The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) decision to maintain the R has come as a relief to consumers who were feeling the pressure of rising interest rates. Ravi Subramanian, MD & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance, welcomed the decision, stating that it is expected to have a positive impact on the housing sector, particularly the affordable housing segment, which is crucial for the growth of the economy.
“Consumers will heave a sigh of relief post RBIs rate pause since they were starting to feel the pressure of rising interest rates,” said Subramanian, adding that “the unchanged repo rate will make it easier for home buyers to make purchase decisions.” He also noted that the move is expected to provide a boost to the affordable housing segment, which has been struggling due to the pandemic's economic impact.
“More importantly, inflation has softened, though it remains slightly higher than RBI's tolerance level,” said Subramanian. “It is expected that inflation will continue to ease and normalise within the RBI's tolerance limit. This, in turn, will help in making housing finance solutions more accessible and affordable to the masses, especially those in the lower income segments.”
Subramanian emphasised that the MPC's stance on the repo rate is a positive move for the housing sector and the economy. “The decision is expected to help consumers make informed purchase decisions and make housing finance solutions more accessible and affordable to the masses,” he said. “The affordable housing segment, in particular, is expected to see a significant boost, which will have a ripple effect on the economy's growth.”
Repo rate is the interest rate at which the RBI lends loans to banks in the event of a shortage of funds. This rate has a significant impact on the buying capacity of a consumer, as it affects the interest rate on loans.
RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged during the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of Financial Year (FY) 2023-24, in an attempt to stabilise the economy and provide relief to end consumers. The repo rate remains at 6.50 percent.
The RBI concluded its three-day MPC meeting on April 6, 2023, announcing that the repo rate would remain unchanged at 6.50 percent. This comes after six revisions to the repo rate during the FY 2022-23, with the latest hike occurring on February 8, 2023, taking the rate to 6.50 percent.
The previous revisions included a 40 basis points (bps) increase on May 4, 2022, three 50 bps increments on June 8, 2022, August 5, 2022, and September 30, 2022, and a 35 bps hike on December 7, 2022. Overall, the repo rate has gone up by 250 bps during the FY 2022-23.