RBA leaves rates unchanged

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the official cash rate unchanged at 2.5%, in line with analysts' predictions.

It’s the second month in the row the Bank has left rates unchanged at a 53-year low.

All nine analysts queried by Finder.com.au predicted no movement in the official cash rate.

And all 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted no change for October.

But 12 of the 33 predicted a rate cut of 25 basis points for November.

The next RBA Board meeting is on November 5.

The Bank has previously cut rates in August 2013, May 2013, December 2012, October 2012, June 2012, May 2012, November 2011 and December 2011.

RP Data's Tim Lawless says the current interest rate setting is providing an appropriate level of stimulus. 

He says housing values across the combined capital cities have recently reached a new historic high after recording a 7.7% peak to decline correction between October 2010 and May 2012. 

"Not only are home values up by 8.7% since the recovery trend kicked off in June last year, but there has also been a sharp improvement in the level of credit demand for new housing," Lawless says.

The number of mortgage commitments for new housing has risen by more than 50% over the 12 months to July, mortgage activity is continuing to trend higher indicating that housing finance demand is continuing to gather momentum as the market moves through spring.

"Dwelling approvals have also been trending higher which is another positive sign that the low interest rate setting is flowing through to new housing investment which is one of the key desired outcomes from the low cash rate setting," he says.

"While the housing market is broadly tracking consistently higher in value, the benefits of the low mortgage rate environment aren’t being felt across all regions.  Dwelling values across Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane, have hardly budged over the last year and dwelling values are lower over the year in both Adelaide and Hobart. 

"Additionally, momentum has left the Perth and Darwin housing markets with values rising by just 1.3% and 0.1% respectively over the past three months.  These cities would certainly benefit from mortgage rates remaining at their low setting."

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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