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Bollard's low OCR likely to refire housing market

Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard's insistence on keeping his official cash rate (OCR) low could light a fire under house prices again, according to Westpac chief economist Brendan O'Donovan.

Thursday, October 29th 2009, 10:48AM 3 Comments

by Jenny Ruth

Earlier, Bollard left his OCR unchanged at 2.5% and said he expects to keep it there until the second half of 2010.

"Because the Reserve Bank's committing to keep rates low for such an extended period, we're in for a double digit spike in house prices," O'Donovan says, adding house prices rose 4% in the last three months.

Bollard expressed concerns about the composition of renewed growth and particularly about a credit-fuelled rebound in the housing market. O'Donovan says higher interest rates is the solution to such problems.

"Instead they're indicating to households there's a strong likelihood short rates will be low until the second half of next year," he says.

Bollard did drop the possibility of lowering the OCR further but in O'Donovan's view "until the second half of 2010" is exactly the same as Bollard's previous statement "until the latter part of 2010.

Other economists do detect a slight softening in the change of wording.

"The Reserve Bank has moved a step closer to the market's view," says Darren Gibbs at Deutsche Bank. But he's also dashed hopes of the next rate hike coming as early as January. "The Reserve Bank has made it clear it's got no intention of going down that track," Gibbs says.

Bollard said: "In contrast to current market pricing, we see no urgency to begin withdrawing monetary policy stimulus."

Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB Bank, says Bollard seems to be "avoiding talking about anything positive. He does seem to be putting aside some fairly significant and positive developments."

Tuffley agrees with O'Donovan about the contradictions of Bollard's stance. "It's like he's saying, we're going to keep rates low but we don't want people to borrow any money," Tuffley says.

He's still of the view Bollard will raise the OCR sooner than he's currently indicating "from these emergency levels" closer to more normal levels. Before the current easing cycle, which started in July 2008 when Bollard started cutting the OCR from 8.25%, the lowest the OCR had been was 4.5% when it was first introduced in March 1999.

« Bollard's speech on the OCRMortgage fraud increases »

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Comments from our readers

On 29 October 2009 at 1:52 pm ocr said:
OCR is doing nothing for current market interest rates (or too much margin now). Low interest rates will cost less in house, from long-run, will depreciate the house price, do you know about that?
On 30 October 2009 at 2:17 pm Craig McPherson said:
If the Reserve Bank does not temper the greed of The Commercial Banks by keeping rates low there will be a crisis in terms of forced and Mortgagee sales. This would devastate the thousands of small investors nearing retirement and relying on their mostly small time property portfolios to sustain them in retirement. Their only option left open would then be to seek Social Welfare - Government support. A bad scenario. Tax payers loose too.
On 30 October 2009 at 4:15 pm ocr said:
RBNZ cannot do nothing about keeping low interest rates, Commercial Banks are controlling the market prices (in another word, to much margin by now), in fact the current defual OCR seems as 3.5% rather than 2.5%. Mortgagee sales - only small portion in NZ current housing market, in addition, some buyers used too much loan....
Commenting is closed

 

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.24 ▼6.75 6.65
ANZ 8.64 7.84 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.24 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.24 ▼6.75 6.65
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.24 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.84 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 7.04 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 7.24 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.74 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.69 6.45 6.19
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.75 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.79 7.39 7.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 8.25 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 7.25 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.75 7.35 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.09 7.59 7.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.09 8.59 8.29
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.84 7.45 7.25
SBS Bank Special - 7.24 6.85 6.65
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.74 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 8.04 7.55 7.45
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 7.24 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - - 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.89 7.35 7.25
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.29 6.75 6.65
Median 8.64 7.29 7.32 6.65

Last updated: 8 April 2024 9:21am

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