Finance advice

Rates on hold, for now

By webmaster

Escalating debt problems in Europe will force the central bank to leave rates unchanged for the immediate future, writes Shane Oliver.


The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has all but confirmed that it will leave interest rates on hold until at least August.

In the minutes of its June board meeting, the RBA said rates were likely to remain stable until the impact of both the European public debt crisis and the recent spate of domestic interest rate hikes could be properly assessed.

Early indications suggest the sovereign debt crisis in Europe will last for some time to come.

Consumer confidence dipped slightly in Germany despite the strong rise in construction activity. Underlying inflation in Germany increased just 0.8 per cent over the year to April and some European countries are actually seeing deflation – indicating that there is still plenty of scope to leave interest rates low or even cut them.

But while rate cuts are likely in Europe – and the RBA looks determined to keep rates on hold in Australia until at least August – the strong May labour market report reminds us that more interest rate hikes lie in store for our nation within the next six months.

For the time being, Australian economic data remains relatively soft – with past rate hikes, share market turmoil and the debate over the proposed resources tax resulting in sharp falls in both consumer and business confidence.

Housing finance was mixed in April – down in terms of the number of new loans for owner occupiers but with investor finance continuing to recover.

Labour market data remained solid though, with a stronger than expected gain in employment in May – particularly in full time jobs – and the ANZ job ads series continuing to rise, pointing to more employment gains ahead. The continuing improvement in the labour market will help underpin household income; along with income tax cuts this should help boost consumer spending going forward.

The Australian dollar is also likely to regain its strength over the next few months as Australian interest rates remain well above global rates and as commodity prices resume their upswing.

Indeed Chinese exports are continuing to strengthen.

While inflation picked up to 3.1 per cent, it is still well below what was feared earlier this year, and in any case business surveys point to a sharp weakening in input cost pressures.

The bottom line is that measures to cool the Chinese economy and property market are working and that further tightening is unlikely. As such, we remain confident in our view of a soft landing for the Chinese economy, which will see growth fall back to around 9 to 10 per cent.

While much is made of the fact that 20 per cent of Chinese exports go the European Union, it is worth noting that only 3.5 per cent go to the key at risk countries of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Shane Oliver is AMP’s chief economist

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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!

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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!

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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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!

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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