An interest rate pause as RBA adopts 'wait and see' strategy
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An interest rate pause as RBA adopts ‘wait and see’ strategy

Economic conditions remain tight as the board refuses to rule out further increases before the year ends

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Aug 1, 2023 3:01pmGrey Clock 2 min

Interest rates have been left on hold following the meeting of the RBA Board today.

The cash rate will remain at 4.1 percent as the board acknowledged the need to balance drawing down inflation against the possibility of a looming recession.

Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that returning inflation to a more manageable level within ‘a more reasonable time frame’ is still the board’s objective but that recent data points to a 2 to 3 percent target ‘over the forecast horizon’.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics last week released data that inflation had fallen for the second consecutive month to 6 percent, down from a high of 7.8 percent in December 2022.

Dr Lowe said it would most likely take a year or more to return inflation to the target range but that the board was determined to do so.

“Inflation in Australia is declining but is still too high at 6 percent,” he said. “Goods price inflation has eased, but the prices of many services are rising briskly. Rent inflation is also elevated. 

“The central forecast is for CPI inflation to continue to decline, to be around 3¼ per cent by the end of 2024 and to be back within the 2–3 percent target range in late 2025.”

Dr Lowe also forewarned that further interest rates could not be ruled out.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said while the news would be welcomed by mortgage holders, the economic pressures that could trigger further rises remain.

“Highlighting the uncertainty ahead, some economists have already called a peak in the rate hiking cycle, others believe there will be one more hike in the coming months, while others are pricing in two more rate hikes on the basis of tight labour market conditions potentially feeding wages growth and keeping inflation higher for longer,” he said. “The range of cash rate forecasts reflects the sheer uncertainty in the economy.”

PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh, said the decision allowed the RBA Board to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

“This (decision) gives the RBA more time to assess the impact of rate rises already delivered on households, businesses, and economic conditions.” 

The RBA Board will meet again in September, which will be Dr Lowe’s last meeting as governor. Michele Bullock will step into the role when Dr Lowe vacates the position on September 17.



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How much income is required to service a mortgage? It depends on where you live

New research suggests spending 40 percent of household income on loan repayments is the new normal

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Apr 25, 2024 3 min

Requiring more than 30 percent of household income to service a home loan has long been considered the benchmark for ‘housing stress’. Yet research shows it is becoming the new normal. The 2024 ANZ CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report reveals home loans on only 17 percent of homes are ‘serviceable’ if serviceability is limited to 30 percent of the median national household income.

Based on 40 percent of household income, just 37 percent of properties would be serviceable on a mortgage covering 80 percent of the purchase price. ANZ CoreLogic suggest 40 may be the new 30 when it comes to home loan serviceability. “Looking ahead, there is little prospect for the mortgage serviceability indicator to move back into the 30 percent range any time soon,” says the report.

“This is because the cash rate is not expected to be cut until late 2024, and home values have continued to rise, even amid relatively high interest rate settings.” ANZ CoreLogic estimate that home loan rates would have to fall to about 4.7 percent to bring serviceability under 40 percent.

CoreLogic has broken down the actual household income required to service a home loan on a 6.27 percent interest rate for an 80 percent loan based on current median house and unit values in each capital city. As expected, affordability is worst in the most expensive property market, Sydney.

Sydney

Sydney’s median house price is $1,414,229 and the median unit price is $839,344.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $211,456 to afford a home loan for a house and $125,499 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $120,554.

Melbourne

Melbourne’s median house price is $935,049 and the median apartment price is $612,906.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $139,809 to afford a home loan for a house and $91,642 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $110,324.

Brisbane

Brisbane’s median house price is $909,988 and the median unit price is $587,793.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $136,062 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,887 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $107,243.

Adelaide

Adelaide’s median house price is $785,971 and the median apartment price is $504,799.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $117,519 to afford a home loan for a house and $75,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,806.

Perth

Perth’s median house price is $735,276 and the median unit price is $495,360.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $109,939 to afford a home loan for a house and $74,066 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $108,057.

Hobart

Hobart’s median house price is $692,951 and the median apartment price is $522,258.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $103,610 to afford a home loan for a house and $78,088 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,515.

Darwin

Darwin’s median house price is $573,498 and the median unit price is $367,716.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $85,750 to afford a home loan for a house and $54,981 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $126,193.

Canberra

Canberra’s median house price is $964,136 and the median apartment price is $585,057.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $144,158 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $137,760.

 

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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