Queensland is tracking quite well on the affordability front. Picture: Brendan Radke.HOME loan affordability has increased across Queensland while the Brisbane property market has cooled to more sustainable growth, according to the PRDnationwide’s Australian Economic and Property Report 2017 released today.The report showed Brisbane’s median house price grew an average of 1.5 per cent in the first half of 2017 but growth had slowed from an increase of 7.1 per cent in the year to May 2016, to 4 per cent in the following 12 months.PRDnationwide national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said it signalled a return to usual, more sustainable levels of strong growth that the Australian market was experiencing prior to the property boom.“Affordability is the key issue and (Queensland) is tracking quite well in that sense,” Dr Mardiasmo said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours ago“People can still access quite a lot of suburbs under $500,000, which is not the case in Sydney and Melbourne.”She said “the Brisbane rate of income growth was disproportionate to (residential property) price growth”.“Over the past 10 to 15 years growth had tracked around 5 per cent, which was in line with our wage and income growth. So the fact that we’re still growing at 4 per cent is great because we’re still seeing that capital growth but it’s more sustainable.”Across the state, the Queensland regional markets recorded growth of 4 per cent in the first half of 2017, the highest increase of the three main states (NSW, VIC and QLD) and third highest nationally.The PRDnationwide report also found Brisbane rental vacancy rates held steady at 3 per cent and median rents had increased by 1.3 per cent.Dr Mardiasmo said the vacancy rates were the right side of healthy and the rental change was much more affordable compared to other capital cities, so it was good news for investors and tenants alike.Home loan affordability in Queensland increased by 3.6 per cent annually to March 2017, the report found. Nationally the proportion of family income needed to meet home loan repayments decreased from 31.7 per cent to 30.4 per cent and the proportion to meet rent payments decreased from 25.1 per cent to 24.6 per cent in the same time.
The funding levels for UK private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes are a “stark read” for trustees and corporates alike, as private sector deficits triple in 15 years.The warning, from consultancy Hymans Robertson, comes as the firm calculated liabilities could be as high as £2.1trn (€2.8trn) when measured on an insurance buyout basis.Figures showed despite private sector firms putting £500bn into pension schemes since 2000, deficit levels had risen from £250bn to £900bn.Additional figures from consultancy LCP showed that DB offerings in the UK’s largest 100 firms are slowly reducing their contributions to DB schemes, despite ballooning deficits. Some reduction can be explained by schemes closing to future accrual, however, total liabilities for FTSE 100 companies still outweighed assets by £25bn at the end of July this year.The UK’s largest companies put £12.4bn into pension schemes during 2014, down from £16.8bn.LCP said despite falling contributions, the schemes still posed significant financial risks for their sponsoring companies, as it disclosed the 10 worse-affected firms combined had £350bn in liabilities and nearly £40bn in deficits.The consultancy also said companies that paid in large contributions in recent years had begun reverting to normal, lower levels.But, it conceded the current funding level not the worst seen in recent years, with deficit levels fluctuating between £10bn and £60bn in the last five years.LCP partner Bob Scott said: “Strong investment returns, payment of deficit contributions and low levels of inflation has offset the impact of significant falls in bond yields, which have led to a material increase in reported liability values.“[However] since January 2005, we estimate the total pension liability of FTSE 100 companies has almost doubled,” he added.The overall private sector DB space, according to Hymans Robertson’s figures, were equally concerning.Jon Hatchett, partner at the firm, said for any firm with a DB scheme the numbers were stark.“Finance directors and shareholders will be scratching their heads wondering how this has come to pass,” he said.Hymans’ £2.1trn figure was calculated by using the PPF’s latest update to the market on the state of private sector scheme funding – and increasing this by 44% to account for the cost of insuring liabilities via a buyout.The lifeboat fund said the 6,057 schemes were £223.1bn underfunded on their ability to provide PPF-level benefits, otherwise known as s179.According to the PPF, liabilities were at £1.52trn, and only covered by £1.26trn of assets.Hatchett said schemes had been taking too much risk for far too long.“Much of this is down to the three big positions taken since the turn of the millennium: positive positions in equities offset by negative ones on interest rates and longevity. Each has been incredibly costly.“Rising longevity has added 10-15% to liabilities and falling interest rates more than 50% again, while equities have returned under half what schemes might have expected back in 2000,” Hatchett said.He said trustees must resist the temptation to focus on investment growth, as this would not solve the issue.“This situation requires a different approach: slower deficit reduction, taking no more risk than is needed and investing in assets that deliver income,” he added.
The second international chess tournament ”Konjic Open 2013” has finished and the winner of the tournament is Muamer Mrnđić from Konjic who scored 6.5 points in seven rounds of the tournament.Mersid Kahrović, Dejan Marjanović, Amir Hadžović, Amar Salihović, Srđan Jefić, Samir Spaho, Sead Kamberović, Eldin Bučan and Halid Strinić won 5.5 points each.One hundred six players from Denmark, Serbia, Croatia, Albania and BiH participated at the tournament.The tournament was organised under the Swiss system and the award fund was 2 900 BAM.The tournament was organised by Chess Club ”Igman” Konjic, and the sponsor was Konjic Municipality.