Australia’s financial regulators are keeping a close watch on how rising official interest rates are affecting mortgages and the housing market.
The Council of Financial Regulators – the Reserve Bank of Australia, Treasury, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission – held their quarterly meeting on June 20.
It notes that housing market indicators suggest that activity has weakened in the major cities in recent months and housing price growth nationally has slowed, although housing lending is only just starting to ease.
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“The council will be closely monitoring the effects of rising interest rates on the household sector,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“Members emphasised the additional resilience provided by the substantial housing equity and payment buffers built up by households since the onset of the pandemic.”
The RBA has raised the official cash rate twice at its last two monthly board meetings – to 0.85 per cent from a record low 0.1 per cent – in the face of ballooning inflation.
Economists expect the RBA to lift the cash rate by a further 50 basis points at its July 5 board meeting, matching the increase in June, which was the biggest move since February 2000.
Further increases are expected in coming months, taking the cash rate to at least two per cent by early 2023.