Australian Home Prices and Interest Rates

The case for the RBA resuming interest rate cuts this year has been fairly clear: commodity prices have fallen more than expected; the $AUD has remained relatively high; while residential construction and consumer spending are okay the outlook for business investment has deteriorated pointing to overall growth remaining sub-par; and inflation is low. This has seen the cash rate fall to 2.25%. While the RBA left rates on hold at its April meeting, it retains an easing bias pointing to further cuts ahead.

Whilst some of the data such as the latest ABS jobs numbers are contradictory, I still believe that we will get further Rate reductions and that this will continue to be supportive for for Growth Assets such as Property. Since this will increase the affordability on a national basis, I believe we will continue to see price growth in the Sydney market even though there are constant stories of this being in bubble territory.

The jobs data has caused the Aussie Dollar to appreciate above 78 cents to the USD due to the market now thinking that the RBA is now more likely to leave rates on hold at the May meeting, however, this in itself causes another problem for the RBA as it is trying to talk the currency down to add some stimulus to the Economy.

BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese has forecast the official cash rate to end the year at 1.5 per cent and the Australian dollar to sink to US68 cents. According to Mr Bassanese, the monthly level of home building approvals is already near previous cyclical peaks, suggesting there is little room to further increase supply.

“Should home building approvals peak within coming months, it would also mean home building activity will start to decline by late this year [or] early 2016 – undercutting what has recently been an important source of economic growth,” he said.

The other piece of trivia which comes up at this time of year …… every year, is the speculation that the Government is going to abolish negative gearing. I’ve learnt that it is unwise to make categorical sweeping statements, but I was speaking to some clients two weeks ago about this and told them that “Negative Gearing will not be affected in the Budget”. Fortunately, Tony Abbott made the statement to the Press last week so that we can now put this to bed, at least for this year !

As always, I hope you find this interesting reading and that it helps you make better-informed decisions.

Best Regards,

Dr Andrew Unterweger


The negative gearing myth of 1985: ACOSS

A quarantining approach was adopted by the Hawke government in 1985 when it effectively abolished negative gearing for rental property investments.

For two years after the announcement of the policy, expenses related to rental property investments could not be claimed against income from other sources such as wages. In return for this restriction on deductions, a depreciation allowance was introduced to encourage investment in new rental housing. Existing investments were not affected.



Should you wait to buy?

John McGrath

Turn your mindset around. If you buy now, you’re likely to enjoy some decent capital growth before the year is out.

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RBA’s Financial Stability Review & housing market analysis

The Reserve Bank (RBA) released its bi-annual Financial Stability Review (FSR). As you’d expect, the residential housing market features heavily in their assessment of financial stability.
Read analysis..

Housing recovery continues

Australian economic data from the past week shows the housing recovery is continuing, according to AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

Despite a small fall in February, building approvals remain close to record highs and new home sales remain solid, pointing to continued strength in dwelling construction, Mr Oliver said.

“While home prices continued to rise in March this was concentrated in Sydney, with other cities decidedly soft, indicating that despite the hoopla, home price momentum overall is waning,” he said.

“It is also noteworthy that there has been some modest loss of momentum in investor housing credit.”

As a result, Mr Oliver believes the housing market may be becoming less of a constraint on the RBA’s flexibility to cut interest rates again. Meanwhile, homebuilding continues to gather momentum across the nation.

read more..

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