Massive OZ house price increases puts heat on interest ratesMonday, November 02, 2009
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to put up interest rates when it meets this week after the latest property index showed a massive 3.7% rise in real estate prices.
Residential property prices in Australia are now at a six year high as the country has escaped the worst of the global economic crisis and even the decrease in first time buyer grants has failed so far to have an impact.
Although the number of first time buyers has fallen, this has been offset by an increase in property investment in general, according to experts.
The latest figures from research group Australian Property Monitors shows that Melbourne has the fastest growing real estate sector with prices rising 6.1% in the third quarter of the year, the fastest quarterly increase since 2003.
The average house price in Melbourne was $487,249, compared with $437,560 in September last year and the city’s average house price has now risen 11.4% during the last 12 months.
Hobart saw the second highest rise, up 5.4% for the quarter, followed by Canberra with 4.8% rise and Sydney with 3.6 %.
The rise in national house prices was led by explosive growth in the more expensive suburbs, which had started in capital cities and spread to the rest of the country, APM economist Matthew Bell said.
Prices in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and lower north shore had been rising since June while prices in some expensive suburbs, such as Point Piper and Bronte in Sydney, had taken the hardest hits, falling by up to 30% since 2007, he added.
Some experts are warning that the upturn in the market is not sustainable as it is not underpinned by first time buyers.
The rise in prices in the first home segment of the market started to slow in the September quarter.
Much of this is due to the decrease in first home buyer’s grants in September and rising mortgage rates, but Bell said that so far this has been offset by real estate investors who have been tempted to buy by strong rental yields and the prospect of future capital gains.
He expects this trend to continue into early next year.
But the record rise in property prices is expected to prompt The Reserve Bank of Australia, whose policy making board meets later this week, to put up interest rates.
‘News of another hefty increase in house prices in the September quarter will certainly not dissuade the RBA from raising rates,’ said Chris Caton, chief economist at BT Financial Group.
House price growth in Australia has come despite massive falls in many developed economies due to the global economic crisis.
Low interest rates, generous government grants for new home buyers, relatively low unemployment, and strong population growth have all helped to lift demand for houses.Source: [Property Wire News]