Laing+Simmons Managing Director Leanne Pilkington has criticised the major banks for prioritising profits over people without being held to account.
Pilkington said the affordability equation for those struggling to break into the housing market isn't helped by the RBA's decision yesterday to leave interest rates unchanged. "It is common knowledge that the major banks are more than adept at justifying their decisions to raise interest rates, all the while ensuring record profits are consistently delivered," Pilkington said.
"More and more the effectiveness of the RBA to influence the decision of the major banks has been neutralised. Most recently, the slowdown in investor lending has been offered as the main excuse for rate hikes. This rhetoric makes good headlines but does nothing for real people looking to break into the market," says Pilkington.
She said affordability remains a huge problem, and stamp duty is a particularly onerous concern for home buyers. Pilkington says the more the banks operate out of alignment with the RBA, the less helpful it will be to people struggling to afford a home.
"Together the major banks are acutely aware of the power they collectively hold, and it is perhaps time to look at how the RBA’s approach to interest rates can achieve greater influence, and garner greater respect, from the big four," she said.
"As some of the price heat in the Sydney market escapes, it would be reasonable to assume that the affordability equation would improve across the board for buyers. But it’s not the case. The situation for first home buyers remains stark," Pilkington said.