RBA says no to Christmas cash rate cut

author-avatar By on December 01, 2020
RBA says no to Christmas cash rate cut

After last month's highly anticipated rate cut, the Reserve Bank has held the cash rate at 0.10% in December, as was expected.

Today's board meeting saw the cash rate remain unchanged, which was pretty much the universally expected outcome after the Reserve Bank said last month it would be leaving the cash rate unchanged for several years. 

"With the cash rate target at 10 basis points and the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances at zero, interest rates have been lowered as far as it makes sense to do so in the current environment," it said. 

"The Board considers that there is little to be gained from short-term interest rates moving into negative territory and continues to view a negative policy rate as extraordinarily unlikely." 

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval
VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
VariableMore details
WIN YOUR HOME LOAN INTEREST FREE

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • WIN your home loan interest free and save up to $1.1 million. Refinance by 29 October. T&Cs apply.
  • Refinance Only. Fast online application, refinance in minutes, not weeks.
  • No Nano fees, Free 100% offset sub account. Mobile app. Visa debit card & instant payments.
WIN YOUR HOME LOAN INTEREST FREE

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • WIN your home loan interest free and save up to $1.1 million. Refinance by 29 October. T&Cs apply.
  • Refinance Only. Fast online application, refinance in minutes, not weeks.
  • No Nano fees, Free 100% offset sub account. Mobile app. Visa debit card & instant payments.
VariableMore details
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
VariableMore details
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
VariableMore details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services

Rates correct as of September 25, 2021. View disclaimer.

Last month was quite different however, as Governor Philip Lowe said a rate cut then made sense as the economy began to reopen post-pandemic restrictions. 

This month he maintained the cash rate would not be changed for some time.

"Given the outlook for both employment and inflation, monetary and fiscal support will be required for some time. For its part, the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2% to 3% target range," Dr Lowe said.

"For this to occur, wages growth will have to be materially higher than it is currently. This will require significant gains in employment and a return to a tight labour market.

"Given the outlook, the Board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least 3 years."

Governor Lowe also noted that Australia's economic recovery is underway, and has generally been better than expected (something that Commonwealth Bank agrees with).

He also said that the Bank's policy response in lowering interest rates would assist a further recovery by lowering finance costs for borrowers.

"The Term Funding Facility is also supporting the supply of credit to businesses. To date, authorised deposit-taking institutions have drawn down $84 billion under this facility and have access to a further $105 billion," he said.

"The Board will keep the size of the bond purchase program under review, particularly in light of the evolving outlook for jobs and inflation. The Board is prepared to do more if necessary.

"These decisions are complementary to the significant steps taken by Australian governments to support jobs and economic growth."

Very few lenders passed on the RBA's November cut to variable rates, with many instead offering sub-2% fixed rates, causing Dr Lowe to urge borrowers to switch lenders if this was the case.

[See if your lender passed on the November rate here.]

RBA in 'wait and see' mode

CoreLogic Head of Research Tim Lawless said the Reserve Bank most indicators are pointing towards a faster than expected recovery, mainly thanks to record low interest rates combined with record levels of fiscal support, as well as containing the virus successfully compared to other countries.

As this money flows through to the economy, Mr Lawless said the RBA remains in wait and see mode.

"From a housing market perspective, home buyers are clearly responding to the unprecedented levels of stimulus available," he said.

"With interest rates set to remain at these record lows for an extended period of time, attention is already focussing on how to manage associated risks of an ‘over-heated’ housing market while at the same time allowing the economy to benefit from the stimulus.

"No doubt regulators and policy makers will be watchful for excessive exuberance in the housing sector; higher household debt levels or a rise in riskier types of lending could trigger a regulatory response."

[See also from CoreLogic: November house prices rise in every capital city]

Mortgage Choice CEO Susan Mitchell meanwhile said home loan applications had grown by nearly 25% on its broker network.

“There is a lot of urgency among buyers in the market right now, particularly in the nation’s capital cities," Ms Mitchell said.

“The latest decision from the RBA means Australians can continue to take advantage of historically low home loan interest rates well into the New Year.

“If you’re a first time buyer or a prospective investor hoping to get your foot on the property ladder in 2021, now is a great time to talk to your broker about how you can put your best foot forward."


Photo by hue12 photography on Unsplash

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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author-avatar
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.

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