Up to their eyeballs in it ?

In an interesting merge of a couple of our latest posts we note that Karen Maley has outed the RBA for having vested interests in talking down the Oz housing bubble.

According to data from the Australian Tax Office, only 13 per cent of taxpayers are claiming rental income, which represents a slight increase from 1997-8, when the figure was 12 per cent. The report estimates that only about 19 per cent of non-renting households own an investment property.

So who are the people most likely to snap up investment properties?

Interestingly, it appears that Reserve Bank officials are the keenest investors in rental properties. “We are not sure whether to be relieved or concerned that of the five central bankers who were brave enough to note their occupation on their tax form, all five had an investment property!”, the report says. “Of the 200 occupations classified by the Australian Tax Office, the employees at the Reserve Bank topped the list with respect to their investment property exposure.”

We are well aware that all people, including members of the Central Bank board, are within their rights to have investments. However we certainly don’t remember Ric Battelino disclosing his interest in property before launching into scripted defence of it. Just maybe he isn’t one of them ?

Remembering that some of the RBA board are only on public servant salaries, we find it very hard to believe that if one of them had a large housing “investment” portfolio, that they would not be influenced by this when making decisions about interest rates.

As we said in our post on Ric Battelino the other day, he seemed very balanced about his world view right up until he started talking about Australian property. At the time we put it down to “faith based economics”, maybe however it is something much more personal.

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  1. If Ric was exposed as being a big investor in property, it would be a national scandal, given his comments and general spruiking.

    Are any investigative journalists reading this? Here's an opportunity to make your name as a reporter.