gap in nearly a year (less than $40 billion) as American consumers spent less on imported oil.  This will be positive for consumer spending and retailing sectors going forward.
  • Also in the US economy, another strong employment report continues to show the strength seen in the US labour market, with the non-farm payrolls report for December showing an increase of 252,000 jobs above the 240,000 expectation and revising the November result higher as well.  The US unemployment rate also fell by 0.2% to be back to its 6.5 year lows at 5.6%.  This is essentially eleven consecutive months of job increases above 200,000 for the US economy.
  • In further US data, the US Federal Reserve minutes confirmed the Fed are likely to be raising rates however they are grappling with a number of variables as the US economy and US labour markets improve whilst the lower oil prices are likely to keep inflation low.  They also have the conflicting global economic challenge predominantly with Europe showing little signs of progress.

 

  • Europe: The Euro currency continued its substantial falls against the US dollar last week falling to a new nine year low.  This was a forecast we brought to clients last year and continue to see FX opportunitiesin this space.  The catalyst for further Euro falls was European consumer prices falling on an annual basis down 0.2% from a year prior, as well as concern around the upcoming Greek elections scheduled for 25th January.  The concern is predominantly around how a potentially newly elected Greek government could deal with their sovereign debt obligations under the ECB’s current bailout programme.  This European concern will continue to put pressure on the ECB around their stimulus measures.

 

  • The Australian yield curve has lowered further and flattened further: We are now sitting at record lows for outright yields for interest rate swaps in Australia having moved further over the Christmas period.  We spoke early December around the re-pricing of rate forecasts lower in Australia following the weaker GDP result and the economist’s reviews.  However over the New Year period, we have seen further significant shifts lower and flatter for the Australian yield curve (via the swaps curve) to see swap levels at all-time record lows.  In the history of interest rates in Australia we have never had swaps rates at 3 and 5-years this low, with a 3yr interbank rate now as low at 2.45% and a 5yr interbank level now down to 2.65%.

 

Key Interest Rates
Country Official Cash Rate 5yr Swap Rate Week’s Movement 5yr Swap (bps) 1 Month Change in 5yr Swap (bps)
Australia 2.50% 2.48% -0.05 -0.20
United States 0-0.25% 1.55% -0.14 -0.13
Europe 0.05% 0.33% -0.02 -0.07

 

  • Australian Dollar:  The Australian dollar made a new five year low mid last week, just above the 80 cents level predominantly on a continuation of further US dollar strength – a significant theme we spoke about last year.  However, we did see our currency move back to 82 cents by the end of the week.  The US Fed Reserve minutes added to the US dollar strengthening with little signs shown that the Fed may be considering earlier rate hikes than the market is currently pricing for around mid-year.  We have opened this morning at the 82 cent level.
Foreign Exchange Currencies
Key FX Rates Current Rate Month-to-Date Movement (%) Last 3 Months Movement (%)
AUDUSD 0.8200 0.49% -6.49%
AUDEUR 0.6927 2.58% 0.10%
EURUSD 1.1839 -2.01% -6.59%
USDCNH 6.2054 -0.18% 1.08%

ATO wins GST case against Property Investor in High Court

Logo_BannerThe High Court has ruled that a purchaser, who acquires a reversionary interest in commercial residential premises subject to a lease, makes an input taxed supply by agreeing to observe the obligations the lease.  The decision confirms that the purchaser will be liable to an increasing adjustment under Division 135 of the GST Act.

The facts

On 3 December 2014, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in Commissioner of Taxation v MBI Properties Pty Ltd (MBI Properties).  In that case, MBI Properties acquired three apartments in a serviced apartment complex, known as Sebel Manly Beach Hotel, from the seller who was South Steyne Hotel Pty Ltd.  The apartments were leased to Mirvac Management Ltd, which operated the serviced apartment business in the hotel.  MBI Properties acquired each of the apartments subject to that lease as a GST free going concern and intended to continue leasing the apartments to Mirvac as input taxed supplies of residential property.

The law

Under Division 135 of the GST Act, the recipient of a supply of a going concern has an increasing adjustment to take into account the proportion (if any) of supplies that will be made in running the concern and that will not be taxable supplies or GST-free supplies.  The increasing adjustment can be as much as 10% of the purchase price.  Division 135 ensures that a purchaser of going concern only gets the going concern GST-free to the extent the purchaser intends to make taxable supplies with it.

