Qantas records jumbo profit but dividends remain grounded


Qantas records jumbo profit, Help to Buy to launch in 2024, and dog lovers fork out more than $3000 for greedy mutts. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Qantas posts jumbo profit - but dividends remain grounded

Love him or loathe him, it's easy to see why outgoing Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is much-admired by the airline's shareholders.

qantas launches new "find my credit" tool to help Aussies claim $400 million in flight credits

The airline has just recorded a full-year profit of $2.47 billion. It's quite a turnaround considering that Qantas reported a loss of $2.35 billion in 2020/21 when the pandemic saw air travel grind to a halt.

Despite the profit figures taking off, shareholders won't receive a dividend. Qantas is hanging onto its cash to buy 24 new aircraft, which will start to arrive from 2027.

Instead, Qantas has opted for a $500 million share buy-back which will kick off from September 2023. It follows a return of $1.0 billion worth of shareholder capital last financial year via share buy-backs that had an average price of $6.19.

Help to Buy to launch in 2024

This week saw the Albanese government announce that the much-awaited Help to Buy shared equity scheme will kick off in 2024, helping low and middle income earners afford a home of their own.

The scheme will see the government provide an equity contribution of up to 40% of the value of a new home, or 30% of the value of an established home.

Homebuyers need at least 2% deposit, and must be eligible for a home loan for the balance of the purchase (after allowing for the government's share).

The scheme isn't limited to first homebuyers however income limits apply: $90,000 annually for singles, or up to $120,000 for couples.

Property price limits are also imposed - as shown below.

The Albanese government says Help to Buy can save homebuyers up to $380,000, but the crunch may come when owners sell up and have to hand over a slice of the sale proceeds to the government.

Doggone! The family hound costs $3200 a year

If your pet pooch is a little more frisky than usual it could be because Saturday, August 26 is International Dog Day.

To commemorate the event, Compare the Market asked Australians to nominate their mutt's worst behaviour.

Top of the list is overindulging in food, followed by scratching and forgetting good manners in company (sounds like some hoomans, right?).

Despite the dodgy habits, dogs are Australia's most popular pet, owned by close to one in two of us.

If you're thinking of putting a pooch into your life, do paws to consider the cost.

A report by Animal Medicines Australia shows owners fork out more for dogs than any other type of pet, with an average of $3,218 spent per dog per year.

Are we barking mad or is the cost worth it? Most people would agree on the latter. An industry survey found 95% of dog owners say their hound makes them happier and healthier.

Car cover: Review before you renew, save over $1400

Research by Finder shows close to two in five of us simply auto-renew our car insurance each year rather than shopping around to see if we could get a better deal.

It's an oversight that can be draining our finances. Finder reports a difference of $1,456 between the cheapest and most expensive comprehensive car insurance policies.

Finder's Gary Hunter says, "Comparing providers at least every 12 months should be second nature - not just when you first get the product. The best-value service or policy today might be more expensive when it renews next year."

Home owners could be 2-5% richer by year's end

The latest PropTrack Property Market Outlook from REA Group is predicting that housing prices will be 2% to 5% higher by the end of 2023.

But the gains won't be shared evenly. Some state capitals could even see property prices drop over the next four months.

If PropTrack is right, Perth values could jump by up to 7% by the end of 2023, beating the expected 3-6% gains of the Sydney market.

Hobart is forecast to take the wooden spoon, with PropTrack expecting prices to cool by as much as 6% in the Tassie capital by late 2023.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.