The RBA has retained record low interest rates at its April meeting. The board, with newly appointed members Carolyn Hewson and Alison Watkins, notes that housing markets have strengthened, with prices rising in most locations.

“Housing credit growth to owner-occupiers has picked up, with strong demand from first-home buyers,” RBA Governor Philip Lowe says, adding that the board does not see a cash rate change until 2024 at the earliest.

Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mortgage Choice says: “The latest RBA decision comes as no surprise when you consider the unemployment rate and inflation are some way off the RBA’s targets.”

But some economists believe there will be a cash rate increase by the end of the year. Finder’s RBA cash rate survey saw six out of its 39 panellists suggest there will be a rate change, with Dale Gillham of Wealth Within expecting a rise as early as July. Five other economists predict a cash rate rise in the December Quarter.