Sydney and Melbourne property prices had eased, Perth and Brisbane little changed: RBA minutes

Sydney and Melbourne property prices had eased, Perth and Brisbane little changed: RBA minutes
Sydney and Melbourne property prices had eased, Perth and Brisbane little changed: RBA minutes

Housing market conditions had generally eased, especially in Sydney, the December RBA minutes indicated.

Conditions had eased in the established housing market, most noticeably in Sydney, where housing prices had declined in prior months and auction clearance rates had fallen, the central bank noted.

Housing price growth had also eased in Melbourne, but remained relatively strong, with the RBA noting Melbourne prices had been supported by high population growth.

"Housing prices in Perth and Brisbane had been little changed in preceding months," the minutes advised.

The central bank noted in the eastern capital cities, a considerable additional supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years.

The minutes also showed that board members noted housing credit growth had eased a little over the second half of 2017, as growth in lending to owner-occupiers had slowed somewhat and growth in lending to investors had stabilised at a lower level than in the first half of the year.

"The easing in housing credit growth had been accounted for by the major banks, which had been more affected by the need to restrain interest-only lending to comply with the supervisory measures announced earlier in the year," the minutes said.

"Growth in housing lending by non-authorised deposit-taking institutions (non-ADIs) had picked up, although these institutions' share of overall housing lending remained small.

Members noted that these lenders charged higher interest rates on average than ADIs, which is likely to reflect both the borrower risk profile and higher funding costs of non-ADIs.

To address the medium-term risks associated with high and rising household indebtedness, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority had introduced a number of supervisory measures earlier in the year and credit standards had been tightened to lower the risk profile of borrowers.

Growth in household credit had slowed somewhat, but members agreed that household balance sheets still warranted careful monitoring.

It noted dwelling investment was expected to have fallen marginally in the September quarter.

Dwelling investment had fallen over the preceding year in Queensland and Western Australia, but had remained at a high level in New South Wales and Victoria.

Residential building approvals had picked up in preceding months, but remained below the levels of a few years earlier, the bank minutes said.

"Together with data on the pipeline of work yet to be done, this suggested that dwelling investment would remain at a high level for the following year or so, but that it was not likely to add materially to GDP growth."

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Mortgages Price Growth

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