Auction results, JobKeeper ends, solar batteries: This week’s best banking news

young couple in living room celebrating sale at auction
  • In the lead up to Easter, property auction results hit 84% 
  • What’s next for small businesses as JobKeeper ends? 
  • More Aussie installing solar batteries in their homes  
  • Amex launches Shop Small campaign for 2021 
  • Two providers up term deposit rates while other continue to plummet
  • Refinancing a car loan: is it worth it? 

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

Aussie residential auction markets see busiest week in three years 

Last week, a massive 3,791 properties went up for auction across Australian capital city markets, with 84% recording a successful result. 

This is according to property research firm CoreLogic, which revealed the renewed confidence in the market. At the same time last year the auction clearance rate sat at just 37% on lower volumes. This was a result of over half of all auctions being withdrawn due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sydney led the pack with a preliminary clearance rate of 89% across 1,392 auctions, up from the previous week which showed an 85% final clearance rate across 1,025 properties. 

This is followed by Melbourne, which came through with a 84% clearance rate across 1,899 auctions. These numbers were up as well from 79% clearance across 1,322 homes. 

Read full article:
Property auction results hit 84% leading up to Easter for a deep dive into the numbers across Australia’s capital city property markets. 

No more JobKeeper: what does it mean for small businesses? 

The government’s JobKeeper support has officially come to an end. But where does that leave Aussie small businesses? 

Well, when planning for recovery and growth for the rest of this year, over half (65%) of small businesses plan to restructure their business, according to recent numbers from Scotpac’s biannual SME Growth Index. 

The numbers showed restructuring includes looking for new ways of funding. The survey revealed that 20% of small businesses need to cut costs to balance out the loss of government support. Almost 20% are considering making arrangements with the Australian Taxation Office, and 16% are looking into a business loan.  

On the other hand, a quarter of respondents (25%) claim to have no strategy to find their feet. Plus, 34% have said they’ll have to close or sell if the market doesn’t improve, which is actually an increase from 2020 at 31%.  

Read full article:
JobKeeper ends: Where to next for small business finance?

More Aussies going green with solar

woman standing in front of solar panels

In 2020, 31,000 solar energy batteries were installed into Aussie homes, according to solar analytics group, SunWiz. 

This was up 20% from 2019 and on top of that, sub-100W solar panels installations have increased by 39%, too. 

“In 2020 Australians continued to demonstrate a desire to reduce their power bills by making the most of the nation’s abundant and cheap solar power and empower themselves with a battery,” said SunWiz managing director, Warwick Johnston. “It was a surprisingly good year.”

South Australians led the way when it comes to solar battery installations, with more than a quarter of 2020’s installations coming from that state alone. These numbers are likely linked to the South Australian government’s subsidy program. 

And when it comes to 2021, SunWiz predicts there will be even more of an uptake in solar batteries, with installations increasing to 33,000 this year. 

Read full article:
Solar battery installations on the rise despite lack of government help for a closer look at renewable energy. 

Judo, Firstmac and Goldfields Money  increase term deposit rates as other providers cut 

Most term deposit rates continue on a downward spiral. 

In fact, there were a total of 32 cuts made to term deposit rates on the Mozo database last month. Plus, the average interest rate for a $25,000 deposit with a 1-year term dropped from 0.56% p.a. to 0.53% p.a.

However, some lenders went against the grain and raised their rates instead. Judo Bank and Firstmac both increased rates in March, with Firstmac slapping on up to 55 basis points. 

Similarly, Goldfields Money also bumped up some of its rates by as much as 40 basis points. However, it also lowered other rates by up to 20 basis points.  

Read full article:
April term deposits: Judo & Firstmac increase rates amid cuts to find out more about the products these lenders have on offer. 

Amex brings back Shop Small in 2021, for the entire year!

shopper spending at small business

Yesterday, credit card giant American Express announced that its Shop Small campaign was back for 2021, and was sticking around for the entire year. 

The campaign is about encouraging Amex credit card holders to shop from and support small businesses. And for many Aussie businesses, 2021 is the year they need for recovery.  

“The resilience that Australian small business operators have shown throughout the Covid crisis has been extraordinary,” said vice president of small and medium enterprises for American Express Australia, Lisa Belcher. 

“And it’s encouraging to see consumers, big business and government rallying to back the sector, but now is not the time for complacency. That’s why Shop Small is returning all-year-round, to remind shoppers that if they want to see these businesses survive they have to take action and spend with them regularly.” 

To get involved in the Shop Small campaign Amex customers will need to save the Shop Small offer to their eligible American Express card. On top of that, they will need to shop at participating online and in-store small businesses where they’ll earn an additional three points per dollar until 31 March 2022 (capped at 40,000 points). 

Read full article:
Amex Shop Small campaign is back in 2021 - with a twist for more on this initiative and small business sentiment. 

Should you consider refinancing your car loan?

Interest rates are at a low, meaning many mortgage customers are looking to take advantage and refinance their current home loan to a more competitive rate. 

But what about your car loan? Is it a good idea to do the same? 

Well, in the last five years, there have been eight cuts made by the RBA to its official cash rate, leaving it at an historic low of 0.10% (compared to 2.00% at the beginning of 2016). 

For car loans, over the same period of time, the average variable rate for new and used vehicles has dropped from 7.82% to 6.68% (-1.14%) on the Mozo database. 

When it comes to home loans, the decrease to the average variable rate was from 4.72% to 3.30% (-1.42%). While this may seem like a small margin for both car and home loans, mortgages are more likely to see a significant difference as those loans are around 25 to 30 years, compared to one to 10 years. 

Essentially, you may not actually save that much on a car loan by receiving a lower rate compared to a mortgage where you can save thousands over the life of the loan. 

However, if you are a borrower who has improved their credit score, you may benefit from switching to a loan that offers tiered rates in favour of those with good credit. 

Read full article:
Is refinancing a car loan worth it? for some examples of the savings you may make by opting to switch. 

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