Growth in NZ property prices slows

The increase in New Zealand property values has slowed, suggesting restrictions on high debt lending and looming interest rate rises may have prompted buyer caution. Values increased at a 9.6 per cent annual pace in January, lagging December’s 10 per cent rate, according to state valuer Quotable Value (QV). Nationwide values increased 0.3 per cent […]

Reserve driving home sales

THE Reserve Bank’s decision yesterday to leave the cash rate on hold at 2.5 per cent helped underpin a 20 per cent lift in home sales compared with a year ago, encouraging buyers into the market and stimulating new housing construction, research firm RP Data said. The RBA last cut rates in August from 2.75 […]

Housing starts up as rate cuts bite

LOW interest rates have prompted a surge in the the level of new home approvals, sparking the long-awaited rebound in home building and house prices. But a surprise fall in company profits in the three months to June means tomorrow’s national accounts figures will show economic growth remains sluggish, leaving the Reserve Bank tipped to […]

New Zealand Reserve Bank announces restrictions on mortgage lending for borrowers with less than a 20% deposit

Concerns at the rate of New Zealand house prices growth – and the potential risks that posed to the financial system – has prompted the NZ Reserve Bank to impose restrictions on the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) housing mortgage loans within lending banks from October 1. The banks will need to restrict new lending with LVRs […]

How end of bonds bull run will affect yields

IS this the end of the bull run in bonds? Of course it is. Bond rates will rise significantly from here. This is the start of the bear market. The bull run was driven firstly by a flight to the security of bonds, when equities and derivatives collapsed in the global financial crisis. Second, add […]

Auction clearance rate continues to climb

The election campaign has had little impact on the burgeoning property market with four in five properties selling at auction in Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend. However, it is getting the blame for the lack of stock and hopes are that October will bring an influx of quality properties. Low interest rates and the […]

Childcare centres of earning

The low interest-rate environment has seen investors heading swiftly towards the higher-yielding bricks-and-mortar sector, with demand rising for an array of property types. These range from petrol stations and convenience stores to bank chambers and childcare centres. Most investors want to own the land and install an operator, which generates rental income as well as […]

NAB sweetens mortgage offer with $1000 for refinancing

NATIONAL Australia Bank has fired the latest shot in the mortgage war, offering borrowers cash to refinance as the Big Four ready their assault as the property market fires up in spring. NAB, which along with ANZ has been expanding its mortgage book above system rates, said today that it would give $1000 cash to […]

Interest cut proves difficult to rate

ASK any agent in any city or state and they will give you a different take on whether this week’s rate cut will affect their particular real estate market. Starting in Adelaide, veteran real estate agent Rick Harcourt reckons it won’t. “This is not about interest rates, it’s about overall confidence in the future,” Harcourt […]

Rate cuts tempting for now but trend will reverse

A RASH of buyers tempted into the housing market by the bottoming of interest rates will become a new generation of struggling mortgagees when the cycle inevitably trends upwards. National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster sounded the warning for when official rates rebound in the next two to three years to more traditional levels […]

Rates ignite housing and . . . boom!

LOW interest rates have bolstered housing markets in all capital cities this month, with “boom time” results recorded at the weekend. Sydney led the nation’s strong performance with an auction clearance rate of 83.8 per cent, the highest for the year and nearly 15 percentage points above the same time last year. Although softer than […]

Industry rejects property bubble

THE Reserve Bank has signalled it is comfortable with the surge in property prices for the time being, amid expectations its decision to cut interest rates yesterday would drive more investors into the housing market on the back of cheaper finance and strong residential rents. Rental yields for units range from 4.4 per cent in […]

It’s all win-win for this family

THE Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates yesterday could not have been more timely for Liz and Michael Scerri, who are upsizing from their modest family home in Sydney’s inner-south. The young couple, who have added a son and daughter to their household since buying the three-bedroom Botany home in 2008, hope the 25-basis-point […]

RBA now plays the waiting game

The business community keeps getting what it’s been asking for this week. First a firm election date, and now another rate cut to drive the official cash rate down to 2.5 per cent. The banks are even doing the right thing and passing the rate cut on sharpish, and in full. And now, we wait. […]

