What would another rate rise do to home values? It's complicated
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What would another rate rise do to home values? It’s complicated

As talk of a rate cut before the end of the year quietens, another rate rise may be on the horizon

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Jul 4, 2024 10:03amGrey Clock 3 min

Australian home values rose by 8 percent over FY24 despite the impact of 13 interest rate rises between May 2022 and November 2023 putting immense strain on household budgets. A lack of supply of homes for sale amid strong buyer demand trumped the usual dampening effect of higher rates in FY24. Additionally, strong jobs and population growth coupled with relative affordability turbocharged home values in the two bestperforming capital city markets of Perth and Brisbane, where median prices lifted 23.6 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively, in FY24.

CoreLogic’s head of research Eliza Owen notes that when interest rates began to rise in May 2022, there was a peak-to-trough 7.5 percent fall in the Australian median home price before a new growth cycle began in early 2023. Since then, there have been 17 consecutive months of growth. Property values in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are now at record highs, having recovered all their losses in the downturn of 2022. Regional Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are also at record-high median values.

There are a few explanations for why housing values have continued to rise even as the cost of debt has risen, and borrowing capacity has eroded,” Ms Owen said. Tight labour market conditions and an accumulation of savings through the pandemic have broadly underpinned mortgage serviceability, mitigating a need to sell as rates have increased, the construction sector remains squeezed, and unable to deliver a large backlog of dwellings, and strong population growth has increased demand for housing, both for purchase and rent.

The composition of buyers may also be propping up purchases, with higher deposit sizes indicating the current buyer profile may be less debt-dependent than when interest rates were at record lows,” she said.

Many first home buyers have higher deposits because of the Bank of Mum and Dad. Additionally, data from property settlement company PEXA shows one in four sales across the eastern states in 2023 were cash sales to buyers not purchasing with debt, who were therefore unaffected by higher mortgage rates. Such buyers included downsizing baby boomers and high-income earners and foreign investors in the prestige sector.

For most of this year, interest rate cuts have been anticipated due to falling inflation, which may have also stoked some buyer enthusiasm, Ms Owen said. However, recent data indicates inflation may be stickier than expected as it nears the Reserve Bank’s target band of two to three percent. As a result, some economists now expect at least one more rate rise to keep inflation on a downward course.

“Another rate rise would slow housing demand, and some cracks are already showing,” Ms Owen said. “Despite resilience in the headline numbers, there are some suggestions that demand is already weakening. Another 25 basis point rise in the cash rate in August, all else being equal, would take monthly repayments on the current median dwelling value to over $4,000 per month.

Not only is this further out of reach for prospective buyers, it would likely also represent a further blowout in the premium of holding a mortgage relative to renting. The bigger that premium becomes, the weaker demand for purchases may become relative to renting, despite rent growth still sitting well above average.

The Reserve Bank released the minutes of the board’s June meeting on Tuesday. In its deliberations, the board noted that the narrow path to returning inflation to target by 2026 “was becoming narrower” and recent economic data “reinforced the need to be vigilant to upside risks to inflation”. The board also noted that the extent of uncertainty at present meant it was difficult to rule in or rule out future changes in the cash rate target”.



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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Officially List Their Massive Beverly Hills Mansion for $68 Million

The celebrity power couple are selling the 12-bedroom, 24-bathroom home barely a year after buying it

By BECKIE STRUM
Fri, Jul 12, 2024 2 min

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have officially put their massive Los Angeles mansion on the market for $68 million.

The lavish Beverly Hills property hit listing sites on Thursday, months after rumours began that the couple, who are reportedly estranged , were shopping the home around only a year after buying it for nearly $61 million.

The roughly 5-acre property—which is in a gated community and spans a massive 38,000 square feet—includes an indoor sports court with an adjacent gym and games room, according to the listing with Santiago Arana of the Agency. The firm declined to comment.

Lopez and Affleck paid $60.8 million for the compound in 2023.
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Built in 2000, the house has 12 bedrooms and a whopping 24 bathrooms. The resort-sized property has the amenities to match, including a V-shaped pool with views over the surrounding hills, a detached two-bedroom guardhouse and a 5,000-square-foot guest penthouse, according to the listing.

Listing images of the house show that Lopez and Affleck have spent the past year warming up what were fairly white-washed interiors when they purchased the home. There’s now a rich, green-painted dining room, hardwood floors and carpeted over cold, polished-stone flooring.

The couple, who got married in 2022 after reuniting some 20 years after they called off their engagement in the early 2000s, purchased the megamansion following a house hunt that went on for several months, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Representatives for Lopez, 54, and Affleck, 51, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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