Construction home loan rates cut on back of HomeBuilder grant

author-avatar By on July 24, 2020
Construction home loan rates cut on back of HomeBuilder grant

Photo by Troy Mortier on Unsplash

Some lenders have cut interest rates for construction loans, with one cutting by 50 basis points.

Both Qudos Bank and Freedom Lend made adjustments to construction home loan rates in the past week in a possible bid to attract HomeBuilder grant recipients. 

The $25,000 HomeBuilder grant is available for people building a home up to the value of $750,000 including land value.

Qudos Bank's cuts were:

  • Construction Home Loan 80%: 50 basis point cut to 2.89% p.a. (2.93% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Construction Home Loan 90%: 50 basis point cut to 2.99% p.a. (3.03% p.a. comparison rate*)

Qudos Bank also made cuts to its investment construction loans, but investment properties are not eligible for HomeBuilder.

Meanwhile, Freedom Lend made a smaller cut by 3 basis points to its construction loan, down to 2.68% p.a. (2.70% p.a. comparison rate*)

This rate is applicable for both 80% and 90% LVR borrowers, which is unusual given lenders usually charge a higher rate if borrowers have a smaller deposit.

Compared to others in the construction loan market, this is how these two lenders stack up:

The 2% barrier got breached again

Earlier in the week, challenger brand loans.com.au introduced a home loan with a variable interest rate below the 2.00% p.a. barrier, down to 1.99% p.a. (2.55% p.a. comparison rate*).

The sub-2% rate is available for the first year, before the rate then reverts to 2.57% p.a.

The online lender also launched a two year discounted variable rate of 2.09% p.a.(2.71% p.a comparison rate*) which reverts to 2.79% p.a. after two years.

Both products are limited to borrowers with a maximum LVR of 80%, with a maximum loan amount of $1 million. 

This is how loans.com.au's 1.99% p.a. introductory home loan stacks up against other competitive variable-rate home loans on the market:

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you.

At the end of June, Bank of Us also breached the 2.00% barrier with 1.99% fixed rates across a suite of fixed-rate terms, although these are only available for Tasmanian residents.

Hobart was one of the only capital cities to record a home price growth in the June quarter, according to a Domain report, and had the second-strongest home price growth at 10% on the year, with Sydney in first.

Community First and Horizon Bank continue customer-owned cutting trend

In continuing the trend of customer-owned institutions cutting home loan rates, on Monday Community First virtually scrubbed the fixed home loan deck, making a wide variety of cuts by 20 basis points.

Some of its freshly cut rates include:

  • Fixed P&I 3 Years: Down to 2.49% p.a. (3.56% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Accelerator Package Fixed P&I 3 Years: Down to 2.34% p.a. (3.80% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Investment Fixed P&I 3 Years: Down to 2.79% p.a. (3.86% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Inv Accelerator Package Fixed 3 Years: Down to 2.64% p.a. (4.09% p.a. comparison rate*)

Yesterday, Horizon Bank cut a few fixed rates for investors and owner-occupiers by 30 basis points. The new rates are:

  • Fixed 1 Year: Down to 2.69% p.a. (3.45% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Fixed 2 Years: Down to 2.69% p.a. (3.38% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Inv Fixed 1 Year: Down to 2.94% p.a. (3.69% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Inv Fixed 2 Years: Down to 2.94% p.a. (3.63% p.a. comparison rate*)

CommBank has reported a spike in fixed rate lending in recent months, with around 40% of all new owner-occupier loans at fixed rates.


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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Harrison is a Senior Finance Journalist, and joined Savings in 2020. Prior to joining Savings, he worked for some of Australia's largest comparison sites and media organisations. With a keen interest in the economy, housing policy, and personal finance, Harrison is passionate about informing readers on the strings being pulled in high-up places and how it affects everyday Australians.

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