Michele Bullock to become next RBA governor
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Michele Bullock to become next RBA governor

The decision to replace Philip Lowe follows criticism of his messaging around rises in the cash rate

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Fri, Jul 14, 2023 9:06amGrey Clock 2 min

The Federal Government has announced that Michele Bullock will replace Philip Lowe as governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. She will be the ninth governor and the first woman appointed to the role in the central bank’s 62-year history. Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a press conference today that Ms Bullock will take on the role from September 18 following a consultative process with cabinet, the business community and the opposition.

The news that Philip Lowe will step down comes after 14 months and 12 interest rate hikes that have taken some borrowers off guard. However, Mr Chalmers was careful to thank Dr Lowe for his work over a long career.

“We thank Phil Lowe for more than four decades of dedication and commitment and service to the country,” Mr Chalmers said. “He goes with our respect and gratitude and dignity. I have really valued my working relationship with Phil. He is a terrific guy and he has handled himself impeccably.”

While most central banks around the world failed to predict the persistent inflation rises, most analysts point to Dr Lowe’s messaging around potential interest rate increases as sealing his fate. Prior to the rises in the cash rate that started in May 2022, Dr Lowe had told borrowers that interest rates would remain steady until 2024, leading many to believe that it was a safe time to borrow. Instead, repayments for an average mortgage have risen by $1,264 since increases began. At least 25 percent of mortgage holders are now believed to be experiencing  mortgage distress.

Speculation has been rife for weeks now that Dr Lowe’s tenure would not be extended and three front runners had emerged including Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy and Finance Department secretary Jenny Wilkinson. However, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he would not support candidates with close ties to government. Ms Bullock is perceived as a more independent choice. Mr Chalmers described the Michele Bullock as a “first class economist”.

“This is the right call but it is not an easy call,” he said. “This is one of the most important appointments that we will make as a government,” he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described Ms Bullock as “imminently qualified”.

“Michele Bullock is an accomplished economist with wide experience at the Reserve Bank,” he said. “I very much congratulate Michele Bullock on this appointment.”



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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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