Analysts fear RBA’s rate cuts could fuel property price bubble

RECENT history is laced with central bank actions having unintended consequences and the Reserve Bank’s rate cuts aimed at helping the economy cope with the end of the mining investment boom is causing concern of a looming property price bubble. AFG, the nation’s largest mortgage broker group, yesterday revealed it processed 25 per cent more […]

Residential sales will brighten results

WITH new home sales rising, especially in Victoria, residential is likely to be a “bright spot” for listed developers during the reporting season, say analysts at UBS, with Australia’s largest residential developer, Stockland, again coming in for attention. The upbeat outlook comes just days ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting on Tuesday to […]

Homebuyers regain their appetites

Low stock levels and a rise in homebuyer appetite, supported by low interest rates, have spurred competition for quality homes, which may increase now the uncertainty of the election date has been erased. Financial markets are pricing in a 91 per cent chance of a rate cut ­on Tuesday. The odds increased after Reserve Bank […]

Price rises freeze out first-home buyers

THE surge in prices at the cheaper end of the housing market could see the dream of owning a home slip away for first homebuyers, despite a likely cut next week in already historically low interest rates. Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond said first-home buyers were being priced out of the market. “First-home owners […]

Housing takes a hit as building approvals fall

Australia’s construction industry has suffered a setback as building approvals fell sharply in June instead of staging a rally. Nationally, building approvals fell 6.9 per cent, seasonally adjusted, over the month. It’s the second consecutive month of decline and construction activity is now down 13 per cent on the same time last year. Economists had […]

Low interest rates favour Pacific float

The proposed $395 million Pacific Retail REIT is gaining momentum as investors look to the higher-yielding real estate investment trust sector in the low interest rate environment. The float, being advised by Moelis & Co, already has five assets, four in Victoria including the Rosebud Plaza, and the former Seven Hills Centro, in Sydney, being […]

Rates rest on approvals

At 2.75 per cent, the official cash rate is at its lowest level on record. For real estate, the winner has been buyers of residential and commercial real estate. Commercial property sales are running close to 40 per cent above the annual average, and turnover in the housing market, often seen as a precursor to […]

The destruction and gradual reconstruction of rental yields in Australia

Looking at the historical growth cycle of capital city rents and value growth, it has been quite a rare occurrence for weekly rents to outpace dwelling values for growth.  In fact, since 1996 there have been only two periods where weekly rents significantly outpaced dwelling values.  The first of these occasions was during the GFC […]

No rate cut in May say economists: Bloomberg

Economists have all but ruled out a rate cut on May 7, the next time the RBA board meets to decide on interest rates. Of the 25 economists surveyed this week by Bloomberg, 22 expect the cash rate to remain unchanged. Those tipping a rate cut are Citi, Macquarie and BNP Paribas economists. Of those […]

Managing Director of Future Estates, Ben Anderson on Housing Affordability

The Australian residential property market, one of the largest markets nationally, has been a main area of growth in the economy over the past few decades. Estimated at A$3.8 trillion over 9.07 million dwellings, it’s sheer size, consistent growth and resilient defiance against the reach of international economic cataclysms has made it an important refuge […]

RBA leaves cash rate unchanged at 3% in April

As expected, the Reserve Bank has left the cash rate unchanged at 3% following its monthly monetary policy meeting. All 28 economists polled by Bloomberg ahead of the Easter long weekend tipped the cash rate to remain unchanged. This is the third straight meeting the RBA has left the benchmark interest rate unchanged and at […]

HSBC’s Paul Bloxham the lone rider tipping interest rates to rise 2013

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham has taken a lonely stand against the economists’ cabal by tipping the cash rate to rise to 3.25% by year-end. Just as Westpac’s Bill Evans went out on his own in July 2011 tipping the RBA to start cutting rates when all other economists thought the opposite, Bloxham is the only […]

Commonwealth Bank currently offers the lowest variable rate at 5.34%

Mortgage holders should not take their home loan for granted in 2013 after lenders passed on only 133 out of 175 basis points cut from the cash rate since November 2011 on the average variable home loan, according to mortgage comparison website This figure is based on’s analysis of the more than 100 […]

Steve Keen and Macquarie Group tip cash rate of 2% by year-end

Perhaps signifying the level of uncertainty in the outlook for the 2013 economy and property market, a poll of 23 economists carried out by The Age profers a range in cash rate forecasts at year’s end as anywhere between 2% and 3.25%. Notably, the University of Western Sydney’s professor Steve Keen is one of three economists (the others […]

Down, down, interest rates going down in 2013, but will they make a difference?

