Low rates here the long term?

In the news this week, signs interest rates could stay low into 2020; values down, but only in the more expensive markets; and we weigh up the benefits of hiring an interior designer…

Rates stay low to 2020?

It came as no surprise that here will be no official change to interest rates this month, with the Reserve Bank Board deciding once again to leave the cash rate at the all-time low 1.5 per cent.

In welcome news for home buyers and mortgage holders, economists are now predicting it’s unlikely there will be any movements upwards before late next year, or maybe even 2020.

Values down, but still high

Property values might be falling, but they are still one-third higher than they were five years ago, according to property data and analytics company Corelogic’s latest figures.

CoreLogic’s home value index shows that Australian dwelling values fell 0.2 per cent in June, to be 0.8 per cent lower over the year.  Taken in perspective, however, national dwelling values remain 32.4 per cent higher than five years ago. ..

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Should you hire an interior designer?

Many Aussies tend to be sceptical about paying someone to help design the interior of their homes. Maybe it harks back to the days when only the very wealthy had decorators and architects; it could also be that there are plenty of design apps available online – and what could go wrong with that!

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Approvals seesaw

Building approvals continue to seesaw, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The latest figures show that approvals for multi-units surged 4.3 per cent in May, while houses fell by 8.6 per cent, seasonally adjusted. In the previous month, it was the reverse with approvals to build houses rising 0.1 per cent, yet multi-units fell 11.5 per cent.

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SA powers ahead with solar

The state that can boast the world's biggest lithium-ion battery is set to now have one of the world’s largest solar power projects, after the Solar River Project was given the go-ahead in South Australia.

The project, which has the support of the South Australian Government and the Ngadjuri Nation Aboriginal Corporation, aims to supply 90,000 homes with affordable, reliable solar energy.

Stage 1 of the project will see the first electricity generated in late 2019.

What’s this: holding costs

The term ‘holding costs’ in property refers to the outgoing expenses incurred by an owner of an investment property pending receipt of rental income from a tenant or the sale of the property to another party.

Holding costs generally include such items as council rates, insurance, strata levies (if applicable), maintenance and interest costs and any mortgage interest paid. For property investors, most holding costs can be offset against income for tax purposes.