So what’s happening in the housing market?  Last weekend saw prices flatline, with zero growth in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Brisbane went up just 0.1%.

So is it the end of the decline – or even, as one writer in the Financial Review suggested this week – the start of a price rise comeback?

In Sydney, prices have now gone backwards over the year, joining Perth where the median dwelling price fell by 2.7%. Elsewhere, price growth in Melbourne slowed to 6.9% while gains of 2.2% and 1.9% were reported in Adelaide and Brisbane respectively.

“We think there is already evidence that the slowdown in house prices is stabilising,” David Plank, Head of Australian Economics at ANZ Bank, told Business Insider.

If you feel like taking a longer term view Bank of America-Merill Lynch have this suggestion that makes property a good long-term bet, with prices rising in 2020 due to a shortage.

Their theory: a moderating property market will lead to fewer housing starts and sow the seeds of under supply in two years time.

‘‘ The stage is being set for the next property cycle,’’ BAML economists Tony Morriss and Alexandra Veroude write in a recent research note. ‘‘ Forget oversupply,’’ they write, urging their clients to look beyond 2018: there are ‘‘ risks of undersupply brewing’’ .

And why your home loan is under the spotlight

The Big Four banks will come under the spotlight for alleged mortgage frauds, including those claimed to have involved National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank brokers.

The royal commission led by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne, QC said the first round of hearings, to be held next month would look at case studies covering areas including home loans, car loans, credit cards and account administration . The first topic to be looked at will be residential mortgages.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the commission will examine NAB’s program of paying ‘‘ introducers’ ’ – people outside the bank who collect a fee for referring a customer – after the bank last year revealed more than 20 bankers had been sacked or resigned for breaching its policies when issuing 2300 home loans.

The commission will also look at ‘‘ fraudulent brokers’ ’ within Aussie Home Loans, after the corporate watchdog banned several Aussie brokers in recent years for submitting false or misleading documents.

The Commonwealth Bank’s ‘‘ accreditation of brokers and broker arrangements’ ’ is another area to be examined in the commission’s scrutiny of the $1.6 trillion mortgage market.

Car loans will also be a key focus with the commission hearing from customers of Westpac and St George’s finance practices and ANZ and its former subsidiary Esanda’s car finance practices.

Credit cards will be another key focus of the royal commission, which will hear case studies relating to Westpac’s unsuitable credit card limit increases and Citi’s imposition of international transaction fees.

Different.  But not so good at Aldi

You’ve always wondered how it is that Aldi, the new darling of middle class shoppers who love to brag about snagging bargains, always seems to have just run out of the special you wanted.

Now the store has been accused of “bait advertising”,  and its practice of selling cheap Special Buy products in limited stock is under investigation.

ABC consumer affairs program, The Checkout, has accused the company of  breaking consumer law.

The Checkout says dozens of customers queue up on Wednesdays and Saturdays when the supermarket offers discounted one-off products – but sometimes less than a handful are actually available.

Chaotic scenes have occured at Aldi stores as shoppers tried to get popular items, such as Dyson vacuum cleaners and cheap ski gear.

One mother appearing on the show explains how she had seen an ad for leather shoes as part of Aldi’s Back to School Special Buys offers. The woman and her daughter reportedly visited seven stores in one morning – and every single one was sold out.

She discovered later that each store only had one size of each shoe in stock, The Checkout reported.

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