Fresh rounds of interest rate speculation.
There is a growing assumption that another cut in interest rates by the RBA could be likely following the figures released on home loans by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The number of new home loans approved in January fell by 1.5 percent to 44,383 according to the ABS figures. This marks a fourth consecutive month of decline for approvals. Many are stipulating that this is a signal that further rate cuts are required if the RBA expects the housing market to return to growth.
However, according to HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham, using home loan approvals from January as a yardstick may be inaccurate as it would have been to soon for rate cuts to have taken a hold on the market.
"The soft patch in the economy is probably behind us, we're going to see growth pick up on the back of the rate cuts that have already been delivered," said Mr Bloxham, who also believes that another rate cut in 2013 is not likely.
And the Westpac Melbourne institute index of consumer sentiment shows that Mr Bloxham may be right, with consumer sentiment hitting a two year high in March.
"While we didn't see a material improvement in number of loans for new homes in January 2013, activity over the month was still 9.3 percent higher than we saw in January 2012," said HIA economist Geordan Murray.
And according to Mr Murray the rise in the value of home loans and the increasing prices of property are all encouraging signs of the market returning to growth. The Bendigo Bank/ REIA Real Estate Market Facts Report showed that house prices in December quarter were 3.8 percent higher than the previous 3 months.
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