RBA to Tackle Australian Housing Market with Lawmakers

Top officials from Australia’s central bank will appear before lawmakers on Thursday to answer questions on the housing market, just as data shows lending for investment growing at its fastest pace in over six years.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last week surprised many by saying it was considering tougher rules on lending for housing investment given rapid loan growth and rising home prices.  That led Senators to invite the central bank to a hastily-arranged committee meeting to discuss the new measures with an eye to making sure they would not harm housing affordability or the supply of new homes.

Attending will be RBA Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey, who looks after the financial system as a whole, and Luci Ellis the head of its financial stability unit. The meeting starts at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, or 2230 GMT on Wednesday.  The central bank last week warned that record low rates and intense competition among banks have fuelled growth in lending for investor housing that was making the market “unbalanced”.


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