Comments from RBA Makes Housing Headlines

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RBA to first-time home buyers: the system is failing you
Dr Luci Ells, The head of financial stability for the RBA, has made headlines with her speech at the CITI Residential Housing Conference on Thursday in Sydney. In her widely-cited speech she offered a critique of policies that left first-time homebuyers locked out of the market and rewarded investors over home-buyers. While the risk of “shadow banking” remained low, Ells said that first-timers taking on too much debt on high-risk purchases would make the financial system less stable, and that they should keep calm and wait for a fair go.  Read the full story here.

Federal budget helps property sector long-term
Kevin Young, owner and founder of The Property Club said the newly-revealed budget improved fundamentals vital to ongoing growth in the property sector, but did nothing to address the housing supply issues driving up prices. Infrastructure spending and job creation efforts will help build a foundation for home prices, but Young was looking for a two-year moratorium on the GST on new houses to address affordable housing undersupply. Read the full story here.

High Court of Australia decision on bankrupt landlords leaves tenants in legal limbo
In the December decision of the High Court of Australia in Willmott Growers Group Inc v Willmott Forests Limited, the liquidator of a bankrupt landlord company can end a tenant's lease if a tenant doesn’t successfully challenge the move in court.  A tenant can challenge on the grounds that ending a lease would do damage to the tenant would be “grossly out of proportion” to the damage keeping the lease would cause to the landlord company's creditors. But the meaning for that term isn’t clear, leading to a call for legislation to clarify the law. Read the full story here.

Fund manager tells investors to brace themselves for a rise in interest rates
Executives from global banks are preparing for a material increase in interest rates within 12 months, warned Chris Mackay, the former chief of UBS’s Australian operations, on a Morningstar conference yesterday. The move will come quickly and will probably be a bit shocking to investors expecting a stable interest-rate environment, he said. Read the full story here.

Both the rate of lending and home prices rose in the March quarter
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the value of lending to owner occupiers increased by 3.6 per cent while lending to investors increased by 4.9 per cent. The data also shows that capital city residential property prices increased by 1.7 per cent during the first quarter of 2014, and are now 10.9 per cent higher than a year ago. Read the full story here.

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