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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 05
Following in the footsteps of her old boss, a new female banker chief is to head up BankSA. Congratulations to Jane Kittel, who previously headed the Pacific Islands business for Westpac, and now joins BankSA as the new CEO. There seems to be a move towards more women leading financial services groups. Over at Resi, Lisa Montgomery is into her first 30 days as CEO after a long time running the consumer advocacy role. "I think it's great to see more women in finance breaking the glass ceiling," she says. Resi has 40 staff in the head office and 25 franchisees, and Montgomery is busy putting her stamp on the place. "For me, what's important is team building, and I'm filling new roles in marketing and for the head of credit. We're also seeking a franchise relationship executive. "Minimising business risk in a growth phase is another priority," she says. "We're just about to implement a Delegated Lending Authority with Advantedge. And we're having a cultural shift after the GFC, but it's re-energising our people. It's an exciting time." Women to watch Home is where the heart is The push for older people to stay independent and in their own home has been confirmed yet again by a new study. The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute examined 1600 homeowners and found that 90% wanted to stay put while 37% actively didn't want to live in retirement villages. The case for equity loans remains strong, but SEQUAL chief Kevin Conlon says specialist accreditation remains important for advice. Going solo Demographer Bernard Salt has some depressing predictions for life in the future. In his column for The Australian newspaper, he says the number of households will grow from 8.4 million in 2011 to 11.6 million in 2031. This will owe a lot to singles and couples, but in particular, more empty nester homes occupied by ageing parents, who may end up widowed. By 2020, he says we could see "an army of isolated old people living in the suburbs". However, that's one side of the coin. Another scenario is a possible downsizing trend to apartments, townhouses and retirement village living as boomers finally retire and want to cash out. Housing affordability The latest REI Deposit Power Housing Affordability Report recorded the sixth consecutive decline in housing affordability, and found that -- with the exception of Tasmania and the Northern Territory -- the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increased 2% nationally in the last quarter. Aussie shrugs off absence of FHB grant boost Aussie reports a stream of first and new home buyer leads as confidence lifts in the market, with a doubling of appointments since March. Stephen Porges, Aussie CEO, says the cooling property market, an improved economy and job security has spurred the FHBs back into the game. Waving not drowning Since the GFC, Australians have been working harder to tackle their debt load rather than increase their savings. The latest quarterly ING DIRECT Financial Wellbeing Index reveals that Australians are more comfortable with their home loan than any other part of household finance -- almost one in two households (48%) are making extra repayments and only 3% have mortgage stress. The median mortgage balance for Q2 is $175,509 -- down from $177,259 in Q1. Median credit card debt has also fallen, with 61% of cardholders paying off the card in full, but the result is at the cost of savings. Lisa Montgomery, new CEO of Resi 8 | Mortgage & Finance brief InBrief
Mortgage and Finance Brief 06