The issues

The primary question for determination by the Court, was whether, by purchasing the reversionary interest in the apartments and agreeing to observe the lease, MBI Properties made a supply to Mirvac through the enterprise acquired from South Steyne for GST purposes.  If it did make such a supply, the supply would be an input taxed supply of residential premises giving rise to an increasing adjustment of the purchase price under Division 135.

The Commissioner argued that the continuation of each apartment lease resulted in an input taxed supply of residential premises by way of lease by MBI to Mirvac, and that accordingly an increasing adjustment to the purchase price of the apartments arose.

MBI Properties however argued that mere passive observance of an existing obligation was insufficient to give rise to a supply and consequently MBI Properties argued that there were no input taxed supplies through a going concern to which Division 135 applied.

The judgment

The Full Federal Court had previously held that the continuation of each apartment lease after the sale of the corresponding apartment by South Steyne to MBI did not result in a supply by MBI to Mirvac, and in so doing it confirmed that the acquirer of the reversionary interest does not make a supply to the lessee.

The High Court however overturned this judgment and held that by electing to observe the ongoing obligation between South Steyne and Mirvac, MBI Properties did in fact make an input taxed supply of residential premises by way of lease to Mirvac throughout the remaining term of the lease, and further that this supply was made through the same enterprise as the enterprise that MBI Properties acquired with the premises from South Steyne.

The impact

The decision in MBI Properties confirms that a purchaser of a reversionary interest in land where the land is subject to a lease (being input taxed) will be liable to an increasing adjustment under Division 135 of the GST Act where the acquisition consisted of a GST-free supply of a going concern.  On this basis, the decision has effectively barred any potential refunds or structuring opportunities for taxpayers and restored the position prior to MBI Properties’ case.

The decision is relevant to serviced apartments, retirement villages and the various managed property estates.  It will impact commercial leases generally and confirms that the purchaser of a reversionary interest in land where the land is subject to input taxed supplies of residential premises will generally not get the GST-free going concern exemption on the purchase of the reversionary interest.

The decision also indicates how widely the definition of “supply” in the GST Act will be applied. In MBI Properties’ case, the High Court confirmed that the observance of a contractual obligation to refrain from taking some action, or to tolerate a situation, as distinct from there being a positive obligation to “do something”, can constitute a “supply” for GST purposes.

For further information or advice, please contact us at your convenience.

STUART O’NEILL & ASHLEY STANTON

Bankwest Market Update

untitledSuper Start Home Loan
NOW 4.59% p.a. (5.45% p.a. comparison rate) – 3 year intro rate – maximum LVR 80%.

Do you have customers refinancing with good equity levels or customers purchasing with bigger deposits?  The refreshed Super Start Home Loan could be just what they are looking for – NOW with a 1.30% p.a. discount off the standard variable rate (SVR)^ for the first 3 years** and up to a maximum of 80% LVR.

Did you know?
Of the total home loan market, 76%* of deals settled last quarter had an LVR ≤80%. That’s why we’ve repositioned Super Start to the <80% LVR market and refreshed it with a great new rate.
(*Source: Comparator, Sept 2014)

Market comparison
At our low Super Start 4.59% p.a. rate, there are only two lenders rated by Canstar with a lower variable rate! Source: CANSTAR View Report, 15 Dec 2014

Introductory loans BWA ANZ CBA NAB WBC BOQ STG SUN
Introductory rate 4.59% n/a 4.84% n/a 4.84 5.01% 4.99% 4.74%
Comparison rate 5.45% n/a 5.29% n/a 5.24% 6.07% 6.05% 4.78%
Introductory term
(years)
3 n/a 3 n/a 2 1 1 3

Rates effective 15 December 2014 and are subject to change. Source: Competitor public websites.

Super Start: Ideal for new home loan customers with good equity levels or bigger deposits

What is the Super Start Home Loan about?

  • 1.30% p.a. discount off our standard variable rate^ for the first 3 years**
  • 4.59% p.a. (5.45% p.a. comparison rate) effective 18 December 2014
  • Borrow up to 80% of property value
  • Minimum loan amount $20,000. No maximum.
  • Option of principal and interest, or interest only repayments
  • Reverts to the Lite Home Loan variable reference rate at expiry of intro period
  • Available for new borrowings only
Why choose the Super Start Home Loan?

