Speaking at the company’s biannual conference earlier this week, John Symond said: “I think these low interest rates are going to remain low for years to come.”
However, he cautioned that this prediction of rates remaining low is not the same as rates remaining unchanged.
“That doesn’t mean interest rates aren’t going to edge up in six months or 16 months, but they’re not going to go up [by] 3 per cent, let me tell you,” he said.
“We have adjusted to a low interest rate environment by comparison, and I think it will remain as it is. But that doesn’t mean that rates won’t go up by 1 per cent or 1.5 per cent over three years ... it will still be very affordable to an asset class of $7 trillion.”
Despite increasing speculation about the sustainability of a house price boom that has lasted several years in Australia’s two largest cities and seen considerable price growth in many other markets, Mr Symond said that housing is “the greatest asset that this country has”.
“It’s got so much going for it. Yes, I think there might be some changes there over the next two, three, or four years, but whichever way you look at housing, it is still the most attractive form of safe investment that Australia has ever had,” he said.