RBA holds the cash rate at 1.5%

October 05, 2016
Melinda Halloran

The streak of record-low home loan interest rates is set to continue after the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep the cash rate on hold at 1.5% for October.

The latest decision came as the spring property market starts to heat up and we begin to move towards Christmas. Comments in the statement from Governor Philip Lowe after the announcement showed the Board is closely monitoring about jobs growth and the housing market.

Their biggest concern all year has been low inflation, and this was the catalyst for the last rate cut in August. With the next set of inflation data due out later this month, the Board will be able to assess whether the last cut to the cash rate has had the desired impact. If it hasn’t, we may well be in for one final cut to the cash rate in November.

Given that inflation figures play such an important role in the appointment of the cash rate, it was unsurprising that rates are on hold until they are released in the coming weeks. 

Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said he was expecting the decision. “The Australian economy has been tracking along quite nicely of late,” he said. “Business sentiment remains relatively robust, as does consumer confidence and the property market. As a result, there has been no need for the Reserve Bank to re-think their current stance on monetary policy.”

No movements to the cash rate are always a good sign, especially at the moment while home loans interest rates are so low. Lenders are still moving interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank and there are a number of good deals on both variable and fixed loans around at the moment.

Even if you aren’t in the market to purchase another property, you could get ahead by refinancing to take advantage of market competition.

Latest Brisbane property market stats

  • Official cash rate: 1.50%
  • Brisbane median house sale price: $612,000*
  • Brisbane median unit sale price: $508,500*
  • Auction clearance rate: 56%
  • Interest rates starting from 3.74% p.a.

*These are the latest CoreLogic RP Data figures from August, 2016. They are based on sales data from the Brisbane City Council region only.

– Trevor

Posted in: Interest rates

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