In its final meeting for 2016, The Reserve Bank Of Australia surprised no one by keeping the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5% p.a.
The RBA was probably quite happy to see Donald Trump heading into the White House after his surprise November election win, which has seen the Aussie dollar drop – from hovering around the $0.77 mark, down to around $0.74 against the Greenback. This has taken pressure off the RBA to drop rates at this point in the cycle.
However, there is not much economic support for the RBA wanting to lift rates either, which is why no one was really expecting to see any rate movement this side of Christmas.
Out-of-Sync Rate Rises: NAB & Westpac
However, not to be beholden to official interest rates anyway, this week we’ve seen both NAB and Westpac announce out-of-sync rate rises, specially targeting property investment loans.
NAB was the most aggressive, announcing it would raise its standard variable rate for property investors by 0.15% to a 5.55%, while Westpac has lifted by 0.8% for interest-only loans to both investors and owner occupiers.
The RBA & the Italian Banking Crisis
Of concern to the RBA no doubt is the Italian banking crisis, although markets seem to be completely ignoring this potential trigger point for the future of the Eurozone.
We haven’t seen any real market dips however, with the market gambling that the European Central Bank (ECB) would be forced to jump in and prop up any bank defaults that might occur in Italy.
If this doesn’t happen, watch for markets to go into a tailspin with mass sell-offs in European stocks and bonds.
Gearing Up for 2017
On a closing note, once again we have seen a lot happen in 2016 across all the financial markets – and 2017 looks set to be another interesting year.
To get a jump on the competition, we suggest you hop onto our final webinar for the year, next Wednesday, the 14th of December, where we will be taking a look over the year that was – and more importantly where we see next year heading.
Click here to register now for our webinar on the Top 5 Hottest Property Investment Strategies for 2017!