That annoying Coles jingle “Down, down, prices are down” (was there ever more reason to shop at Woolworths?) could easily be applied to the outlook for the cash rate in 2013 with economists revising their forecasts in expectation of further rate cuts over the course of the next 12 months. The key questions remain how […]

Banks reluctant to pass on full 25-basis-point rate cut

Bank of Queensland has passed on only 20 out of the 25 basis point rate cut announced by the RBA today, an indication that other banks won’t pass on the full rate cut. The 20-basis-point rate cut brings BOQ’s standard variable rate home loan to 6.71% p.a. effective from Friday, October 19, 2012. “Given the […]

Fillip for rising home prices

House prices, already rising at their fastest rate in more than two years, could gather more pace thanks to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cut in interest rates. Capital city dwelling values rose by 2 per cent in the three months to September, according to RP Data-Rismark, in a sign the central bank’s easing of […]

RBA lowers cash rate

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent, effective 3 October 2012. The outlook for growth in the world economy has softened over recent months, with estimates for global GDP being edged down, and risks to the outlook still seen to be on […]

Room for rate cut as housing sector conditions remain ‘subdued’: RBA September minutes

The Reserve Bank has left the door open to a rate cut, minutes of the September 4 monetary policy meeting show. The minutes also noted subdued conditions in the housing sector and said recent sharp falls in commodity prices would be reflected “relatively quickly in export prices” as well as “slightly softer” global economic conditions”. However the RBA […]

At least one more RBA rate cut tipped by economists for the year, with focus on China and exchange rate

The consensus among economists is for at least one more rate cut in 2012 following yesterday’s unsurprising decision by the RBA to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.5%. Post-decision analysis focused on RBA concerns about China and the global economy while also noting comments from RBA governor Glenn Stevens that in Australia, “most indicators available for […]

More RBA interest rate relief needed to ensure robust economic growth

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on Friday. In his opening statement, the governor set out the RBA’s economic assessment. Naturally, the themes were along the lines of those outlined in the RBA’s quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy, published a fortnight ago. In short, the RBA […]

RBA decision to keep rates on hold influenced by improving capital city home values: RP Data’s Tim Lawless

The Reserve Bank board would have taken into account the improvement in capital city housing markets over the past two months in deciding to keep rates on hold today, according to RP Data national research director Tim Lawless. Lawless says improvements in capital city home values – up 0.6% in July and 1% in June […]

No interest rate bounce as mortgage lending up just 0.3% in June

Interest rate cuts in May and June have failed to translate into a rise in mortgage lending, according to private credit data released by the RBA today, with mortgage growth still at record lows. Housing credit increased by 0.3% over June, following an increase of 0.3% over May – despite 75 basis points being cut […]

ANZ passes on full 25 bps rate cut to borrowers

ANZ will pass on the full RBA cash rate cut to borrowers, the bank has announced as part of its monthly interest rate review. The bank will lower interest rates for variable rate mortgages and small business lending by 0.25 percentage points per annum effective June 12, 2012. ANZ’s new standard variable mortgage rate will […]

RBA interest rate could go below 1.9%, with 5.1% mortgage rate possible: Christopher Joye

By Christopher Joye Monday, 04 June 2012 How low could the RBA’s cash rate go? Much lower than most folks, including the financial markets, think. The global economy is schizophrenic right now. On an underlying basis, there are powerful forces shifting the centre of economic gravity away from the old world of North America and […]

RBA cuts interest rates by 50 basis points- Brilliant news!

RBA cuts interest rates by surprise 50 basis points By Jonathan Chancellor Tuesday, 01 May 2012 The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates by a surprise 50 basis points to 3.75%. The last cuts, which delighted retailers and borrowers, were in November and December last year, when it cut interest rates twice by […]