In terms of interest rates, while much attention has recently focused on the fact that the Reserve Bank of Australia has left official interest rates on hold for a relatively long period of more than a year, it's been less noticed that Australian borrowers have nonetheless enjoyed further rate cuts - courtesy of falling global funding costs and intense local financial market competition. Although there's been no change in the discounted standard variable mortgage rate advertised by the major banks, the average interest rate charged on outstanding home loans has declined by 16 basis points. (VIEW LINK)