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Good news for Australian renters, says leading body

By Eliot Hastie
30 July 2018 | 9 minute read
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The latest consumer price index figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics offer good news for renters, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

The All Groups CPI figures rose by 0.4 of a percentage point in the June quarter, marking an annual increase of 1.9 per cent, said REIA president Malcolm Gunning.

“The annual changes in the two analytical series have been below the RBA’s target zone of 2–3 per cent for the past 10 quarters and suggest the continuation of historically low interest rates for some time yet,” Mr Gunning said.

Mr Gunning added that latest CPI figures are a good news because the numbers showed that investment in housing would keep growth low.

“The latest figures show that the increase in rental stock through increased investment in housing has kept growth in rents lower than they have been historically,” the REIA president said.

In real terms for renters, the index figures represented an unchanged rent increase for the quarter and a minor increase over the year.

“Rents remained unchanged for the quarter and increased by just 0.6 [of a percentage point] for the year. For the last 10 quarters, the average annual change has been less than 1.0 per cent,” Mr Gunning said.

The REIA president predicted that this would have a flow-on effect when the official interest rate is announced early next month.

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“For home buyers, the latest inflation data, together with a cooling in the housing market, would suggest that the RBA will hold official interest rates stable for 2018,” Mr Gunning said.

There was some increase that spelled bad news for households across Australia and it was the rise of electricity and gas bills.

Mr Gunning said: “The major increases in the Housing Group for the year were electricity (up by 10.4 per cent) and gas and other household fuels (up by 7.1 per cent).”

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