The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is urging calm with a rate rise to 0.35 per cent, which is anticipated to have a moderate impact on housing affordability Australia-wide.

REIA President Hayden Groves said the cash rate increase would have modest impacts on affordability with banks and mortgage holders well prepared.

“Wages are expected to increase offsetting a rise in home loan payments where they are passed on by banks and market indications are that house prices will continue to stabilise.

“Aspiring home buyers will not be facing the extreme growth experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic so there is no need for those hunting for a home to put those plans on hold,” Mr Groves said.

This is the first since November 2010 and REIA believe banks and mortgage holders are well prepared for a higher interest rate environment.

“If the cash rate rises to the 2.1 per cent forecast, the proportion of median income required will rise by 6.2 per cent which most financial institutions would have already stress tested applicants for such rises,” Mr Groves said.

“That being said, with market economists forecasting a cash rate of at least 2.0 per cent by mid next year, if wages don’t increase it could be a completely different scenario which will see affordability at its worse in more than a decade.”

Time for a national plan to address housing affordability

REIA believe the rise in interest rates reiterates the urgent need for a national plan that addresses housing affordability and supply which should be supported by both Federal and State Governments.

“While we support current government policies being presented during the election campaign and previous plans from the current government, prohibitive taxes such as the extremely high stamp duty payments are a key concern in limiting supply and affordability,’ Mr Groves said.