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Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe has noted tightening credit across multiple types of borrowers. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas.The comments come as Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe on Tuesday announced the official cash rate would remain at the record 1.5 per cent in February — given low rates were “continuing to support” the economy.He acknowledged that “credit conditions for some borrowers are tighter than they have been. At the same time, the demand for credit by investors in the housing market has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers has eased to an annualised pace of 5.5 per cent.”CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless and research analyst Cameron Kusher believe the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry recommendations offered some good news for borrowers — particularly by it not ruling out Household Expenditure Measure “as a valid benchmark for assessing borrower expenses”.That means “credit availability is not likely to worsen any further” now, a report by the pair said.“Potentially we are in the early stages of a ‘new normal’ for home lending where borrowers should expect a lot more scrutiny on their expenses and servicing capacity.“Our macro view is that home values will continue to trend lower through 2019 and into 2020. As housing affordability gradually improves and owner occupiers continue to benefit from lower mortgage rates relative to investors, we are likely to see an organic shift towards owner occupiers comprising a larger share of the market.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 MORE: Jessica Rudd is doing it her way Amy Shark sinks millions into home town Finsure Group’s John Kolenda has a pessimistic view, expecting a rate cut by the third quarter off slowing economic circumstances. Picture: Alex Wisser“This is increasing pressure on the RBA to lower rates, particularly when you weigh up all the negative factors which includes the coming federal election, the response to the final report of the Hayne Royal Commission, the falling property market and external matters such as the US-China trade war and Brexit. There are just too many headwinds at the moment.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoHe said banks were already increasing rates independently of the RBA because of funding pressures and consumer confidence was also “lagging”.“I don’t think they would cut rates during an election campaign, If it does happen it would most likely be in the third quarter, unless there is a material change in the overall economy.”Rates have not fallen since hitting a record low 1.5 per cent in August 2016. “A 6.3 per cent drop in Sydney would see average house prices dip a further $58,000, while a 6.6 per cent drop in Melbourne this time would mean a fall of more than $49,000,” Mr Cooke said. “Remarkably, should these price drops eventuate as forecast, this would make Sydney and Melbourne property the cheapest it has been in four years.”Mortgage industry expert John Kolenda of Finsure Group was pessimistic about rates, warning pressure was mounting towards a cut — which would be great for borrowers, though a bad sign for the state of the economy. The fastest growing place in QLD Refinancing levels have dropped with many borrowers scared off by higher serviceability requirements.There was some other good news off the release of the Royal Commission’s 76 recommendations, with analysis firm Moody’s noting it removed some negative pressure from the housing market — specifically off its decision “not to tighten lending criteria”.It warned “housing credit growth continues to fall from the high levels experienced during 2013-2017, with the value of total new lending falling 8.2 per cent in the 12-months to November 2018. This reflects both macro-prudential measures and the highly leveraged nature of households”.Ratecity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said “the serviceability clampdown will have scared some people out of refinancing” already.Refinancing of home loans was down 3.2 per cent year-on-year in latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data for November — even though the average borrower could save $77,340 over the life of their loan if they switched to a lower rate, Ms Tindall said. Experts in the Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey expect the median house price in Brisbane to fall -1 per cent this year. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt.A rate cut to a new record low is just months away, experts predict, with median house prices expected to fall across five major cities.Fresh predictions in the latest Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey, out Tuesday, were that median house prices would fall in five major capital cities by the end of 2019 — with Sydney and Melbourne to hit their cheapest levels in four years.Experts in the survey believed falls of 6 percentage points were yet to come this year for the two biggest capitals — Sydney and Melbourne — on top of the already 11.1 per cent fall Sydney has seen since July 2017 and 7.2 per cent drop Melbourne has had since November 2017.Brisbane prices was expected to fare best of the five, retreating -1 per cent (-$5,600 to $554,400) by year end, followed by Darwin -1.3 per cent (-$6,370 to $483,630) and Perth -2.9 per cent (-$14,935 to $500,065), according to finder.com.au’s insights manager Grahame Cooke. Adelaide and Hobart meanwhile were expected to continue to see growth. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Experts believe the median house price in Sydney will drop -6.3 per cent this year.
MLB’s 2018 suspension against Astros’ Yuli Gurriel gets negative reaction on social media HOUSTON — Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will be suspended five games without pay in 2018 for making a racist gesture and remark toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish in Friday’s Game 3 of the World Series, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Saturday.After hitting a home run against Darvish in Game 2, Gurriel was caught on camera saying the word Chinito – Spanish slang for a person of Asian descent – and pressing his fingers against his eyes. Darvish, who was born in Japan, said the action was disrespectful to people “all around the world.”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Whicker: MLB does the wise thing in Yuli Gurriel case In announcing the suspension, the commissioner offered four reasons why Gurriel would not be forced to miss any time for the remainder of the World Series.“First of all, I felt it was important that the suspension carried with it the penalty of lost salary,” Manfred said. “Secondly, I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros’ roster. I wanted the burden of this discipline to fall primarily on the wrongdoer. Thirdly, I was impressed in my conversation with Yu Darvish by his desire to move forward, and I felt that moving this suspension to the beginning of the season would help in that regard. Manfred declined “to characterize the conversations with the union, beyond the notion that the union was supportive of the general proposition that this type of behavior was not appropriate in our game.”Gurriel, 33, was born in Cuba. This is his first season of professional baseball in the United States. He spent a portion of the 2014 season playing in Japan, and said that his actions were in part motivated by his lack of success against Darvish and other Japanese pitchers.But Gurriel reiterated in a private meeting with Manfred that he intended no disrespect – comments that he echoed through an interpreter after Friday’s game.“Mr. Gurriel to his credit quickly realized that his behavior was wrong,” Manfred said. “He expressed remorse. I met with him today. He reiterated that remorse, and he assured me that he will be offering a private apology to Mr. Darvish.”Darvish wrote on his Twitter account that “I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse (Gurriel). If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind.”MLB has suspended players for anti-gay slurs in recent years: Matt Joyce and Kevin Pillar received two-game suspensions this season, and Yunel Escobar received a three-game suspension in 2012.But this combination of a racial pejorative and an insulting gesture was new, at least for this decade and this commissioner. Manfred said he decided to go beyond the precedent established by the earlier suspensions “as a statement of our disapproval of this behavior.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father, said he had no issue with Gurriel’s suspension waiting until next season.“I just really don’t want to take the focus off this series,” Roberts said. “Major League Baseball handled it the way they felt was appropriate. We support it and we’re trying to move on.“I don’t want any asterisks with him not being in there. I want the best team to win and to have it decided by the 25 players they have on the roster.”Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a written statement that Gurriel’s forfeited salary will be donated “to the Astros Foundation and to a charity directly supporting diversity efforts.” “Last, when I originally began thinking about the discipline, I thought that delaying the suspension would allow the player the opportunity to exercise his rights under the grievance procedure. It now appears, and I have every expectation, that he will not be exercising those rights.”Gurriel will also be forced to undergo sensitivity training in the offseason, Manfred said. Had he been suspended immediately, Gurriel would have had the right under baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement to appeal the suspension and play during the World Series in the meantime. Video: Is Astros’ Yuli Gurriel making racist gesture about Dodgers’ Yu Darvish? Astros’ Yuli Gurriel apologizes for racist gesture after homer off Dodgers’ Yu Darvish