Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing January 19

By the resi financial blog team, 27 January 2015

Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing January 19

There has been some exciting news in the real estate and finance sectors as the stats for the end of 2014 have started rolling in. Industry spectators have been clamouring to interpret the results and release their findings to the public - and with good reason.

While 2014 ended with a slight dip in activity across several market indicators and an underwhelming GDP performance, statistics from the last few months show some very positive movements.

#1. CommSec released their State of the States report on January 19, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of Australia's states and territories. Surprisingly, the Northern Territory overtook WA to share the number one spot for economic performance in the country with NSW.

"The NT is top on five indicators including the job market, but it's sixth on housing finance and seventh on population growth," said Craig James, chief economist for CommSec.

#2. The sale of new homes increased by 2.2 per cent in November last year, after a 3 per cent rise in October. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) doesn't expect this trend to be reversed when the December figures are released.

"The key leading indicator measures of building approvals and new home sales suggest this re-concentration of growth in the 'multi-unit' segment will persist into 2015," said Harley Dale, chief economist for the HIA in a January 22 statement.

#3. On a more ground-level note, the town of Sorrell in Tasmania has won a grant of almost $20,000 to help the community switch to renewable sources of energy. The grants are available to towns across the country and aim to improve the energy efficiency of local community facilities. Sorrell's grant was announced on January 21 by Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt and Federal Member for Lyons, Eric Hutchinson.

"Over the next three years, a total of $2.1 million will be available under the Solar Towns Programme to a number of pre-selected community sites, including Sorrell, with competitive grants processes running in select regions," Mr Hutchinson.

#4. Business owners will be glad to hear that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has been issued access to new penalties under the Franchising Code of Conduct  when changes came into effect on 1 January 2015.

The code has been updated to protect all parties by ensuring greater transparency and good faith.

"Franchisees and franchisors will still be able to negotiate and make agreements in their own interest but this new obligation requires all parties to be honest and up front in their dealings," said ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper in a 21 January statement.

#5. In a speech at the University of Adelaide on January 20, Second Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office (ATO), Andrew Mills spoke about the need to address tax administration issues. He also noted that voluntary tax compliance in Australia is very high.

"We are very fortunate to have high levels of willing participation in Australia. We know this from analysis of our revenue collection which shows that more than 95 per cent of our revenue comes in voluntarily – with relatively little intervention from us but supported by our systems and processes," said Mr Mills.

Less than 5 per cent comes in from compliance enforcement measures. We also know that 90 per cent of revenue is paid on time and over 80 per cent of income tax returns are lodged on time – further evidence that, overwhelmingly, most people do the right thing."

Categories: Business Owners, Home Loans, Property Investment