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The Australian Banking Association has followed the Reserve Bank’s lead in announcing a major relief package for Australian businesses, struggling amid the coronavirus crisis. Australian banks will defer the loan repayments of small businesses for six months, to help keep their doors open and keep people in jobs.  The package will apply to more than $100 billion of existing small business loans, and could put up to $8bn back into the pockets of small businesses. When asked about whether residential mortgage holders can expect to be thrown the same lifeline, ABA CEO Anna Bligh says today’s package is designed to impact the most critical and urgent need. “At this stage, banks report that they are not seeing any high volume of anyone in distress with mortgages.” But she notes, things could change in the coming days and weeks amid the rapidly moving set of circumstances. “As the government is having to evolve their response, if there is a need that emerges in relation to mortgages the banks will of course look at what might need to be done,” says Bligh. The focus is on small and medium businesses for now The RBA yesterday announced a suite of stimulus measures – including a crisis-cut to the cash rate – primarily focusing on businesses and jobs. The actions we have seen from the RBA and the ABA clearly show the immediate focus is on trying to keep businesses running and people in jobs, according to executive manager of economics, Cameron Kusher. He adds, we know the UK, Italy and Canada have all provided targeted relief to households by pausing mortgage repayments. “It is probably an option on the table here in Australia. It would be particularly comforting for those that have already been either stood down or let go from their jobs as well as for those working on contracts or casually.” What about renters? Kusher says renters also need to be considered during the COVID-19 distress. “A better approach might be that there is a pause on mortgage repayments for a period of time, as well as the government covering the cost of rental repayments for that same period,” he says. ABA package will ultimately help keep homeowners afloat As long as homeowners can keep drawing an income, they will be able to keep making their mortgage repayments. Chief economist at, Nerida Conisbee, says the ABA’s announcement is “great news” with the uncertainty around employment. “Given that it is going to be a temporary situation, we need to ensure people can pay living expenses, and this will be a great help to many people.” Some sectors have already been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, two-thirds of Qantas and Jetstar’s 30,000 employees were temporarily stood down. Details inside:x Banks Yet To Rule Out Assistance For Mortgage Hold... The Australian Banking Association has today followed the Reserve Bank's lead in announcing a major relief package for Australian businesses, struggling amid the coronavirus crisis.
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The Australian property market finally started to pick up at the end of last year after suffering a long downturn. After the election results, OpenAgent’s Consumer Sentiment Index saw an increase in price expectations. This outlook is continuing to improve, suggesting that property prices could continue going up. New South Wales The proportion of New South Wales home sellers believing that prices will be going up within the next six months gradually increased throughout last quarter. By the end of December, 82 per cent believed prices would stay the same and only 6 per cent believed they would go down. Victoria At the last quarter, home sellers in Victoria were the most optimistic compared to home sellers in the other states. In particular, there was a massive spike from November to December. A large 85 per cent of respondents in Victoria believed prices would be going up during the first half of this year. Queensland Price expectations in Queensland remained stable all of last year and continued to do so in the previous quarter. About 74 per cent of sellers in Queensland said they believed prices would be going up in the first half of this year. Tasmania The property market in Hobart has also been improving this year. In January, the median house price ($512,899) went up by 0.9 per cent. Similarly, the median unit price ($398,205) went up by 0.8 per cent. The city is now back to its former peak. Australian Capital Territory Though the increases in Canberra’s median values over January were quite small in comparison to other capital cities, the market is still back to its last peak. There was a 0.3 per cent increase in the median house price ($701,561), and a 0.1 per cent increase in the median unit value ($441,400). South Australia Market expectations for South Australia were rather negative in the first half of 2019. However, these significantly improved by the end of year. Western Australia The market in Perth is finally seeing positive changes. In January, the median house price ($456,803) increased by 0.1 per cent and the median unit price ($352,556) increased by 0.3 per cent. Unfortunately, dwelling values haven’t gone back to their last peak and are still down overall for the past year. Northern Territory The Darwin market has a similar story. There has been an overall increase of 0.1 per cent in dwelling values but prices are still well below their peak. Though there was a 0.6 per cent increase in the median house price ($469,834), the median unit price ($275,636) went down by 1.1 per cent. Market outlook Solid performance across the nation is a great sign that it’s a seller’s market. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to put your property on the market, this could be it. Read more:x State-by-state breakdown: Property markets improve... OpenAgent’s Consumer Sentiment Index saw an increase in price expectations at the end of 2019. This outlook suggests that prices could continue to rise.
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The property market in the capital held steady between 2017 and 2019, while Sydney and Melbourne tumbled. Australia’s two biggest cities are now overtaking Canberra, but price growth in the ACT continues despite high development. With millions more buyers on compared to last year, the steady ACT market could be one to watch in 2020. Price growth set to continue Over the past 12 months, Canberra property prices have increased by 1.9% with houses the driving force. Units have declined by 0.7%, likely driven by the high levels of new development. The suburb of Mawson has seen the strongest unit price growth at 16.3%. Prices stable despite plans for more development The ACT has experienced the third-highest level of development relative to state population in the past 35 years, behind Western Australia and Queensland. Despite the very high levels of supply, property prices have remained relatively stable and rents continue to increase. Search activity is up 26%, but listings remain down compared to the same time last year. The limited availability of properties for sale will likely result in increased buyer competition. First home buyers and investors the main players The federal government’s 5% deposit scheme has been incredibly popular since it began on 1 January 2020. It is one of the driving factors behind a jump in first home buyer enquiries on for Canberra, which saw an increase of 71% in January 2020 compared to the same period last year. Rental demand to remain strong Canberra units have seen stronger rental growth compared to houses over the past 12 months, despite the high number of new developments. The upward trend likely reflects the increasing quality of properties. Source:x Why Canberra's Property Market Is Outshining Melbo... Canberra's real estate engine is running red hot as the Autumn selling season begins, meantime markets in Australia's two biggest cities are making a slow recovery.
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