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Property investment intentions continue to grow: CBA

The major bank’s figures suggest that home-buying ambitions grew consecutively over March, yet they still remain down from last year.

Commonwealth Bank’s latest Household Spending Intentions (HSI) report has suggested that interests in home buying across Australia grew over March, continuing the recent bounceback that was reported over February.

According to these latest findings, which are derived from both CBA home loan applications and Google Trends data, Australian home-buying intentions grew by 8.7 per cent over the last month.

According to CBA, home loan applications were reported as rising over March, with Google searches related to housing being “mixed across different categories”.

By comparison to other consumer activity, home buying reported the fifth-lowest growth of the 12 spending categories, falling well behind transport (31.8 per cent), travel (18 per cent), retail (12.9 per cent) and household services (10.8 per cent). 


But despite the fall from February’s surge of almost 30 per cent, this increase marks the first consecutive rise in home-buying intentions reported by CBA since the latter half of last year.

But while this development does suggest home-buying intentions could be pivoting, compared to this time last year, home-buying intention was down 3.8 per cent. 

Of the 12 categories, entertainment (-8.5 per cent) was the only field that reported a year-on-year decline. 

This distinction between entertainment and home buying’s year-on-year growth was also reported over February. 

Further, the HSI Index overall grew 9.2 per cent over the month of March, and 5.7 per cent year-on-year.   

CBA chief economist Stephen Halmarick said, of the overall index, that the “stronger March figures underscore our view that the Australian economy has gained considerable momentum by the end of the first quarter, and is set for robust growth in 2022”.

He added that the “stronger economic picture is also consistent with CBA’s expectations of an RBA rate hike cycle to begin in June, though we expect this cycle to be relatively shallow.”

Speaking in response to the RBA’s decision last week to hold the cash rate at 10 basis points, Belinda Allen, CBA’s senior economist, said that the major bank’s position remains that the first rate hike will be experienced in June, moving from 0.10 per cent to 0.25 per cent, adding that they predict the RBA to “pause at our view of the neutral cash rate of 1.25 per cent in Q1 2023”.

“There does, however, remain some risk of an earlier rate hike in May. An even stronger Q1 22 CPI print could force the RBA’s hand,” she added.

“This is not our base case however. Especially given the timing of the federal election.”

[Related: Loan commitments soften over February]

Property investment intentions continue to grow: CBA

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