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Fairfield property sells for $3.4M | South Jersey real estate

65 Bortle Ave., Marjorie J. Ashton by attorney to Aliano Brothers Land Management LLC for $65,000. — 1289 Brown Road, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance and C Agent to Kate Stochmal for $123,000. — 238 Quince St., Larry A. Chambers by attorney to ...

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AUSTRALIANS will be ''quite angry'' if the big four banks increase mortgage rates beyond moves by the Reserve Bank, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said as he announced measures to boost the ability of smaller lenders to offer mortgages. So far each of the big four have limited the increase in standard variable rates to the 0.25 percentage-point rise posted by the Reserve last week, although the Westpac-owned RAMS increased its home loan rate by 0.35 percentage points. ''I can't see any justification for the four majors to further increase their rates over and above any decision that is taken by the Reserve Bank,'' Mr Swan said in Brisbane yesterdayHe said the Australian people and the Government would be quite angry with the majors if they did. In a move to bolster the competitiveness of smaller lenders, the Treasurer announced the Government would invest in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), which are effectively mortgages packaged and resold. The latest commitment to shore-up $8 billion in securities created by smaller lenders follows a similar sized commitment last September and October and is in addition to the wholesale funding guarantee offered to banks in an effort to improve their access to funds. The securities that will be covered by the scheme are those that are AAA-rated and backed by a high proportion of residential mortgages used by small business owners to fund their businesses, a move that is likely to increase the willingness of banks to lend to the sector.Advertisement ''Competition puts downward pressure on rates and it's very important that we have a competitive mortgage market,'' Mr Swan said. The moves come despite an easing of cost pressures faced by lenders, which has seen the cost shrink from about 450 basis points above the bank bill swap rate to about 150 basis points, according to government figuresMike Hirst, managing director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, said the move would improve his bank's ability to broaden the range of customers to which it lent''There's no doubt that the smaller institutions have had to be selective in their lending, and that's purely been driven by access to funding.'' But Ian Rogers, editor of the banking newsletter The Sheet, said that despite the increased competition between lenders, the effect on the rates charged by lenders would be ''next to none'', because the major banks had ''price leadership'' that others had little choice but to follow. The RAMS decision, which still leaves its standard variable rate between 0.05 and 0.12 percentage points cheaper than the big four, comes after several months of significant cost pressures. ''Until now we have manage to absorb most of the increased costs but unfortunately this is not sustainable in the long term,'' said the chief executive, Melos Sulicich.

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