Will the RBA change the cash rate in December?

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on December 01, 2020
Will the RBA change the cash rate in December?

Photo by Sebastian Davenport-Handley on Unsplash

Australia's central bank meets today to discuss the possibility of a change to the cash rate. Will it cut or hold?

Following arguably the most tumultuous year in the Reserve Bank's (RBA) history, the last Board meeting of the year is likely to be the least interesting, as any change to monetary policy seems 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

Variable
More details
UNLIMITED REDRAWS
  • 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%
UNLIMITED REDRAWS

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%
Variable
More details
REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY

Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO ONGOING FEES

Yard PAYG Home Loan (Principal and Interest) LVR ≤ 80%

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster

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 be 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. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of August 7, 2022. View disclaimer.

 

NAB economist Ray Attrill said today's RBA meeting would be somewhat of a non-event. 

"The RBA’s last meeting of the year should pass without incident unless the post-meeting Statement chooses to offer some guidance on the likely fate of its QE bond buying programme beyond its currently scheduled June 2021 expiry (unlikely)," Mr Attrill said. 

After reducing the cash rate to 0.10% from 0.25% in November, the RBA has stated the cash rate is at its effective lower bound and can go no further. 

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

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

The central bank has also repeatedly affirmed it has no appetite for negative interest rates.

"Members agreed that, with the cash rate target at 10 basis points and the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances at zero, interest rates would have been lowered as far as it made sense to do so in the current environment," the RBA said in the Minutes of its November Meeting.

"They considered that there was little to be gained from short-term interest rates moving into negative territory and continued to view a negative policy rate as extraordinarily unlikely."

The RBA has also stated it will not raise the cash rate until inflation sits in its desired band of 2-3% and progress towards full employment is made. 

Australia's unemployment rate is currently at 7.0% and is expected to spike around 8% in December, with annual inflation sitting at 0.7%

Consequently, the RBA doesn't expect to raise the cash rate for at least three years. 

Since June of last year, the RBA has cut the cash rate by 135 basis points, taking it to a record low. 

With the cash rate seemingly at the end of its tether, attention may now turn to the RBA's Term Funding Facility and its quantitative easing (QE) program.

With a less protracted recovery forecast by many economists, there has been speculation the RBA will wind back its QE program.

The RBA won't meet again after today until February. 




Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. 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. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Alex joined Savings.com.au as a finance journalist in 2019. He enjoys covering in-depth economical releases and breaking down how they might affect the everyday punter. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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