Philip Lowe

Interest rates are a key driver of house prices, an RBA paper says

Interest rates are a key driver of house prices, an RBA paper says

“We find that low interest rates (partly reflecting lower world long-term rates) explain much of the rapid growth in housing prices and construction over the past few years.”However these unequivocal statements are, to a degree, at odds with what governor Philip Lowe told The Australian Financial Review Business Summit last week.”The origins of the current…


January retail sales edge 0.1pc higher, below expectations

January retail sales edge 0.1pc higher, below expectations

Consumption grew 0.4 per cent in the last quarter, with the annual rate the slowest since 2013. What is driving the slowdownKordaMentha partner Scott Langdon is well placed to comment on the slowdown in consumption, as he is currently administering business closures like retailer Roger David, Crabtree & Evelyn and Laura Ashley.He warns that it…


RBA’s Philip Lowe takes house price falls in stride

RBA’s Philip Lowe takes house price falls in stride

Lowe explained that over the five years to 2017, Australian house prices rose almost 50 per cent. Since then, they’ve fallen 9 per cent, bringing them back to mid-2016 levels.Lowe ran through some of the reasons for this.The biggest part of the problem is supply; population growth took off in the early 2000s and it…


Labor abandons Hayne on mortgage brokers, proposes fee limits

Labor abandons Hayne on mortgage brokers, proposes fee limits

A party source said Labor did not want another pitched battle involving consumers ahead of the election.Already under pressure from self-funded retirees over its policy to end cash refunds for excess franking credits, Labor could ill-afford another campaign claiming that Commissioner Hayne’s recommendation would drive up costs for borrowers, harm competition and strengthen the hand…



Central bankers stymied as their normalisation window closes fast

Central bankers stymied as their normalisation window closes fast

But stubbornly low inflation, defective fiscal policy and systemic disruption in all its forms looks like it lulled them into a mistaken belief that they had more time.The last few weeks are reinforcing the sense that the window is closing fast. Financial markets have gone from pricing in hikes to cuts.What’s remarkable is just how…


‘Right to be cautious’: Philip Lowe, Matt Comyn back a role for mortgage brokers

‘Right to be cautious’: Philip Lowe, Matt Comyn back a role for mortgage brokers

“I think it is really important that the broking industry is certainly not disadvantaged,” Mr Comyn said.Dr Lowe said he strongly agreed that mortgage brokers should operate under a best interest duty, another recommendation of the royal commission, and given they “essentially are providers of financial advice” they should operate under the same regulatory regime.”However,…


Federal Reserve’s backtracking lifts Australian dollar

Federal Reserve’s backtracking lifts Australian dollar

US curve adds interest”The [US] dollar’s weaker and commodity prices are higher, and high-beta currencies like Aussie have done very well post the Fed. The other interesting mover has just been the curve shape in the US,” Ms Auld said, referring to the steepening curve in response to a view that the Fed has become…


Inflation data won’t alter RBA’s interest-rate story

Inflation data won’t alter RBA’s interest-rate story

A rate rise this year appears unlikely. But the approximate 50 per cent odds financial markets are pricing in for a rate cut by late 2019 seems overly pessimistic.The right directionThere is no escaping the disappointment that underlying inflation has run below the RBA’s target of 2-3 per cent for a record three years.Nevertheless, inflation…


The motley crew who’ll pick the 10 best-in-show super funds

The motley crew who’ll pick the 10 best-in-show super funds

According to the commission’s report, “the process could be overseen by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (as committee chairman), with the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The consumer representative could be decided by the selection committee chairman.”Unfortunately, flicking the highly contentious decision to highly…