The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 2.25 percent. There is a bias towards further cuts with the statement “Further policy easing may be required “.
The Auckland housing market got about as strong a warning as it gets from a Reserve Bank with “Auckland house prices in particular are at very high levels….”.
In a sign that the ANZ Bank views the property market as being “toppy” they have reduced the maximum Auckland property lending ratio to 85% (including the LEP fee’s).
Property lending outside of Auckland is also getting trimmed to 90% .
Its a clear sign the Bank is looking to reduce its exposure.
This 2 bedroom brick and tile unit in St Mary’s Bay sold today @ $1,020,000.
An end unit In a block of 4 its approximately 59 sqm internally.
The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 2.25 percent. The housing market was mentioned as has regularly been the case of recent times.
“”There are some indications that house price inflation in Auckland may be picking up. House prices remain at very high levels and additional housing supply is needed. Housing market pressures are building in some other regions””
Keeping a wary eye on what is happening in Australia given that the large lenders here are all Aussie owned it was interesting to note that yesterday Westpac Australia announced it has stopped lending to foreign property buyers and non – residents. The bank also said it was tightening lending requirements on Australian citizens and permanent visa holders who depended on overseas income, reducing the maximum amount it will lend on property to 70 per cent.
This morning the Reserve Bank updated us with their view of interest rates and the economy which resulted in a cut to the Official Cash Rate to 2.25%. A change in the OCR results in movements in our home loan floating interest rates. As such all of the banks are likely to reduce their floating or variable rates today. Of course for existing customers this reduction will be future dated so the banks can squeeze a few more days on a higher rate out of their customers.
HSBC is offering 3.95% fixed for 18 Months for a limited time. A headline grabber.
Following the US Fed Announcement this morning the NZ Reserve Bank also kept the benchmark rate on hold.
The growth in Auckland house prices received its customary mention with the warning that it remains a “financial stability risk”.
The possibility of a lower OCR, potentially leading to lower floating home loan rates, was left out there for further assessment over the coming year.
Barfoot and Thompsons December sales figures are out confirming anecdotal evidence of a slow down. December 2015 sales were 796 down from December 2014 sales of 1050. A 24% fall. Some of the froth is coming out of the Auckland market.
Leading the market, and taking the opportunity to increase their margin, ASB has raised their 3,4, and 5 year fixed rates. For the under 80%’ers the 3 year is raised 0.26% to 4.75% and the 5 year up 0.16% to 5.25%.
Data out from Harcourts today shows a fall in Northern region sales of 14% when comparing November 2014 with November 2015.
Total new listing were down 17% and new auction / tender listings were down 26%.