Investors will be wary despite rates cut, say experts

The retail and residential property sectors will be the main beneficiaries of the 25-basis point cut in interest rates to 2.5 per cent, agents say.

The retail and residential property sectors will be the main beneficiaries of the 25-basis point cut in interest rates to 2.5 per cent, agents say.

Investors are also expected to seek out higher-yielding bricks-and-mortar assets.

CBRE's head of research, Stephen McNabb, said lower rates meant returns on cash and related investments would decline. "This will keep high-yielding assets on the radar of fund managers," he said. "However, rates have been cut because growth is slow and indicators suggest little upside.

"That mix means that investors will still be cautious, particularly in relation to secondary assets. A key issue is the lack of appetite and capacity to borrow, particularly amongst the consumer sector, the backbone of growth in the economy."

Mr McNabb said a sluggish labour market and income growth would keep a broader cap on growth. "We do expect growth to respond to both lower rates and the weaker Australia dollar, although this will represent a slow improvement rather than a sharp uplift and is unlikely to be an instilled trajectory until later in 2014," he said.

Mark Courtney, Colliers International's research director, called the cut a "bold" move that sent a clear signal the Australian economy was in transition.

"The drop in interest rates, however, may be regarded as a positive for the property market," he said. "When cheaper money is available, it follows that there will be more investment in property. This also applies to the commercial property market - a drop in the cash rate should also be a stimulus for this sector, again, if banks pass on the rate reduction."

Mr Courtney said in this sphere private investors would be the big beneficiaries of a drop in the cash rate.

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