When will our property markets turn?
That’s one of the many topics we discuss in this month’s PROPERTY INSIDERS market update.
By now you’d know that the RBA has predictably cut rates to a new record low of 1.25% following a confounding record period of nearly 3 years on hold.
APRA, the financial regulator, has also predictably ended its equally confounding policies that severely reduced home lending.
Adventurous policies restricting home lending, particularly to investors, have done significant economic damage.
Over-management of the risk of higher rates, a near certainty until recently according to the RBA, has acted to produce the very outcome policymakers were trying to avoid.
The collapse of home building, a significant economic force, and the shredding of already weak consumer confidence via sharp home price falls, have raised the spectre of a recession – likely saved only by booming iron ore exports.
Lower mortgage rates are a positive for housing affordability and will help restore confidence and stabilise prices, but it’s too little too late to significantly boost the economy.
And further desperate rate cuts will push the economy more into the stagnant zone experienced by other economies where near-zero rates have largely remained for a decade.
The lesson for policy-making ideologues: leave the housing market alone – at your peril.
While asking prices are still falling, the rate of decline is decreasing.
Auction clearance rates, a good sign of consumer confidence are rising.
However the rental markets around Australia are flat.
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