Finance Finance News Reserve Bank leaves interest rates on hold

Reserve Bank leaves interest rates on hold

reserve bank
The Reserve Bank last moved rates with a 25-basis-point cut in August. Photo: ABC
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The Reserve Bank has left interest rates on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent for the third straight month.

Rates last fell in August, when the bank elected to lower its cash rate target from 1.75 per cent to a fresh record low of 1.5 per cent.

The decision to stay on hold for November came as no surprise to economists, only five out of 60 of whom had expected rates to fall this month.

November has, in the past, been a favoured month for the RBA to move, with six consecutive Melbourne Cup Day rate changes between 2006 and 2011.

However, Cup Day rate moves appear to have gone out to long odds since, with the bank sitting pat for the fifth straight year.

It appears the housing market has returned to the forefront of the RBA’s thinking, after the bank had played down price growth in Sydney and Melbourne repeatedly over recent months.

“Turnover in the housing market and growth in lending for housing have slowed over the past year,” observed new RBA governor Philip Lowe in his post-meeting statement.

“The rate of increase in housing prices is also lower than it was a year ago, although prices in some markets have been rising briskly over the past few months.”

Dr Lowe also had a warning for property investors that this price growth is unlikely to be sustained.

“Considerable supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years, particularly in the eastern capital cities,” he noted, repeating consistent warnings from the RBA about the risk of a glut and price falls in some areas.

“Growth in rents is the slowest for some decades.”


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