Finance advice

RBA hints at more rate cuts

By James Mitchell

The Reserve Bank’s statement on monetary policy for February suggests the cash rate is still not low enough.

Prior to the February board meeting, the cash rate had remained at the same level since August 2013.

The RBA observed that the interest rates affecting households and firms had declined a little over this period, and that very low interest rates have contributed to a pick-up in the growth of non-mining activity.

The recent significant fall in oil prices, if sustained, will also help to bolster domestic demand, it said.

“However, over recent months there have been fewer indications of a near-term strengthening in growth than previous forecasts would have implied," the statement said.

“Hence, growth overall is now forecast to remain at a below trend pace somewhat longer than had earlier been expected.”

Accordingly, the RBA expects the economy to be operating with “a degree of spare capacity for some time yet, and domestic cost pressures is likely to remain subdued and inflation well contained”.

In addition, while the Australian dollar has depreciated, it remains above most estimates of its fundamental value, particularly given the falls in key commodity prices, and so is providing less assistance in delivering balanced growth in the economy than it could, the central bank argued.

In November 2014, the RBA forecast growth through 2015 of 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

“This forecast has now been lowered to 2.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent,” Westpac Group chief economist Bill Evans said.

“That is, the mid-point has been lowered from 3.0 per cent to 2.75 per cent. This 0.25 [percentage point] loss of growth is expected to be concentrated in the first half of 2015.

"Forecast growth in 2016 has been maintained at 3.5 per cent (mid-point),” he said.

Mr Evans said these growth forecasts are significant because the revised forecasts incorporate: the expected impact of the 0.25 per cent rate cut announced on February 3 and, critically important, “the assumption that the cash rate moves broadly in line with market pricing at the time of writing”.

“Market pricing currently envisages a further full 0.25 per cent cut plus another possible 10 basis points,” he said.

“In short, the RBA is expecting that growth in 2015 will still be below-trend despite the current rate cut and the markets’ expected further rate cuts.”

Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said another cut is likely, given that the economy received minimal stimulus from the succession of rate cuts between October 2011 and August 2013.

“We haven’t had much action from cutting from 4.75 per cent to 2.5 per cent, so I’m not sure what a 0.25 per cent improvement is going to do,” Mr Wilson told Mortgage Business.

“Certainly the Reserve Bank had to act – it’s really the only tool in the box that we’ve got left,” he said.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the Reserve Bank had been forced to cut rates – and that there were good reasons for it to cut again.

“Growth is too low, running at around 2.75 per cent through last year, which is well below potential of around 3.00 to 3.25 per cent, and the level needed to prevent a rise in unemployment,” he said.

“Confidence is subdued, having well and truly given up the post-2013 federal election boost.

“Partly reflecting this, consumers have started to become more focused on paying down debt again, which is a sign of increasing caution and will threaten spending if sustained.”

Mr Oliver said the Reserve Bank would also be feeling the pressure from the rate cuts being made by the central banks of many other countries.

“To the extent it is forcing monetary easing around the world, it adds to confidence that sustained deflation can be avoided. Australia is not immune,” Mr Oliver said.

“As the Reserve Bank wanted to see a continued broad-based decline in the value of the Australian dollar, it had to re-join the easing party lest the Australian dollar rebounded.”

While the economy continues to cool, homeowners are expected to benefit as lower fuel prices and cheaper lending rates put more money in their pockets.

All four of the major banks have now passed on the RBA rate cut in full.

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
  ["alias"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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