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Don’t punt on quick end to housing crisis as Cup day rate hikes likely

The four-month reprieve from interest rate hikes is likely to end next week with the Reserve Bank board expected to increase interest rates by 0.25 per cent.

Nov 03, 2023, updated Nov 03, 2023
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland also said that since the housing summit nothing had changed with dwelling approvals still well below demand. (Image: Maximilian Conacher/Unsplash)

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland also said that since the housing summit nothing had changed with dwelling approvals still well below demand. (Image: Maximilian Conacher/Unsplash)

On Friday, the Australian bond market was pricing in a 63 per cent chance of a hike next week and if the RBA holds off that jumps to an 84 per cent probability for a rate hike in December.

The likely hike comes as the struggle to meet housing demand escalated and the State Government came under fire over the still-vacant Pinkenba quarantine facility, five months after it approved funding.

However, the State Government said while it was still committed it was waiting on direction from the Federal Government, which owns the facility.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland also said that since the housing summit nothing had changed with dwelling approvals still well below demand.

REIQ’s Antonia Mercorella said social housing approvals were static and dwellings approvals for the 12 months to September in Queensland were only 33,755, well below the more than 40,000 needed to meet demand in the south east alone.

“Meanwhile, the Housing Investment Fund has not built a single house. The size of the hedge fund is irrelevant if there are not tangible outcomes for Queenslanders doing it tough,” she said.

The fund has $2 billion to support a revised target of 5600 social and affordable home commencements by June 30, 2027. More than $479 million in project funding has been approved under the HIF, while another 71 proposals have been shortlisted to progress to the next stage of assessment under the HIF.

To date, more than 1600 social and affordable homes have been approved for funding under the Housing Investment Fund.

The Commonwealth Bank said it was expecting a rate hike next week. Its head of Australian economics Gareth Aird said he believed the likelihood of a rate hike was about 80 per cent.

He said the comments coming out of the RBA continued to show a “hawkish tone”, particularly comments in the board minutes that: “The board has a low tolerance for a slower return of inflation to the target than currently expected.”

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If the RBA does hike rates it would be the 13th increase since May last year, but the possibility does not seem to have impacted the housing market where prices continue to climb.

Brisbane house prices have hit a record but analysts believe the increases were a result of a shortage of houses on the market.

Official data showed home loan lending increased in August as investors moved back into the market and fixed rate loans represented less than 5 per cent of new housing debt, according to the ANZ.

The bank said data also indicated that peak in refinancing loans had passed.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland said housing data released this week showed there were seriously problems for Queensland in addressing the shortage of stock.

Chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the issue had not improved since the housing summit. About 33,000 new dwellings had been approved in that time, whereas the industry claims about 40,000 were needed each year in south east alone.

 

 

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