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MNI BRIEF: Aussie New Home Sales Slide 15% As RBA Hikes Bite

MNI (Perth)

Australia's new home sales suffered their worst quarter since June 2020 as the Reserve Bank of Australia's cumulative 250bp of hikes since May sapped potential buyers' borrowing power.

New home sales slumped 15.7% in the September quarter according to data released by the Housing Industry Association on Thursday, with home sales in the month of September declining 4.2%. The HIA said the most "acute" tightening cycle in 30 years is occurring at the same time as builders are experiencing the fastest rise in costs in almost 50 years.

The RBA's Financial Stability Review released on Oct 7 warned of further pain for housing The review said 25% of variable rate mortgage borrowers could face a minimum debt servicing ratio of greater than 30% of their income if rates were to be raised another 100bp. (See MNI BRIEF: RBA Warns Of Debt Servicing Pain In 2023)

The cooling of the property market is weighing on sentiment ahead of the peak selling season. PropTrack data released on Thursday showed a 7.55% m/m decline - and 9.25% y/y fall - in new listings. PropTrack calculates national home prices are down 3.4% from their March peak.

Robert covers RBA and RBNZ policy and the economy for MNI in Australia.
Robert covers RBA and RBNZ policy and the economy for MNI in Australia.

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