Australians Borrow Less for Second Successive Month: ABS

HIGHER interest rates, and a winding-down of government grants for new homes, have contributed to a contraction of housing finance, for the second successive month in November, 2009 (released January 2010).

Strong population growth, pent-up demand, and re-interest in real estate, by investors, is expected to result in the RBA increasing interest rates when it meets next month – making it an unprecedented fourth straight interest rate rise since late last year.

It’s been speculated interest rates could rise between 1 and 3 per cent this year.

According to the recent ABS statistics, the number of housing finance approvals fell 5.6 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in November from October.

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Westpac, NAB Follow CBA and Lift Interest Rates

National Australia BankTHREE DAYS after banking giant Commonwealth Bank announced a surprise increase of its fixed interest rate, rival banks Westpac and National Australia Bank have followed suit.

Westpac yesterday informed its mortgage holders of interest rate increases of between 0.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent, for most of its loans. The bank’s four and five year loan rates have ballooned from 6.69 per cent to 7.19 per cent.

Westpac was followed by the National Australia Bank, which also lifted rates on its four and five year loans, by between 0.15 and 0.4 per cent.

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