RBA boss says now is a good time to buy your first home

By Niko Iliakis ·

RBA governor Philip Lowe has indicated that now is a good time for first home buyers to get a foot on the property ladder, saying that current conditions have titled the market decidedly in their favour.

Speaking at a parliamentary panel in Canberra on Wednesday, Lowe was asked if young Australians should take advantage of the current interest rate environment and consider purchasing their first home.

While he was reluctant to provide any sort of financial advice, the RBA boss admitted that “it's actually a good time, if you're a first home buyer, to buy the property you've wanted.”

"And many first home buyers must agree with me because demand from first home owners at the moment is very strong,” he said.

Along with record low rates, there are several government programs designed to help young Australians, including the First Home Owners Grant, which subsidises the purchase or construction of new homes, and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

Lowe brushed aside concerns that an influx of buyers would send prices soaring, arguing that growth in the market will be restrained by international border closures and weak population growth.

He also weighed in on the federal government’s proposal to revise responsible lending obligations, saying it’s “the right direction to be heading in.”

The changes hope to free up the flow of credit by allowing banks to take applicants at their word when disclosing income and spending, rather than relying on their own verification processes.

How is the economy faring?

At the same panel, Lowe was fairly upbeat about the direction the country was heading, saying that economic performance had exceeded expectations and recovery was underway.

The latest figures show the economy growing in both the September and December quarters. He also told the parliamentary committee the RBA expects GDP to grow by 5% next year and then by 4% over 2022.

While these are promising developments, Lowe said the path to recovery will be “uneven and bumpy,” with some parts of the economy faring better than others. 

The labour market continues to struggle, with unemployment currently sitting at 7% and expected to remain above 6% in two years’ time. Wages will likely remain subdued until jobs recover.

And while confidence has picked up on news of a vaccine, Lowe said the central bank did not believe it will be widely available to most Australians until late next year.

If your job is secure and you’re confident you can service a mortgage, browse our first mortgage guide for helpful tips. And to get an idea of the rates currently available, visit our home loans comparison page, or browse the selection below.

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