The housing price boom is over: HSBC's Paul Bloxham

The housing price boom is over: HSBC's Paul Bloxham
The housing price boom is over: HSBC's Paul Bloxham

GUEST OBSERVER

The RBA left its cash rate unchanged at 1.50 percent, as expected.

The post- meeting statement noted that 'having eased monetary policy at its May and August meetings, the Board judged that holding the stance of policy unchanged would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time'. Much of the rest of the statement was very similar to last month.

The RBA seems content with the current stance of policy and we see this as unlikely to change any time soon. Tomorrow's Q2 GDP print will now be in focus, with timely partial indicators, released earlier today, suggesting some upside risk to our forecast for GDP growth of 3.2 percent y-o-y. Our central case has the RBA keeping its cash rate steady at 1.50 percent in coming quarters.

Facts

The RBA held its cash rate steady at 1.50 percent, as expected by all of the surveyed economists in the Bloomberg survey. Just prior to the decision the market was pricing a 2 percent chance of a 25bp cut.

Implications

Having delivered 50bp of cuts in the past four months, it was no surprise that the RBA held its cash rate steady today. With little more to say about the situation than that, the RBA's post-meeting statement was very similar to last month's.

As they pointed out, 'low interest rates have been supporting domestic demand and the lower exchange rate since 2013 is helping the traded sector'. In short, loose financial conditions are rebalancing growth in the economy. At the same time, 'inflation remains quite low', but the Board are of the view that the current stance of policy is 'consistent with ... achieving the inflation target over time'.

On the AUD, the RBA exercised its 'free lunch option' by stating that 'an appreciating exchange rate could complicate [the rebalancing of growth]'. There is no cost to the RBA in stating this. However, importantly, the RBA is not suggesting that the current level of the exchange rate is a worry.

On the established housing market, they continue to believe (as do we) that the housing price boom is over. While some measures show continued strong housing price growth, most are showing a slowdown and this easing in housing price growth is consistent with weaker new housing loan approvals and housing credit growth.

The focus now shifts to tomorrow's Q2 GDP print. Partial indicators, on balance, suggest some upside risk to our forecast for already above-trend growth of 3.2 percent y-o-y. Our central case sees strong growth driving further gradual improvement in the labour market, with wages growth stabilising and gradually climbing through 2017, supporting underlying inflation. With this in mind, our central case sees the RBA on hold in coming quarters. 

 PAUL BLOXHAM IS CHIEF ECONOMIST (AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND) FOR HSBC. 

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House Price Dwelling Values

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