Review of RBA suggests board lose ability to set interest rates
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Review of RBA suggests board lose ability to set interest rates

The biggest shake up of economic governance in Australia in decades follows a year of consecutive interest rate hikes

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Thu, Apr 20, 2023 9:47amGrey Clock 2 min

The RBA board is likely to be stripped of control to set the cash rate, under review recommendations expected to be announced today. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers  last year called for a review of the RBA board’s decision making processes, which have seen 10 consecutive interest rate rises since May 2022, as well as the way information is conveyed to the public. 

The independent review undertaken by three experts is understood to have recommended setting up a Monetary Policy Board to set interest rates and a separate Governance Board in a shake up described as the biggest in a generation.  Rather than focusing on interest rates, the report has said the RBA board should instead look to the operation of the bank as its main purpose. Meetings to discuss the cash rate will be reduced from 11 per year (there is no meeting in January) to eight. The report also recommended that the governor of the RBA appear at a press conference after each meeting the better explain its decisions to the public. 

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson has backed the decision. His support follows comments in a Deloitte report earlier this week describing recent interest rate rises as ‘unnecessary’, as they placed further pressure on mortgage holders.

The RBA Board has repeatedly referenced high inflation as its reasoning for continuing to increase the cash rate, which lead author and Deloitte Access Economics Partner Stephen Smith said had left the Australian economy ‘finely poised’.

The decision to shift decision making from the RBA board to a separate board is in line with the modus operandi of other central banks around the world, including the UK and Canada.

The recommendations follow a tough year for mortgage holders, which have seen rates rise by 3.5 percent since April 2022. This is despite RBA governor Philip Lowe telling borrowers in 2021 that rates would remain low until ‘at least 2024’. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called for bipartisan support for the recommendations.



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The two Australian states where it’s a buyers’ market

Property values have experienced strong growth around the country, but there are two highly desirable areas where oversupply is putting downward pressure on sales

By Bronwyn Allen
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 2 min

While property values are rising strongly in most markets across Australia, it’s a vastly different story in Victoria and Tasmania, new data from CoreLogic shows. Over the 12 months to May 31, the median house price lifted just 1.8 percent in Melbourne and fell 0.6 percent in regional Victoria. The median dipped 0.1 percent in Hobart and ticked 0.4 percent higher in regional Tasmania. This is in stark contrast to Perth, where values are up 22 percent, and regional Western Australia, up 14.8 percent; as well as Brisbane, up 16.3 percent, and regional Queensland, up 11.8 percent.

CoreLogic Head of Research, Eliza Owen says an oversupply of homes for sale has weakened prices in Victoria and Tasmania, creating buyers’ markets.

On the supply side, there has been more of a build-up in new listings than usual across Victoria, even where home value performance has been relatively soft,” Ms Owen said. Victoria has also had more dwellings completed than any other state and territory in the past 10 years, keeping a lid on price growth. The additional choice in stock means vendors have to bring down their price expectations, and that brings values down.”

Melbourne dwelling values are now four percent below their record high and Hobart dwelling values are 11.5 percent below their record high. Both records were set more than two years ago in March 2022. The oversupply has also affected how long it takes to sell a property. The median days on market is currently 36 in Melbourne and 45 in Hobart compared to a combined capitals median of 27. It takes 55 days to sell in regional Victoria and 64 days in regional Tasmania compared to a combined regional median of 42 days.

Changes in population patterns have also contributed to higher numbers of homes for sale in recent years. Since COVID began in early 2020, thousands of families have left Melbourne because working from home meant they could buy a bigger property in more affordable areas. While many relocated to regional Victoria, a significant proportion left the state altogether, with South-East Queensland a favoured destination. Meantime, Tasmania’s surge in interstate migration during FY21 was short-lived. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the island state has recorded a net loss of residents to other states and territories every quarter since June 2022.

Record overseas migration has more than offset interstate migration losses, thereby keeping Victoria’s and Tasmania’s populations growing. However, the impact of migrants on housing is largely seen in the rental market, so this segment of population gain has done little to support values. Growth in weekly rents has been far stronger than growth in home values over the past year, with rents up 9 percent in Melbourne and 4.8 percent in regional Victoria, and up 1 percent in Hobart and 2.7 percent in regional Tasmania.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

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

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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