Bank on leaders working together for affordable homes……
Mareeba First National says the recent interest rate hikes demonstrate the increasing need for Governments and the Big Four Banks to work together to address the key issues of supply and demand and housing affordability.
“There seems to be so much debate going on about the market, but no real communication between the banks and the government, and between them they are the ones with the power to fix the property market problems,” Selena Carabot from Mareeba First National said.
“There is lots of finger pointing going on, but there is not any real discussion about what we can do to fix it.”
“At the end of the day it is the home buyers and owners who suffer, while the banks keep making record profits and governments keep their heads in the sand,” Selena said.
“What they should be doing is looking to influence affordability and supply by reducing or abolishing stamp duties, abolishing exit fees, introducing more competition into the banking sector and looking at policies that will stimulate the construction industry.
“Instead, we keep putting up with inaction from the government and greed from the banks.”
Selena Carabot said she was particularly unimpressed by banks who deemed it appropriate to increase their standard variable rates by as much as 14 basis points above the RBA increase.
“What is most disconcerting about this is that it seems each of the banks are taking their turn at being the bad guy and being the first to lift their rate higher than the RBA increase, ” Selena said.
“As one consumer interest group spokesperson said, if all the banks moved at the same time by the same amount, and this was a horse race, you would have a steward’s inquiry.”
But not even the prospect of a Senate enquiry into banking competition, or Parliamentary debate on legislation forcing banks to lift rates by no more than the RBA, is enough according to Selena Carabot.
“Interest rates on their own are not the problem. We need to have a look at all the factors affecting the property market: planning approvals, interest rates, fees and charges, everything all at once rather than this piecemeal approach,” Selena said.
“New banking policies are called for but so is a national approach to planning, because ultimately it is the “mum and dad” property owners who will suffer the most.
“We need political leaders who have the fortitude and imagination to reform property taxes and the banking sector if there is any hope of addressing affordability issues.”
“ There is also a need for the Federal Government to rein in the States, every time fees and charges go up arbitrarily and are seen as unfair, a little more confidence goes down the drain.”
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Issued by: First National Real Estate
For further information Selena Carabot, Principal from Mareeba First National Real Estate on 07 40 922 111