The RBA once again holds the cash rate at 1.50% in October

Richard Whitten 2 October 2018 NEWS

Blue images of graphs and coins.

The Reserve Bank has held the cash rate at its current position for an unprecedented 25 decisions in a row.

With property prices continuing to fall and lenders moving rates up and down of their own accord, the Reserve Bank of Australia has once again kept the cash rate on hold at a record low of 1.50%.

100% of the experts in finder's cash rate survey predicted the hold.

In a statement about the decision, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said, "Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers remains robust, but demand by investors has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Credit conditions are tighter than they have been for some time, although mortgage rates remain low and there is strong competition for borrowers of high credit quality."

Out of the 31 experts surveyed, only 4 think the next move in the cash rate will be downward. The question of when also remains open, with the majority of experts now saying a rise in the cash rate won't take place until late in 2019, which is essentially a year from now.

KVB Kunlun's Peter Boehm said, "Whilst the RBA's cash rate is likely to go up sometime in the future, there are no compelling reasons for this to occur in the near future. This is because the present level of economic growth does not indicate a need to slow things down. In fact, raising rates now could have negative consequences for the economy by for instance, putting further pressure on highly geared mortgage borrowers and the housing market generally through even higher loan rates."

Lenders, meanwhile, have continued raising rates out of cycle. Large rates rises from Westpac and ANZ took effect recently, and CommBank will raise its variable interest rates on Thursday. All these banks cited increases in funding costs as the main reason behind the rate rises.

It's not all upward movement, however. Many lenders have lowered their fixed interest rates, while online lender Tic:Toc actually lowered their standard variable rate loan from 3.64% to 3.57%.

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