Banks slash fixed rates, pricing in Melbourne Cup cut

Banks slash fixed rates, pricing in Melbourne Cup cut

Three of the Big Four Banks have dropped rates on their fixed home loans in the past week, with NAB the latest major bank to cut its rates by up to 0.40 per cent today.

In total, 17 lenders – including CBA and ANZ – have cut rates on fixed home loans since October 1.

In the month before the October rate cut, 27 lenders cut fixed rates, most notably Westpac, which slashed rates by up to 1.30 per cent.

Paul Marshall, chief executive at RateCity.com.au, said this flurry of rate cuts is a sign banks are foreseeing a further cash rate cut, which could come as soon as next month.

“Fixed rates have been tumbling since the last rate cut, which indicates lenders could be pricing in yet another RBA cut,” he said.

“We saw a similar trend last month when more than two dozen banks reduced their fixed rates in September.

“As a result, we are seeing record low fixed rates and it’s now possible to lock in a rate under 3 per cent for five years. This suggests many banks are forecasting a sustained period of low rates.

“Although rates are low, fixing has fallen out of favour, with just 10.4 per cent of new loans being fixed.

“Many punters appear to be betting on a further rate cut as soon as Melbourne Cup day where we could see the cash rate drop to 0.50 per cent.”

Lowest Big Four Bank fixed rates

 

1 year

2 year

3 year

5 year

CBA

3.29%

2.99%

2.99%

3.49%

Westpac

3.24%

3.13%

3.23%

3.44%

NAB

3.19%

2.88%*

2.98%

3.19%

ANZ

3.28%

2.98%

2.98%

3.53%

Source: RateCity.com.au Note: Rates are for owner occupiers paying principal and interest.

*NAB 2-year rate is for first home buyers. Regular 2-year rate is 2.98%

Lowest fixed rates on RateCity.com.au

1 Year

Greater Bank

2.79%

2 Year

Well Home Loans

2.74%

3 Year

Well Home Loans

2.74%

5 Year

Bank of Melbourne

2.94%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Note: Rates are for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest.

Variable home loan cuts

In total, 36 lenders have so far announced variable home loan rate cuts.

The average cut for owner-occupier customers paying principal and interest is currently 0.16 per cent.

For the full list of variable rate cuts see RateCity’s live rate cut list

For the full list of variable rate cuts see RateCity’s live rate cut list

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Learn more about home loans

What is the difference between fixed, variable and split rates?

Fixed rate

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

Variable rate

A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate can and will change over the course of your loan. The rate is determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, so while the cash rate might go down, your bank may decide not to follow suit, although they do broadly follow market conditions. One of the upsides of variable rates is that they are typically more flexible than their fixed rate counterparts which means that a lot of these products will let you make extra repayments and offer features such as offset accounts.

Split rates home loans

A split loan lets you fix a portion of your loan, and leave the remainder on a variable rate so you get a bet each way on fixed and variable rates. A split loan is a good option for someone who wants the peace of mind that regular repayments can provide but still wants to retain some of the additional features variable loans typically provide such as an offset account. Of course, with most things in life, split loans are still a trade-off. If the variable rate goes down, for example, the lower interest rates will only apply to the section that you didn’t fix.

What happens to my home loan when interest rates rise?

If you are on a variable rate home loan, every so often your rate will be subject to increases and decreases. Rate changes are determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, however often when the RBA changes the cash rate, a number of banks will follow suit, at least to some extent. You can use RateCity cash rate to check how the latest interest rate change affected your mortgage interest rate.

When your rate rises, you will be required to pay your bank more each month in mortgage repayments. Similarly, if your interest rate is cut, then your monthly repayments will decrease. Your lender will notify you of what your new repayments will be, although you can do the calculations yourself, and compare other home loan rates using our mortgage calculator.

There is no way of conclusively predicting when interest rates will go up or down on home loans so if you prefer a more stable approach consider opting for a fixed rate loan.

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time. 

What is bridging finance?

A loan of shorter duration taken to buy a new property before a borrower sells an existing property, usually taken to cover the financial gap that occurs while buying a new property without first selling an older one.

Usually, these loans have higher interest rates and a shorter repayment duration.

Do other comparison sites offer the same service?

Real Time RatingsTM is the only online system that ranks the home loan market based on your personal borrowing preferences. Until now, home loans have been rated based on outdated data. Our system is unique because it reacts to changes as soon as we update our database.

How will Real Time Ratings help me find a new home loan?

The home loan market is complex. With almost 4,000 different loans on offer, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work out which loans work for you.

That’s where Real Time RatingsTM can help. Our system automatically filters out loans that don’t fit your requirements and ranks the remaining loans based on your individual loan requirements and preferences.

Best of all, the ratings are calculated in real time so you know you’re getting the most current information.

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Results

These are the loans that may be suitable, based on your pre-selected criteria. 

Mortgage Calculator, Property Value

An estimate of how much your desired property is worth. 

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Purpose

This is what you will use the loan for – i.e. investment. 

What do mortgage brokers do?

Mortgage brokers are finance professionals who help borrowers organise home loans with lenders. As such, they act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders.

While bank staff recommend home loan products only from their own employer, brokers are independent, so they can recommend products from a range of institutions.

Brokers need to be accredited with a particular lender to be able to work with that lender. A typical broker will be accredited with anywhere from 10 to 30 lenders – the big four banks, as well as a range of smaller banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders.

As a general rule, brokers don’t charge consumers for their services; instead, they receive commissions from lenders whenever they place a borrower with that institution.

How can I get a home loan with no deposit?

Following the Global Financial Crisis, no-deposit loans, as they once used to be known, have largely been removed from the market. Now, if you wish to enter the market with no deposit, you will require a property of your own to secure a loan against or the assistance of a guarantor.

How does a redraw facility work?

A redraw facility attached to your loan allows you to borrow back any additional repayments that you have already paid on your loan. This can be a beneficial feature because, by paying down the principal with additional repayments, you will be charged less interest. However you will still be able to access the extra money when needed.

How much deposit do I need for a home loan from NAB?

The right deposit size to get a home loan with an Australian lender will depend on the lender’s eligibility criteria and the value of your property.

Generally, lenders look favourably on applicants who save up a 20 per cent deposit for their property This also means applicants do not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). However, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage with a 10 - 15 per cent deposit.  

Keep in mind that NAB is one of the participating lenders for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows eligible borrowers to buy a property with as low as a 5 per cent deposit without paying the LMI. The Federal Government guarantees up to 15 per cent of the deposit to help first-timers to become homeowners.

What is an ombudsman?

An complaints officer – previously referred to as an ombudsman -looks at formal complaints from customers about their credit providers, and helps to find a fair and independent solution to these problems.

These services are handled by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, a non-profit government organisation that addresses and resolves financial disputes between customers and financial service providers.