However hard we try to steer away from Australia’s housing market mayhem, loan rate hikes and affordability crisis drags us back.

But behind the big headlines this week, a few alternatives to big bank lending are emerging.

Hashching, which claims to be Australia’s first marketplace for home loans, has received $5 billion worth of applications for pre-negotiated mortgages “not advertised anywhere else”.

And then there’s Brickx which allows you to invest in property for as little as $100 by sharing in the equity  and proceeds of any sale.  OK, you don’t get a roof over your head, but at least the headlines about price rises may not seem quite so painful if you are participating!  They’ve been advertising all week.

Ok, but there isn’t an escape from the property warnings. Doom laden warnings that the house price boom is putting financial stability at risk came this week from the Reserve Bank, with official figures showing house prices leapt 4.1 per cent in the December quarter.

There was much hilarity as the Australian banking regular APRA’s chair Wayne Byres told reporters of the housing market: ‘I don’t use the B-word . I refuse to use the B-word .’

The B-word, of course, is bubble.

Meanwhile, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank are about to do battle over your super with the industry funds as the July 1 contribution change deadline approaches. Stand by for some really smarmy advertising and a few scare tactics.  Our advice:  watch the fees and be careful about claims of returns.

Prominent economic Alan Kohler pointed out industry super funds sere hitting back with a new TV ad showing a besuited arm –  obviously a banker –  letting foxes into the henhouse.

He quotes ChantWest, an recognised authority on super performance, as saying the 10-year performance figures are 5.5 per cent per annum for industry funds and 4.6 per cent for retail funds.

An Industry Super Australia presentation puts the 20-year performances at 6.3 per cent for industry funds and 4.5 per cent.

Enough said!

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