What every property investor needs to know about the drop in interest rates

Yes, interest rates fell yesterday.

But what do we know?

  • The local economy is tough.  Overseas markets more so.  Or is it more about structural change than cyclical factors?  Ditto Australia’s housing markets.
  • Australians are saving at near record rates.
  • We are spending money but on different things – travel and online goods, not local produce and especially not new housing (or established housing for that matter)
  • Taking on debt is out of fashion.
  • Inflation looks contained – well, for now.
  • Established house prices are starting to rise – up over 3% since May or close to 9% on an annualised rate.
  • Population growth across Australia is on the rise again.
  • The Aussie dollar remains high.
  • Very few people are admitting they like Alan Jones right this minute.

Little impact on the economy.
For mine, today’s drop in official rates will have very little impact on our economy.  The banks are limited as to how much they can pass on.  Rates are expected to fall again in November.

True, a rate drop is better than a rate rise, given our current collective frump.

But what we need is a boost to our confidence.  A fall in interest rates won’t do it.  Today’s fall and even next month’s is already factored into our expectations.  It’s like having meat and three veg for dinner, the usual and so ho-hum.

Confidence is missing.
Confidence, that’s what is missing and for the life of me, I don’t see it on the horizon and regardless of what direction I look.  I definitely don’t see in when I look south towards Canberra.  I was hoping to see it in George Street, but maybe my expectations were set too high.  I am not seeing it across the Pacific.  Heck, I cannot even watch a footy match these days without someone getting their ear nearly bitten off.

Without being sexist, Tom Waits has got it right – “there ain’t enough raised right men”.

We need to build something – another Snowy Mountains something.  Or really attempt to solve a major human suffering – and something tangible, like infant mortality or Aids – and not the nebulous like “climate change”.  We need a plan and a leader to articulate and implement it.  Branson and co. need to step up.  No politician – well, not out of the current crop – is going to do it.  Ditto those fat mining magnates.

We need our own Springsteen.  Where’s Midnight Oil when you need them?  Come on, Pete – give up your day job!

But before I get higher on my high-horse….

All the ingredients are there for another housing upturn – low rates; high yields (often now positive); a rising population growth rate; soft housing starts; very tight vacancy rates; higher rents and now rising end prices and yet I will get more “spruiker” direct email replies from this post than “hi-fives”.

It’s a strange world we live in these days for sure.

PS I have always liked Alan and especially when he coached the Wallabies.  Maybe his mongrel is misdirected?  Move over Deans!

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Michael Matusik is the director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights and writes the  Matusik Missive which is free, however, reprinting, republication or distribution of any portion of this material, or inclusion on any website, is strictly prohibited without the written permission of Matusik Property Insights and may incur a charge.



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Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

'What every property investor needs to know about the drop in interest rates' have 1 comment


    October 4, 2012 Kathy

    Great article Michael M. I am at the coal face of the uncertainty, i.e. I have been in and out of work for the past couple of years due to poor health – bad timing with the economic climate. Given I am watching the job market every day, I can tell you that there are very few job opportunities (in my field at least) and the shopping centres and small businesses are probably doing it tougher than the big part of town. The certainty about the uncertainty is that the mood will change for the better – we just don’t know when. As Michael Y always tells us – we won’t know when we’ve reached the bottom until we’ve reached the next stage of change.


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