In money news that will affect your hip pocket this week.
Property prices still hot
Just as the Australian population tops 24 million, the desire to buy up more real estate in the country’s biggest capital cities keeps gaining momentum even when many property experts think it will stop.
Auction clearance rates in both Sydney and Melbourne remain high and suggest that both property markets are hot.
This could raise concerns among regulators, particularly the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), as extremely low interest rates continue to spur buyer and seller interest.
But most economists aren’t expecting another rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in October. Currently the official cash rate, is sitting at a record low of 1.5 per cent – still more than double the average variable mortgage rate.
The RBA will be taking note of where the Australian dollar moves to in the weeks and months ahead, perhaps more so than property, amid expectations that the $US5.1-trillion-a-day global currency market will keep fluctuating wildly.
According to the smh.com.au which cites investment bank UBS AG, currency swings will increase later this year as investors weigh the potential outcome of the US presidential election and the likelihood of a US Federal Reserve year-end interest-rate increase.
The Aussie dollar is currently buying around $US0.76, and some currency watchers believe it will test $US0.78 in the weeks ahead.
#Vodafail strikes again
Vodaphone customers might be a tad annoyed this morning after another bout of #Vodafail cost them their coverage over the weekend.
Vodafone confirmed that its network was suffering “intermittent” outages, with the problem taking more than eight hours to fix.
Customers might be hoping that Vodaphone follows the lead of Telstra which apologised to its network users by giving them free data after a number of connection disruptions in recent months.
Credit card wish list
A credit card with no annual fee is officially at the top of the wish list for Australian credit cardholders, according to a new survey by financial product comparison website finder.com.au.
The national survey of 2,033 respondents found that 81 per cent of Australians desire no, or a low, annual fee, and 38 per cent wanted a low purchase rate when considering their credit card options. This was followed by a good (non-frequent flyer) rewards program.
There’s an estimated 100 cards on the market with an annual fee under $50 and over 40 with no annual fee at all.
Finder.com.au has listed its top three no annual fee credit cards, ranked by lowest ongoing purchase rate.
ME Bank frank Credit Card 11.99 per cent.
American Express Essential Credit Card 14.99 per cent.
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card 18.99 per cent.