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Melbourne Cup rate hike a live possibility: what a 13th hike would mean for borrowers

Eden Radford avatar
Eden Radford
- 3 min read
Melbourne Cup rate hike a live possibility: what a 13th hike would mean for borrowers

Australia could see the cash rate rise to 4.35 per cent as soon as the next RBA Board meeting, if inflation proves to be more stubborn than expected, with the minutes from the previous meeting citing a ‘low tolerance’ for slow progress in this battle.

The RBA minutes from the October meeting, released today, confirm the decision will depend on incoming data over the next three weeks, including the next round of ABS Labour Force statistics, due out this Thursday, and the September Quarterly CPI figures set to be released next Wednesday, 25 October, also from the ABS.

Currently, three of the big four bank economic teams expect the cash rate to remain on hold at the next meeting, with NAB the only one forecasting a 0.25 percentage point rate hike.

Should the RBA pull the trigger on a 0.25 percentage point hike at the next meeting, the average borrower with a $500,000 debt at the start of the hikes will see a $76 increase to their monthly mortgage repayments.

Combined with the 12 hikes already delivered, it would see this borrower’s monthly repayments rise, in total, by $1,210 - a 52 per cent increase since the start of the hikes in May 2022.

Impact of a 0.25%-point hike in November: increase to monthly repayments

Loan size at start of hikesIncrease of 0.25%Total increase across 13 hikes
$500,000$76$1,210
$750,000$114$1,815
$1 million$152$2,420

Source: RateCity.com.au. Based on an owner-occupier paying principal and interest with 25 years remaining. Starting rate is the RBA av. existing owner-occupier variable rate of 2.86% in April and assumes banks pass the hikes on in full.

RateCity.com.au research director, Sally Tindall, said: “The minutes from the RBA’s October Monetary Policy meeting confirm the future of the cash rate is at the whim of the incoming data.”

“It’s crunch time for the RBA. Its ‘wait and see’ approach has served it well for the last four months, giving it time to better assess the impact the previous 12 hikes have had on households and the economy,” she said.

“While the Board is likely to want to give the current monetary policy settings more time to filter through the economy, sluggish inflation figures could force it to fire off a thirteenth hike, potentially as early as the next meeting.

“If inflation starts looking like it will take longer than expected to return back into the target band of 2 to 3 per cent, the RBA has made it clear: it will act.

“If you’ve got a mortgage, start planning for another rate hike - by paying the extra money now. If you can’t clear this expense, you’ll have time to raise the alarm.

“The next RBA meeting is in three weeks, if your budget is bordering on red, spend this time to find ways to inject more relief into your finances. Whether that’s haggling with your current bank for a rate cut, refinancing your mortgage to a lower rate lender, or overhauling other big expenses such as insurances and your energy bill.

“A small win on one bill might feel like a drop in the ocean, but if you repeat the process across all of your regular expenses it can start to add up,” she said.

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Product database updated 28 May, 2024

This article was reviewed by Research Director Sally Tindall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.