Media Releases

First National Urges Government To Lead

Now that the 'politics' of politics are all but settled, First National Real Estate is calling on the government to start focusing on the real issues at hand - namely property and getting Australia going again.

Principal of First National Real Estate Pope Nitschke, David Nitschke, is urging the government to take a stronger leadership role and hold banks accountable for their independent actions on interest rates, to ensure they act more responsibly when the next decision is handed down.

“The recent move by the major banks to independently raise interest rates at a time when restraint was required was very disappointing, and the real estate industry, as well as mortgage-holders, are looking to the government to reign in the banks in some way,” Mr Nitschke said.

“The market was showing strong signs of improvement and it is irresponsible of banks to raise rates when the RBA determines they should remain on hold.

“In some capital cities, auction clearance rates dropped on the weekend after the banks raised their rates and fewer properties sold at auction than for the same time last year, evidence the market was subdued following their irresponsible actions.

“This followed our agents reporting drops in listing volumes for the second month in a row, media reporting market activity across the board had picked up in January, up by 40 per cent over last January, and market conditions being good, but the banks' actions undermined the positive progression of the market, which is only to the detriment of the Australian economy as a whole.”

David Nitschke said while the government may have been distracted by their own 'politics' at the time, it is hoped they will be more attentive when the next RBA interest rate decision is made.

“Real estate is a key driver of the Australian economy, so it needs to be supported during times of uncertainty and reducing consumer confidence,” Mr Nitschke said.

“It was fiscally irresponsible for the banks to behave in that manner, and we are certainly looking to both them and the government to do the right thing next time.

“We are doing our bit to provide a supportive environment by offering financial incentives and competitions for our customers and putting them first, and all we are asking is that the government makes sure the banks do the same.

“It is in everyone's best interest.  Australia will be better for it, home buyers and sellers will be better for it and in the long run, so will the banks.  It is a proven fact that consumers will remain loyal to businesses that support them during tough times.”

Mr Nitschke also encouraged mortgage seekers or holders to use their influence and remind the banks how important their patronage is.

“Banks are all vying for the mortgage dollar and are on record as saying they will negotiate on rates to retain their share of the market - buyers and mortgage holders are in a position to make them keep to their word.

“It's a basic premise that when the banks do the right thing by their customers at times that count, their customers, in turn, will do the right thing by them.”