WEEKEND READS: Catch up on the most interesting articles I’ve read this week

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

Monday will be here before you know it, so enjoy for some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

Banks are cleaning up by crushing savers

Business Spectator has reported that banks are making back lost revenue from low interest rates – through savers.

Since mid-December the banks have lowered their term deposit rates by between 0.7 and 0.9 per cent — that’s equal to about a quarter of a per cent rate reduction per month for three months.

For example, Westpac has lowered its five-year rate from 4.1 per cent in mid-December to 3.2 per cent.coins tax taxman money payment

Obviously these rates are indicative and banks vary by small amounts.

For savers, the banks reckon that by delivering a huge and sudden fall in deposit rates, they will clean up no matter which way the trapped depositors move.

Most will again just cop it. Others are panicking because they have just seen their low incomes slashed by between a quarter and a third. And guess what they are doing in response?

They are now desperately trying to restore income by chasing bank shares and bank hybrids. Of course, the higher bank share prices and better support for hybrids has the banks smiling.

Others are going out and investing in houses and therefore borrowing, so again the banks are happy.

In effect slashing the bank deposit rate has become a significant force behind the latest leg of the sharemarket boom and the housing boom.

And to the extent that the Reserve Bank governor blew the right interest rate whistle, he is part of what is happening.

To make depositors pay to have money in the bank is a bankers’ heaven. Thankfully we are not there yet.

But banks have delivered a huge blow to their saver customers.

Flipping & renovating houses for profit | 5 ways to boost property value | Suburb due diligence | About granny flats | Getting your next property | Ticking time bomb for “Off The Plan” Property Investors

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

  • Ben Kingsley from Empower Wealth tells us the 5 things you can do that will add real value to a property.
  • Michael Yardney tells us about the ticking time bomb for “Off The Plan” Property Investors
  • We talk to Belinda Smith who decided to develop a business out of her passion for property.
  • Michael Beresford has been helping people build property portfolios for many years and he talks about how a lack of a finance strategy has held many investors back.
  • Bryce Yardney helps us with the suburb due diligence you need to do before committing to a development project
  • Jo Chivers tells us what to look for in assessing if an investment property is suitable for a granny flat.

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65 Negotiation Tactics To Help You Score The Best Property For The Best Price

Your Investment Property Mag published this very handy list of 65 Property Negotiation Tactics.

Here are the top 10 tactics.

1. When researching, compare like with like

2. Don’t rely on online research


3. Negotiation starts the moment you open your mouth

4. If you are genuinely interested, show it

5. Reaching agreement is the goal

6. Price is not the only negotiating factor

7. Use conditions strategically

8. Look at the situation from the vendor’s perspective

9. Be prepared to meet the market if need be

10. Conduct a mini auction with yourself

Read the full list here.

Australian population change 2009-2014

Pete Wargent takes a look at the latest ABS population data in this recent blog.

The ABS has released its Population by Age and Sex data to 30 June 2014, which showed that Greater Sydney (4.84 million) and Greater Melbourne (4.44 million) continued to dominate population growth.

Australian population change 2009-2014

Over the five year period to 30 June 2014 Australia’s population increased by +1.8 million from 21.7 million close to 23.5 million, an increase of 8.3 per cent.

Just four capital cities accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the increase, those being Greater Sydney (+348k), Greater Melbourne (+408k), Greater Brisbane (+206k), and Greater Perth (+282k).

With the exception of Queensland, regional population growth away from the capitals was relatively subdued in absolute terms.

3 Ways a Smartphone Can Detect If You’re Depressed

Psyblog reported on a study that used Smartphone data to predict depression.

Depression can be predicted just from smartphone data, a small new study finds.

Just by tracking where people go and how much they use their smartphone, researchers were able to predict depression with 87% accuracy.

For the study, researchers tracked 40 people through their smartphones over a period of two weeks.

The researchers think the technology could be used to monitor people who are at risk of depression.

Read the full article here.

Weekend video: The Pony #DancePonyDance

Three, a phone company in the UK (now no longer in Australia) are well known for their hilarious ads. Never underestimate the power of a plucky little pony!

Blogs you may have missed this week:

Postcodes with higher risk of default on the watchlist

What to do in a softening rental market

Some Lessons You Can Learn From These Successful Billionaires [infographic]

The Issue of Housing Affordability

5 lessons property investors can learn from farmers

Banks will require a bigger deposit for off the plan property purchases


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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