Autumn has arrived – the second busiest time of the year in the property world. For buyers looking to make the most of lower property prices, there are opportunities to be found.
This month the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) put up interest rates again – but there are signs that a cash rate pause could be on the not-so-distant horizon.
Meanwhile, the monthly pace of decline in home values slowed sharply over February to just -0.1%.
Interest rate news
At its March meeting, the RBA increased the cash rate by a further 25 basis points. This makes the cash rate the highest in 11 years sitting at 3.60%.
“The Board recognises that monetary policy operates with a lag and that the full effect of the cumulative increase in interest rates is yet to be felt in mortgage payments,” RBA Governor Philip Lowe said.
Lowe indicated that the RBA was closer to pausing the cash rate, which may see a little respite for mortgage holders after 10 straight meetings which saw it increase to the highest level since May 2012.
Borrowers with a $500,000 home loan will soon be facing monthly repayments nearly $1000 larger than a year ago, before the RBA started hiking the cash rate in May 2022.
We are currently working through rate negotiations for our existing clients and will keep you updated. If you are not currently a Fox Mortgages client then get in touch for a comprehensive home loan health check.
Home value movements
In February, we saw home value declines flatten, as low advertised stock levels kept a floor under prices. Nationally, prices dropped -0.14% – the smallest monthly fall since May 2022. Locally Perth saw
In Sydney, we saw a 0.3% rise in property prices in February. Prices fell in all of the other capitals. Regional dwelling values were down -0.3% in February.
CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said the stabilisation in housing values over the month coincided with consistently low advertised supply levels and higher auction clearance rates.
“This trend towards a below average flow of new listings has been evident since September last year, coinciding with a loss of momentum in the rate of value decline,” Mr Lawless said.
Meanwhile, preliminary clearance rates and auction volumes were down for the week ending March 12 due to the long weekend.
Auction activity is set to pick up again shortly, with around 2,350 properties scheduled to go under the hammer across Australia’s capital cities for the week ending March 19 – representing the second busiest auction week so far this year.
If an autumn property purchase is on the cards, talk to us about your finance options. We can compare the market and find you the appropriate home loan for your financial circumstances and goals.
And if you already have a mortgage, now could be the time to shop around. Chances are you may find a more competitive home loan that better suits your needs elsewhere, particularly if you’ve been with the same lender for some time.