Housing prices, electricity bills, tax time: This week’s best banking news

By Polly Fleeting ·
home-loan-borrower-holding-up-keys-in-front-of-house
  • Property prices fall by 0.7% across Australia and 0.8% in major cities
  • Residential electricity use spikes since the outbreak of COVID-19
  • 5 unsuspecting things to claim on your tax return
  • Gen Z aren’t signing up for credit cards, says Afterpay
  • How your super fund can help the environment
  • June 2020: This months banking roundup

All in this week’s best banking news recap: editor’s pick.

Housing prices drop by 0.7%: where do the major cities sit now?

The harsh reality of COVID-19 and the Aussie property market continues to rear its head, as housing prices dropped again in June, by 0.7% nation-wide. 

This is according to Corelogic who found that for the second month in a row housing prices have taken a dive. In fact, the value of dwellings amongst the capital cities also fell by 0.8% over last month. 

Here’s a breakdown of the changes major city to major city:

Melbourne-1.1%
Perth-1.1%
Sydney-0.8%
Brisbane-0.4%
Adelaide-0.2%

However, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra all experienced slight increases to their property prices, between 0.1% and 0.3%. 

Read full article:
Housing prices down 0.7% nationally, 0.8% in capital cities and find out what Tim Lawless, head of research at Corelogic says about the latest numbers.

Residential electricity usage up 105% due to COVID-19

Aussie electricity usage has skyrocketed over the last few months as people spent more time indoors and worked from home. 

According to solar equipment provider Nature Solar, residential electricity usage in Australian households jumped by a massive 105% as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. 

When compared to last year (March 2019) when the average usage sat at 513kWh, usage has more than doubled in MArch 2020 as the average is now a huge 1052kWh. 

Read full article:
Electricity bills: Residential usage skyrockets since COVID-19 to see what Nature Solar chief executive, Chris Williams says about Aussies feeling the pinch of larger energy bills.

Wondering what you can claim on tax this year? Here’s 5 things you should know about

There’s no doubt that Aussie tax returns will look a little different this year with many people having spent months working from home. 

However, there are a few other surprising things you can claim as tax deductions, before and while COVID-19 was around. Check them out:

  • Things for career development: this could be books, subscriptions, courses etc.
  • Income protection insurance: this applies if you took out this insurance with a private insurer (outside of your super fund) 
  • Car-related costs when traveling to work
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning
  • Working from home during COVID-19: using either the fixed rate method or actual cost method

Read full article: 5 surprising things you can claim as tax deductions this EOFY for hot tips from private client adviser at Shadforth Financial Group, Shayne Sommer.

Credit cards: Millennials dabbled but Gen Z says ‘forget it!’

There’s a big question mark over the future of credit cards, as the younger generations look to different alternatives. And Gen Z are the largest age bracket rejecting them. 

According to Buy Now Pay Later giant Afterpay’s Global Gen Z Report: Financial Feels, a huge 94% of the platform’s Gen Z users sign up using a debit card over a credit card. 

 An Afterpay report last year  found that credit card ownership amongst the younger generation has dropped to 42% in 2019 (compared to 58% in 2002.) 

But it’s not only young Aussies that feel this way about credit cards. Mozo data found that 66% of Aussies say rewards cards are no longer worth it

Read full article:
Afterpay: Millennials tried credit cards, but Gen Z aren't even signing up to find out why Gen Z has given up on credit cards.

How your super fund can affect the future you’ll retire in

This week, we spoke to Future Super’s co-founder Kirsten Hunter about ethical investing and the fund’s 2019 Impact Report. Here are some of the major take-aways:

  • Super can fund renewable energy: The superannuation industry is worth three trillion dollars and just 7.7% of that coule fund Australia’s switch to 100% renewable energy.
  • Choose a company that invests ethically: For example, Future Super doesn’t invest in things like fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, animal cruelty etc. Their impact report found that the fund’s collective membership saved more than 62,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2019.
  • Recent events show the need for ethical investing: Events like the bushfires, flooding and COVID-19 demonstrated the need for a shift in investing. In fact, according to a 2020 report by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA), over two-thirds of Australians don’t want their money to be invested in non-environmentally conscious projects.

Read full article: Future Super: Where you put your money now will shape the world you retire into for more from Kirstin Hunter.

It’s Banking Roundup time! Here’s a snapshot of June 2020

The 2019/2020 financial year has come to an end, and let’s just say it’s been a whirlwind. While plenty went on over June, here are Mozo banking expert, Peter Marshall’s key points of the month:

  • Variable home loan rates are still dropping and another fixed rate lender dropped its rate below 2.00%.
  • Changes have been made to credit card introductory offers, including offers from two major banks.
  • New rates were introduced for personal loans, and neolender Alex joined the personal loan party.
  • At call deposit rates continue to be reduced, including two of the major banks.
  • More drops to term deposit rates, the average rate for 12 months is now down to 1.11%. 

Read full article: Mozo Banking Round Up, June 2020 for a deep dive into the world of personal finance last month or take a look at our June financial jargon buster

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Polly Fleeting
Polly Fleeting
Money writer

Polly Fleeting is a personal finance writer here at Mozo, specialising in loans and credit cards. Her work is aimed at helping people find ways to make smart product choices, reduce debt and get more for their hard-earned dollars. Polly has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.