Property prices, business confidence, top Aussie banks: This week’s banking news

Polly Fleeting

Friday 19 June 2020

  • Where property prices are at now 
  • 80% of Aussie businesses confident they’ll survive the pandemic, says Amex 
  • Heritage Bank tops the Aussies in the 2020 Forbes World’s Best Banks 
  • Looking for solar panels? You can now get them at IKEA 
  • 86 400, Up and BOQ offer highest savings rates on Mozo database  
  • Why you should start racking up credit card rewards point now 

All in this week’s banking recap.

Family in front of their house

Property price rise: what the market looks like now 

According to the latest numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Aussie property value jumped up by 1.6% over the March quarter. Not only that, but in the 12 months leading up to March, the value of homes rose by 7.4%. 

Among the major cities, Sydney and Melbourne experience the highest growth rates, as property value jumped up by 10% and 10.4%, respectively. However, in Darwin and Perth, property prices have decreased over the past year. 

“Our property market is showing resilience and there are some positive signs,” property expert from Metropole Property Strategists, Michael Yardney said in his latest update. 

“After a market fall in March and April, the number of transactions occurring and properties listed for sale is starting to pick up. It’s likely that it’s going to be less of a bad turn ahead than people expected. There are greenshoots as we like to say.”

Read full article: Property prices up 7.4% before COVID-19, so where to now? and find out what this means for first home buyers. 

Amex reveals 80% of small businesses confident they can survive COVID-19 

Early this week, popular credit card provider American Express revealed that a massive 80% of Aussie small businesses feel they can survive the pandemic. 

In it’s Small Business Recovery Report, Amex surveyed 750 consumers and 500 small businesses to find out how they are feeling about what’s to come post-COVID. 

While a large chunk felt they could survive, the report also showed that 52% of respondents were worried that sales wouldn’t be strong enough to endure the long term. Plus, 52% of consumers are worried about the health risks of shopping in-store. 

Read full article: Amex: 80% of small businesses confident about surviving COVID-19 but unsure for how long to check out what Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said about the numbers. 

Heritage Bank proves its worth on the world stage 

Heritage Bank shone brightly in American business magazine Forbes’ 2020 World’s Best Banks list. 

Out of 20 Aussies banks named on the list, mutual bank Heritage came out on top as Australia’s best, as voted by customers. 

Notably, customer-owned banks stole the show as they took up all four of the top spots. In addition to Heritage Bank, this included Bank Australia, Newcastle Permanent and IMB Bank. 

Meanwhile, the big four didn’t make the top 10, NAB was 13th, CommBank was 16th, ANZ was 18th and Westpac wasn’t on the list at all. 

Read full article: Forbes' 2020 World's Best Banks: Heritage Bank tops the Aussies for a full rundown of the Aussie winners! 

Where can you go to get solar panels in VIC, QLD and WA? IKEA! 

Need a new dining room table but also want to install solar panels? You can do it all in one place at IKEA. 

If you live in Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth you may be happy to learn that your local IKEA store now sells solar power packages called SOLSTRÅLE. 

Currently there are two packages available:

  • SOLSTRÅLE Basic: 6.6kW solar system  
  • SOLSTRÅLE with Battery: 6.6kW solar system + 6.5kW  lithium battery (allows households to store excess electricity)

While these products are not yet available in Sydney, Canberra or Adelaide, there have been expressions of interest from customers. So watch this space. 

Read full article: IKEA launches solar panels for VIC, QLD and WA customers for more on pricing and a word from IKEA chief executive, Jan Gardberg. 

Sanctuary for savers: 86 400, Up and BOQ provide top rates 

It’s been tough for Aussie savers. In fact, so tough that the average savings interest rate on the Mozo database sits at a sad 0.74%. 

This is a result of a massive 87 banks (tracked by Mozo) having slashed ravings rates since the last Reserve Bank cut to its official cash rate. 

Currently, the highest savings account rate on the Mozo database is 1.85%, offered by 86 400, Up and Bank of Queensland (BOQ). 

The average amongst the big four however sits at less than half the overall average at 0.36%. Westpac currently offers the highest rate amongst the big four at 1.05%.  

Read full article: 86 400, Up and BOQ provide sanctuary for savers as rates are further savaged for a deeper look into what savings accounts rates are on the market now. 

Want to reward yourself once international travel opens? Rack up credit card points now! 

Don’t let the giant question mark around international travel get you down, there are still plenty of ways to plump up your credit card rewards points stash. 

As restrictions on domestic travel start to ease, now could be the time to explore your own Aussie backyard and collect rewards points along the way. With a rewards credit card, you could end up snagging up to 2 points on every dollar you spend. 

Plus, at the moment 65 credit cards on the Mozo database have bonus points offers, which is a quick way to earn a decent chunk of points, from 7,500 to a whopping 150,000. Three cards currently offer the maximum 150,000 bonus points: ANZ Rewards Black, Qantas Premier Titanium and Westpac Altitude Black

So, if you’ve already been on the hunt for a credit card, or need to make the switch from your current one, a bonus points offer may be worth considering.  

Read full article: Credit card rewards: Why now could be time to rack up points for more on credit card rewards points. 

Want to start comparing rewards credit cards now? Take a look at the great options below!

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