Record house refinancing to continue as cash rate holds

1 February 2021
| By Chris Dastoor |
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Record house refinancing is expected to continue and property prices are tipped to bounce back in 2021, as low interest rates and limited housing make a stronger case than weak population growth, according to Finder. 

In the latest Finder Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate survey, 41 experts and economists expected house prices across every Australian capital city to increase on average. 

Graham Cooke, Finder head of consumer research, said that this positivity in the housing market forecasts was even higher than it was pre-pandemic.  

“The market is surging on the back of low rates, government stimulus, and Aussies having more in their savings accounts on average,” Cooke said. 

“We expect this to continue through 2021, but Perth’s snap lockdown is a reminder that things can change quickly.” 
 
Expected median house price changes in 2021 across capital cities  

 

City 

Current Median 

Price 

Predicted Price 

Change* 

Predicted Price  

Increase 

Predicted price 

by end of 2021 

Perth 

$510,000 

+7.5% 

$38,250 

$548,250 

Brisbane 

$570,000 

+6.9% 

$39,583 

$609,583 

Sydney 

$977,250 

+5.5% 

$53,305 

$1,030,555 

Adelaide 

$505,000 

+5.3% 

$26,653 

$531,653 

Canberra 

$750,000 

+5.3% 

$39,583 

$789,583 

Melbourne 

$750,000 

+5.0% 

$37,500 

$787,500 

Darwin 

$500,000 

+4.7% 

$23,611 

$523,611 

Hobart 

$545,500 

+4.5% 

$24,404 

$569,904 

 

Source: Finder, CoreLogic. *Average of predictions from 18–22 economists, depending on the city. 

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, last year the total number of home loan customers who switched providers increased by 27% – from 143,664 in 2019 to 182,016 in 2020.  

Experts were predicting another record year of lender hopping, with the number of externally refinanced loans predicted to grow by 9%. 

Experts and economists were united in their view that the RBA would hold the cash rate this month, with very few predicting any movements at all in 2021.  

Nicholas Frappell, ABC Bullion global general manager, said: "The RBA is likely to play out the yield curve control program until Q3-Q4 2021 before considering a change in the cash rate." 

Shane Oliver, AMP Capital chief economist, said: "The economy has recovered faster than expected and the deployment of vaccines should aid further recovery so I have brought forward the timing of the first-rate hike from 2023 to late 2022... but there will still be lots of spare capacity in the economy for a long time which will keep underlying inflation down so a rate hike is still a long way off." 
 

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