Westpac hacks home loan rates by up to 130 basis points

William Jolly By on September 9, 2019
 
Westpac hacks home loan rates

Photo by alireza naseri on Unsplash

Westpac has today lowered various fixed & variable home loan interest rates by as much as 130 basis points.

A number of interest rates across Westpac’s range of ‘Premier Advantage’ package loans and ‘Flexi’ loans have been cut, which includes loans for investors and owner-occupiers on principal and interest (P&I) or interest-only (IO) repayments.

The new fixed rates are available to new customers or existing Westpac customers who switch to a fixed-rate loan, while the variable-rate cuts apply to new customers only.

Westpac’s General Manager for Home Ownership Will Ranken told Savings.com.au fixed loans remain a popular option for customers looking for certainty around their home loan repayments.

“Today’s changes provide a competitive offering for both property investors and owner-occupiers,” Mr Ranken said.

“The current low interest rate environment is driving competitive offers for home buyers, which coupled with the new home loan incentives and discounts available may make it an appealing time for Australians to start thinking about purchasing a home.”


Westpac investor rate cuts

Most of Westpac’s biggest changes applied to fixed IO loans for investors.

The biggest rate cut was saved for its four-year fixed IO ‘Premier Advantage’ package loan for investors, which had its rate reduced by 130 basis points to 3.79% p.a. (4.64% p.a. comparison rate*).

Fixed-rate investment borrowers can alternatively take out the two-year fixed IO ‘Premier Advantage’ package loan with Westpac at 3.59% p.a. (4.72% p.a. comparison rate) after its rate was cut by 30 basis points.

Westpac also cut one variable IO package loan for investors by 44 basis points to 3.99% p.a. (4.00% p.a. comparison rate*).

P&I fixed-rates for investors under the ‘Premier Advantage’ package were also cut by up to 110 basis points, while the P&I ‘Flexi First Option’ variable rate was cut by 34 basis points.

Westpac owner-occupier rate cuts

Westpac also cut rates on a number of owner-occupier products.

IO loans were again the biggest movers, with the Premier Advantage fixed rates at the forefront.

The five-year IO loan for owner occupiers saw a rate decrease of 110 basis points to 3.99% p.a. (4.55% p.a. comparison rate*).

The one-year Premier Advantage IO rate was cut by 70 basis points to 3.89% p.a. (4.63% p.a. comparison rate*), while the four-year rate was cut by 100 basis points to 3.99% p.a. (4.57% p.a. comparison rate).

There were similar changes made to the Premier Advantage products with P&I repayments.

The five-year P&I loan saw a rate decrease of 60 basis points to 3.49% p.a. (4.02% p.a. comparison rate*).

The one-year Premier Advantage P&I rate was cut by 80 basis points to 3.29% p.a. (4.05% p.a. comparison rate*), while the four-year rate was cut by 60 basis points to 3.49% p.a. (4.02% p.a. comparison rate*).

The Flexi First Option home loan is the only variable owner-occupier loan to be cut, its rate for borrowers with over 70% LVR falling by 15 basis points to 3.43% p.a. (3.44% p.a. comparison rate*).

In total, 27 of Westpac’s home loans have been cut. Many of the products affected are packaged products, which have higher comparison rates due to the extra packaging fees generally associated with these sorts of loans.

Looking for a low variable rate home loan? The table below displays owner-occupier products which may represent the best of the big four banks, best of the top 10 customer-owned banks and the best of the larger non-banks. 

Company Ad rate
p.a.
Comp rate*
p.a.
Monthly
repayments
 
3.15% 3.17% $1,718 More details
Purchase or Refi, P&I 80% Smart Home Loan 3.03% 3.05% $1,693 More details
Base Variable Rate Special P&I 3.35% 3.39% $1,762 More details
Ad rate
p.a.
Comp rate*
p.a.
Monthly
repayments
Low Rate Home Loan w/Offset
3.15% 3.17% $1,718
More details
Purchase or Refi, P&I 80% Smart Home Loan
3.03% 3.05% $1,693
More details
Base Variable Rate Special P&I
3.35% 3.39% $1,762
More details

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. Introductory rate products were not considered for selection. Monthly repayments were calculated based on the selected products’ advertised rates, applied to a $400,000 loan with a 30-year loan term. *Rates correct as at 9th September 2019. View disclaimer.


The lack of an RBA rate cut in September means there hasn’t been a flurry of lenders dropping home loan rates in response, at least not compared to previous months.

Late last month Westpac’s subsidiaries – St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA – announced fixed rate cuts of up to 135 basis points for new home loan applicants.

Of the lenders who have slashed rates so far this month, non-bank lender Well Home Loans has cut rates to its lowest rate yet of 2.74% p.a. (2.96% p.a. comparison rate*) for its two-year fixed-rate loan.

ME meanwhile has trimmed various interest rates to 3.29% p.a. (3.73% p.a. comparison rate*), while Heritage Bank cut fixed rates for owner-occupiers by up to 30 basis points.

After passing on some or all of the RBA’s rate cuts in June and July, there’s a huge range of home loans with interest rates below 3.50% p.a now, with some even offering rates below 3.00% p.a, such as Well Home Loans.


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 2018. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, 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 2019) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au 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 includes both the interest rate and the fees and charges relating to a loan, combined into a single percentage figure. The interest rate per annum is based on a loan credit of $150,000 and a loan term of 25 years.

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William Jolly
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research and comparison website 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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