Finance advice

RBA announces cash rate decision

By Charbel Kadib
RBA

The official cash rate has been announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia following its monthly board meeting.

The RBA board has decided to keep the cash rate at 1.5 per cent, a move predicted by most industry experts.

All of the 25 surveyed experts on the finder.com.au panel correctly predicted the record low cash rate to remain unchanged.

The head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, Shane Oliver, correctly predicted the RBA’s decision, but he said that despite strength in some economic indicators, factors such as low inflation, stunted wage growth, consumer uncertainty and the high exchange rate would have all been considered by the RBA in its decision to hold rates where they were.

“While confidence, jobs and non-mining investment are strong, inflation remains below target, wages growth remains around a record low, uncertainty is high regarding the outlook for consumer spending and the Australian dollar is too strong. As such, it is too early for the RBA to consider raising interest rates,” Mr Oliver said.

Independent property market economist Dr Andrew Wilson agreed, noting that a reduction in housing market activity would have also influenced the central bank’s decision to keep the cash rate on hold.

“The latest data is too benign for rate movement: low inflation, higher dollar, cooling house prices, positive labour market, declining building approvals, lower home investor activity — a mixed bag means wait and watch early days 2018 for [the] RBA,” Mr Wilson said.

CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, wasn’t surprised by the central bank’s decision, and he also made reference to slowing activity in the housing market, citing a 0.7 per cent fall in dwelling values.

Mr Lawless said: “With headline inflation remaining below the RBA’s target range of 2–3 per cent, housing markets moving through a controlled slow down, a higher than forecast Australian dollar and household debt at record highs, the hold decision from the Reserve Bank was widely expected.”

Despite also correctly predicting a hold decision, managing director of Market Economics Stephen Koukoulas suggested that there’s evidence that a rate cut is required.

“[The] RBA continue[s] to miss its inflation target, and despite evidence that a rate cut is needed, it is likely to remain on hold. It will cite an improving global economy as a key reason,” Mr Koukoulas said.

“For more than two years now, inflation’s been below the bottom of their target range, so I think they need to ensure monetary policy is set towards reflating the economy, getting inflation a little bit higher.

“You then throw in a few issues like the softness in housing, which has been something of a concern.

“If the house prices in Sydney and Melbourne keep falling, there’s a potential risk to the economy there.”

However, 81 per cent of the panellists predicted that the next cash rate movement will be up, with 12 panellists expecting the RBA to lift the cash rate as early as May.

Amid a historic 6 per cent plunge in the Dow Jones on the US Stock Exchange, professor at Monash University Mark Crosby claimed that the RBA board would be influenced by movements in foreign markets, but he expects the next rate movement to be up.

“2018 will be watch and wait for the RBA, as they observe movements in overseas rates and ponder timing for a rate rise in Australia,” Mr Crosby said.

Likewise, Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell made reference to global factors that he believes would have also contributed to the RBA’s decision.

“Globally, the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States is clearly confident about the state of the economy, given that the bank lifted the Federal Funds Rate three times throughout 2017,” the CEO said.

“Further, the Federal Reserve Bank has made it very clear that it will continue to increase the Federal Funds Rate throughout both 2018 and 2019.”

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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
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Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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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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  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:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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