The Reserve Bank has again decided to leave official interest rates on hold over April. Rates have now been on hold since August last year when they were cut to the record low 1.5 per cent.
Although rates remain on hold, latest economic data remains mixed with the national unemployment rate now at a year high 5.9 per cent. A number of capitals have unemployment rates significantly higher than a year ago.
A continued deterioration in the jobless rate will likely result in official rate cuts sooner rather than later.
Mortgage rates have increased over the past month with more rises in the pipeline with bank margins under pressure in finance markets. The financial regulator has also enacted a tightening of home lending policies aimed particularly at curbing the recent growth in investor finance.
Housing market activity, however, generally remains robust in most capitals with recent solid to strong prices growth likely to continue through autumn.