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Friday, 4 August 2006

What goes up...

Well, the Reserve Bank has done to expected and raised interest rates by 0.25%, and talk has now turned to anticipation of another increase in November.

Of course, no-one really knows what will happen - just before the previous rate rise the consensus opinion of the "experts" was that rise would be the last. Reading the commentary in the financial press is a bit like watching a herd of cattle stampeding this way and that.

In reality, interest rates are not particularly high, now just approaching the level they peaked at in the last rate tightening phase, and probably not likely to go much higher. With the US economy slowing and the Chinese economy overheating, it's quite possible that in another year we'll be fearful of a resources-bust lead recession!

Anyhow, with housing construction at very low level, vacancy rates dropping and prices levelling out in the eastern states, it's probably a good time to start looking around if you intend to buy a rental investment property before the next housing boom starts.

Personally I'm a bit over-weight in property, with a large home loan balance outstanding (variable rate) and a considerable outstanding mortgage remaining on an investment property (which is on a five year fixed rate interest only loan). But it's still interesting to look at how unit prices are tracking in the suburbs of Sydney - some recently completed units near Epping Station caught my eye. If the price is right these may be attractive once the new rail line through Nth Ryde is soon completed.

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