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CBA Tips Housing Growth

With as much as 16 per cent growth predicted.

By Terry Christodoulou
Tue, Feb 16, 2021 4:13amGrey Clock < 1 min

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is forecasting a surge in house prices over the next two years.

The latest figures to come from the bank indicate as much as 16 per cent for housing prices alongside a unit price growth of nine per cent.

This comes as lending rates have lifted sharply, signalling a housing market is on the “cusp of a boom”.

“The increase in new lending is now feeding into higher prices for bricks and mortar,” says CBA economist Gareth Aird.

In the Bank’s most recent economics issues report, released today, the CBA reported that the predicted boom was to come off the back of record low interest rates and a labour market that is set to rebound sharply.

This, combined with rental yields that arrived well above the borrowing rates means that property markets will, in theory, rise.

“The CBA is reporting positive momentum is building within the property market and “as the market firms, would-be buyers are more confident to purchase and this brings other buyers into the market,” adds Aird.

And although the news is positive for homeowners, it is less so for unit-owners, with a 7 per cent growth disparity between houses and apartments.

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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