I know you won’t be weeping for the dealers, but sales of ridiculously expensive but utterly gorgeous cars like Ferrari or Lamborghini are at a five year low.
I know. It’s sad.
But don’t cry for the dealers. Luxury cars have been booming for years, and this is the first time sales have been thrown into reverse.
But not if you’re an average worker…
Perhaps the explanation for the Ferrari sales call comes in figures from the Australian household survey which showed incomes have grown by less than the price of a coffee a year since 2008.
The Reserve Bank warned this week Australians should expect low wage growth ‘‘ for some time”.
According to the minutes of September’s Reserve Bank board meeting released on Tuesday, only teachers and healthcare workers have seen any meaningful jumps in their pay packet, with mining and retail workers hardest hit.
At the same time, house prices in Sydney and Melbourne have risen by 100 per cent to reach medians of up to $1 million.
Low wage growth was the key reason for the RBA’s decision to leave rates on hold at the record low of 1.5 per cent for the 13th month in a row.
The bank is worried a quick change upwards on rates would put too much pressure on debt-laden households.
House prices? If you’re in Brisbane – start worrying…
House prices are still the major worry. The week showed how little anyone knows which way they are going.
The annual growth rate of house prices held steady at 10.2 per cent, while the 3.0 per cent rise in prices in Melbourne over the three months to July beat the 2.3 per cent gain in Sydney.
But worries an apartment glut will spark a decline in Sydney property prices are overblown, according to the Reserve Bank.
Brisbane is the real risk, with the RBA saying ‘‘This year is crunch time”.
According to CommSec, the median price of houses transacted in Sydney in the June quarter was $1.02 million – up $110,000 from a year prior.
Melbourne houses averaged $713,000, up $87,000.
And that mortgage deal may not be all it seems…
The Reserve Bank was also keen to point the finger at how the banks rig the mortgage market.
Those offering cut-price home loan interest rates through unadvertised discounts leaves many customers bewildered as to whether they are getting a good deal.
If you are loyal to your bank and its loans – chances are you are being dudded.
The RBA says there is ‘‘ lack of transparency’ ’ in the $1.5 trillion home loan market because of the complicated pricing arrangements used by banks.
In particular, it drew attention to the way banks offer their best interest rates to new customers via unadvertised discounts on their standard variable rates, while charging many existing clients more.
RBA says, banks have increased the size of mortgage discounts over the past seven years from 0.6 percentage points to 0.9 percentage points.
But the best discounts go to new customers.
‘‘Borrowers’ capacity to source the best deal and assess the benefits of switching providers has been assisted by the introduction of brokers and comparison websites,’’ the bank says.
‘‘However, it is not clear that there is sufficient transparency in the mortgage market for existing borrowers to easily assess whether they have a good deal or whether they should consider refinancing.’’