Rate Cuts Help Australian House Prices Rise Most Since Mid-2010

Australian house prices rose last quarter by the most since June 2010 as lower interest rates lured buyers back into the market.

An index measuring the weighted average of prices for established houses in eight major cities advanced 1.6 percent from the previous three months, when it fell a revised 0.1 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney today. The median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was a 0.3 percent rise. Prices rose 2.1 percent from a year earlier.

Standard variable home-loan costs were at about 6.45 percent as of Jan. 31, the lowest since November 2009, after the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced its cash rate by 1.75 percentage points from November 2011 to December. Governor Glenn Stevens will probably keep borrowing costs unchanged at today’s meeting as an improved global outlook boosts Australian commodity prices, a survey of economists showed.


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