  • $0 application fee – a $695 saving!
  • $0 monthly loan maintenance fees or annual fees
  • Optional 100% offset facility available# with the Offset Transaction Account ($9 monthly offset fee applies)
  • Flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment options
  • Make unlimited additional repayments
  • Free access to surplus repayments via online redraw facility

^ The standard variable rate is the variable Mortgage Shredder Reference Rate.
** At the end of the introductory period the rate will revert to the Bankwest variable Lite Home Loan Rate.
# Offset facility not available to companies, businesses and trading family trusts.

LVR:
The Super Start Home Loan currently allows for an LVR of up to 95% including LMI. This is being reduced, effective 18 December 2014, to 80%. (Note: LMI will no longer be applicable due to the 80% maximum.)

All applications submitted on or prior to 17 December 2014 will still be allowed an LVR of up to 95% including LMI.

Multi-pricing:
To allow us to offer more competitive rates for new applications, the Super Start Home Loan now has multi-pricing enabled. All future changes to the discount offered from the SVR^, including the above, will only apply to new applications. All existing applications/accounts will continue to receive the discount applicable as at the date the original application was submitted.

^ The standard variable rate is the variable Mortgage Shredder Reference Rate.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

FAQs

Q: Is there an application fee?
A: The $695 application fee is currently waived for the Super Start Home Loan.

Q: What options does my customer have if they cannot meet the LVR requirements on Super Start?
A: Depending on customer needs, if the customer was after an introductory rate product they may be eligible for the Double Deal home loan, or they could even consider a fixed rate product. Bankwest has a range of other products that may suit the customer’s needs, such as Complete Home Loan Package or Premium Select – these are just some options that may be suitable for your customer to consider.

Q: Will existing customers on Super Start get this new rate?
A: No, existing Super Start product holders will not receive the new discount on their loan.  Their discount remains as what is stated in their original loan contract.  From 18 December 2014, any new applications on Super Start will receive the new rate discount of 1.30% p.a. off SVR^.

Q: Can an existing customer take out a Super Start?
A: Existing customers cannot transfer to the Super Start product as the product is for new borrowings only.
Depending on the customers’ needs, existing customers have the option to transfer into other home loan products such as the Complete Home Loan Package, Premium Select or Fixed Rate Home Loan – all transfer fees and product fees will still be applicable.
However, if an existing customer has new lending (e.g. new loan min $20k loan size, or new loan with new security), they can apply for a new Super Start Home Loan.
Where a customer wishes to increase an existing Super Start Home Loan and wants the new Super Start rate for the full introductory period, a new application should be made for the increase amount only (minimum $20k). The existing loan should be left untouched.

Q: If I have a customer with an existing home loan application, that is yet to disburse, can I rework the deal to a Super Start Home Loan?
A: Customers who rework their existing deals to a Super Start will not be eligible for the new interest rate. This is because the original deal’s pricing date occurred prior to the Super Start rate change and only deals processed after the rate change are eligible for the new rate.

Q: Can customers still use Super Start for construction?
A: It is permissible for a customer to transfer their land loan from a non intro product into Super Start for construction. However, as Super Start is now subject to a maximum 80% LVR.

Q: How does Super Start compare with our fixed rate offers?
A: The Super Start home loan offers a fixed discount off SVR^ – because the SVR^ is a variable rate, the actual rate on the Super Start home loan can vary (up or down) within the 3 year introductory period. If your customer is wanting rate certainty over a fixed period then perhaps they may want to consider the Fixed Rate Home Loan or Complete Fixed Home Loan – both are currently offering competitive rates.

Q: What happens when the 3 year introductory period ends?
A: The rate will automatically revert to the Lite Home Loan variable reference rate.
Alternatively, at the expiry of the introductory term, customers may wish to transfer to one of our other products and this can be accommodated at the request of the customer for the applicable fee at the time.

Q: Where can I go for further information?
A: Please contact your Bankwest Business Development Manager for more information on Super Start or any other Bankwest home loan.

RBA expected to do two ‘insurance cuts’ in February and March next year; rate hikes in 2016

untitledWestpac has revised its profile for the RBA cash rate. While we still expect rates to be on the rise in 2016 as the world economy gathers considerable momentum, we now expect the RBA to cut rates further in the early months of 2015 in an effort to bolster domestic demand and lower the AUD before evidence on the world economy becomes clearer around the middle of the year. Accordingly we now expect the RBA to cut rates by 25bps in February and again in March prior to another period of stability. Please see attached for full report….

er20141204RBAView.pdf00V