No strong case for cash rate hike as housing turnover 'falls significantly': RBA March 2019 minutes

No strong case for cash rate hike as housing turnover 'falls significantly': RBA March 2019 minutes
No strong case for cash rate hike as housing turnover 'falls significantly': RBA March 2019 minutes

Despite pressures to cut rates, the RBA have held firm, suggesting there is no need for an adjustment to the cash rate in the near term.

"Members agreed to continue to assess the outlook carefully," RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in the March meeting minutes.

"Given that further progress in reducing unemployment and lifting inflation was a reasonable expectation, members agreed that there was not a strong case for a near-term adjustment in monetary policy.

"Rather, they assessed that it would be appropriate to hold the cash rate steady while new information became available that could help resolve the current tensions in the domestic economic data."

On housing, Lowe said the process of adjustment in the housing market had continued. 

"Housing prices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth had declined further, and turnover in the housing market had fallen significantly," he said.

Lowe noted that available data showed continued declines in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth into 2019, however also said the data was difficult to interpret when taking into account the always quiet January period.

"In Sydney, housing prices were 13 per cent lower than their July 2017 peak, while in Melbourne housing prices were 10 per cent lower than their November 2017 peak," Lowe suggested.

He highlighted the auction clearance rates picking up in Sydney and Melbourne over February, although added that demand for housing credit had slowed 'noticeably' as conditions in the housing market changed.

Lowe noted that despite the likelihood dwelling investment was expected to decrease in the December quarter, however the pipeline of work to be done remained large.

"Members noted that the pipeline of work to be done remained large and was expected to support dwelling investment through 2019, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria," Lowe said, although added there will be a marked slowing in dwelling investment soon.

"Residential building approvals and information from the Bank's liaison program pointed to a marked slowing in dwelling investment in one to two years' time, unless pre-sales increased significantly in the following few quarters.

"The recent weakness in sales of detached new houses had been most pronounced in Sydney and Melbourne, but had also been evident in other locations.

"Contacts had reported that tighter access to credit for off-the-plan and project homes had been constraining buyer demand," Lowe said.

The RBA are still hopeful of growth in GDP of around three percent of 2019 and a further decline in the unemployment rate to 4.75% over the next couple of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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Meeting Minutes Rba Insights

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