John Symond urges ‘out of touch’ RBA to cut rates or borrowers will burst like tomatoes

Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond has warned that borrowers will burst like tomatoes unless the RBA cuts rates.

“People are like tomatoes that have been squeezed too much. At some stage they’ll burst. They’ve had a gutful,” Symond said on Ross Greenwood’s Money News show on 2GB.

Speaking also to David Koch on Sunrise, Symond joined the likes of Yellow Brick Road’s Mark Bouris by heaping more pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates and inject some confidence into the housing market and economy in general.

“The government and they RBA are a bit out of touch by not accepting that parts of the economy, especially small businesses, is doing it really tough at the moment,” Symond said.

“As well as the Australian economy has performed relative to other economies, we could easily get into the situation where the economy could stall,” warned Symond.

“We need an injection of good news and an injection of confidence – the best way to do that is to start dropping interest rates.”

Symond said the basic principles of supply and demand suggested the housing market was unlikely to recover anytime soon, pointing out that there were currently more than 300,000 houses listed for sale on the market, the highest in Australia’s history.

“We have an oversupply of sellers versus buyers, which suggests the housing market will remain soft,” he said.

Furthermore, he also expressed concern at the increase in self-employed borrowers facing mortgage difficulties as noted in the increase in low-doc loan arrears (loans principally used by those self-employed) in the recent Fitch Dinkum Index for the December 2011 quarter.

According to Fitch, the percentage of low-doc borrowers more than 30 days in arrears increased to 6.62% in the December quarter, up from the 6.26% rate in the September quarter.

“Mortgage arrears are a worry because they are trending in the wrong direction,” said Symond.

“Houses are taking twice as long to sell, and if you’re in trouble it’s going to take you twice as long to sell your property – if you can in fact sell it.”

Symond’s criticism of the RBA follows an attack in early March from Mark Bouris over the central bank’s decision to leave rates on hold in February (following which the major banks lifted their standard variable mortgage rates).

In a series of tweets Bouris said the central bank needed to take into account that Australia had a multi-speed economy when determining interest rate settings.

“What’s the basis of the RBA decision? They keep rates on hold because everything looks OK but you just need to scratch beneath the surface,” tweeted Bouris.


This article first appeared on Property Observer.


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