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Westpac picks 4pc rise in house prices

27 Apr 2011: Westpac economists are forecasting a 4 per cent rise in house prices over the coming year as the housing market stabilises due to low interest rates. The Reserve Bank cut the benchmark Official Cash Rate to 2.5 per cent in March, and is expected to keep it at the record low until either the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012. Along with low interest rates, banks have again begun offering mortgages with as little as a 5 per cent deposit required in a bid to fuel a flat national housing market. read more >>

Home affordability best in seven years

20 Apr 2011: Home loan affordability improved in February and early March to its best levels in seven years as flat to falling house prices in many areas and a large reduction in floating mortgage rates after the February 22 earthquake boosted home buyers' purchasing power. The ongoing benefits of last year's income tax cuts for those on higher incomes boosted affordability to its best levels since March 2004, which was just before house prices surged, the Roost Home Loan Affordability report shows. read more >>

Home Truths: Take one step at a time

2 Apr 2011: The $64,000 question - what does the future bring for property investors? During the strong market growth of 2001 to 2007, most investors were focused solely on building equity. That strategy has now created challenges for many investors. The market changing has meant investors who purchased towards the end of the upward cycle have now found themselves in a position where they have very little equity in their rental properties. In a number of situations I have seen investors who would owe money on their properties if they sold now. read more >>

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