RBA rings alarm on high debt levels
Risks to financial stability could be building as house prices and debt levels keep rising, the Reserve Bank has caution...
The RBA’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged has been roundly recognised as the right move, according to Laing+Simmons General Manager Leanne Pilkington.
Ms Pilkington said that a steady interest rate is essential for the ongoing health of the economy and specifically the housing market.
“There is still a degree of caution among consumers and sentiment remains subdued in most discretionary categories,” Ms Pilkington said.
“This caution extends to the housing market and as such the decision to leave rates unchanged is an important platform for confidence to improve going forward.
“Having said this, it is encouraging to see activity appearing to improve with the onset of spring. Traditionally the strongest selling period of the year, this spring takes on extra importance given the subdued transactional activity in the year to date.
Ms Pilkington said current market conditions appealed to a broad range of buyers.
“Despite the banks continuing to apply tight lending criteria, for those with the financial capacity the current market presents some compelling opportunities,” Ms Pilkington said.
“Investors are increasingly recognising the positive fundamentals, while first home buyers incentives are still applicable for certain properties. In particular, those looking to upgrade have a significant opportunity to capitalise on the closing price differential between the middle and top end markets, with prestigious prices stabilising,” she said.
Australia's largest independently-operated mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice, says that the RBA’s decision to hold the interest rate comes as no surprise.
“Buyers shouldn't let the cash rate decision dampen their spirits as there are plenty of positives in the property market right now”, says Belinda Williamson, Mortgage Choice spokesperson.
"With spring here, and the weather well and truly warming up, it is likely that the property market will start to heat up, too. In general, we find that good weather helps drive positive property market sentiment, and we are certainly seeing signs of this already," Ms Williamson said.
"For those selling, positive sentiment translates to positive sales. And for those buying, they won't miss out, with even more properties to choose from."