eChoice RBA Commentary for October 2017.
The official cash rate stays at 1.5% as:
• Wage growth is marginal;
• Residential housing prices continue to slow;
• Household debt is rising; and
• Inflation is low and stabilising.
While the RBA left rates on hold yet again, they are signaling record lows are about to end. However, with low rates pushing housing prices and Australian debt levels higher, rate rises are expected to be gradual.
Why? Well, the RBA doesn’t want to cause rate shock.
It has now been 83 months since a rate rise, almost seven years. Back then, in November 2010, the cash rate was 4.75%. Now it sits at 1.5%. In 2010, you would’ve paid 7.15% for the average discounted home loan. In today’s terms, the discounted rate sits at 4.45%.
So, how much of a difference has this rate reduction made to your mortgage? Well, if you have a $400,000 home loan, then your repayments would’ve been $2,702 a month at 7.15%. But, a rate of 4.45% has reduced your monthly payments to just $2,015 – an annual saving of $8,000.
Economists suggest that by making gradual rate increases, the RBA keep momentum in the Australian economy. If they make rate rises too quickly, then it will have repercussions, especially when wages aren’t keeping pace.
The RBA, according to a recent speech by Governor Lowe, want to keep Australian inflation low and stable. Lowe suggests that technological changes and international growth – USA and China – will have the greatest impact on the Australian economy.
Lowe also feels rates need to hold fast or rise to keep a lid on the housing market. While a drop in the official cash rate might boost the economy it will increase home prices, which are starting to slow.
Residential housing data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that annual house prices are decelerating. The only exceptions are Melbourne and Hobart, based on June data.
|Residential Housing Prices Annual Growth|
|All Dwellings %|
|Jun 12||Jun 13||Jun 14||Jun 15||Jun 16||Jun 17||Peak|
|Sydney||0.0||7.2||15.9||18.9||9.7||13.8||19.9 Sept 15|
|Melbourne||-4.1||3.4||9.2||7.8||8.2||13.8||13.8 Jun 17|
|Brisbane||-2.5||3.3||7.1||2.9||4.3||3.0||7.1 Jun 14|
|Adelaide||-1.4||1.3||4.7||2.7||3.5||5.0||5.6 Mar 14|
|Perth||0.8||9.5||3.8||-1.2||-4.8||-3.1||9.5 Jun 13|
|Darwin||7.9||6.6||3.3||-1.8||-6.5||-4.9||9.8 Dec 12|
|Canberra||-2.4||1.5||2.3||2.8||6.0||7.9||8.9 Mar 17|
|Hobart||-4.6||1.8||4.1||1.5||4.9||12.4||12.4 Jun 17|
|Average||-1.6||5.3||10.1||9.8||4.1||10.2||10.8 Mar 14|
Source: ABS 6416.0 Table 1
Nationally, dwelling values have peaked and they are now declining in most capitals. These figures also coincide with the rise and fall in housing finance. So, based on this trend, then home prices should also continue to decline.
|Housing Finance & House Prices|
|Jun||Housing Finance||House Prices|
Source: ABS 6401.0 & 5609.0
For those looking to buy in Sydney and Melbourne, this news means that you could save yourself more. Median house prices in Sydney were at $1.02m in June 2017. Using a 12-month average, the Sydney median was $965,400 at this time. This figure is a 70% increase in prices in 2011, when the RBA started cutting rates. Plus, it’s $300,000 more than the Melbourne median of $672,000.