New consumer figures indicate the creation of a more level playing field for Illawarra renters, buyers and sellers, a property expert believes.
They also suggest the continuation of historically low interest rates for “some time yet”, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia.
The REIA says the June 2018 quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week continue to offer good news for renters.
“The All Groups CPI, increased by 0.4 per cent in the June quarter – the same as for the previous quarter - giving an annual increase of 1.9 per cent,” REIA president Malcolm Gunning said.
“The quarterly increase is below the increase of 0.6 per cent in the two preceding quarters.
“The annual changes for the analytical series of trimmed mean and for the weighted median were both 1.9 per cent.”
Mr Gunning said the annual changes in the two analytical series have been below the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target zone of two to three per cent for the past ten quarters, and suggest the continuation of historically low interest rates for some time yet.
“The Housing Group increased by 0.2 per cent for the quarter and 3.1 per cent for the year to June 2018,” he said. “The major increases in the Housing Group for the year were electricity (up 10.4 per cent) and gas and other household fuels (up 7.1 per cent).
“Rents remained unchanged for the quarter and increased by just 0.6 per cent for the year. For the last ten quarters the average annual change has been less than 1.0 per cent.”
Trever Molenaar, chairman of the Real Estate Institute Illawarra believed these set of circumstances created a “much more level playing field in the Illawarra for both renters and buyers/sellers”.
“The Illawarra has seen some steep increases in living in general, and these figures show a leveling that is making it easier for those renting and getting into the market,” he said.
Mr Gunning also said the latest figures showed that the increase in rental stock through increased investment in housing has kept growth in rents lower than they have been historically.
“For home buyers the latest inflation data together with a cooling in the housing market would suggest that the RBA will hold official interest rates stable for 2018.
“While official interest rates are likely to remain stable we are seeing pressure mounting on banks to increase mortgage rates, which together with the extremely cautious approach being currently taken by lenders means higher borrowing costs and runs the risk of hampering economic growth.”