Home loans then and now: How interest rates compare to a year ago

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on January 07, 2022 Fact Checked
Home loans then and now: How interest rates compare to a year ago

2021 was an interesting year for home loan interest rates, with many of them heading only in one direction - up.

2020 saw many lenders, particularly the major banks, cut fixed interest rates on home loans to the lowest ever levels, while in 2021, these home loan rates slowly made their way back up.

The big four banks in CommBank, Westpac, NAB and ANZ were some of the first to cut below the 2.00% threshold following the Reserve Bank's November 2020 historic rate cut. 

Now the majors nary offer a home loan rate under this threshold. 

How much have home loan rates increased in the past year?

Savings.com.au used the trusty screen scraping website Wayback Machine for a look at lenders' home loan rate pages from a year ago compared to now.

Many of the big four banks' largest rate increases applied to owner occupied home loans with fixed rates between two and five years.

CommBank rate increases

CBA's four year fixed rate paying principal & interest (P&I) for owner occupiers compared to a year ago is now 135 basis points higher.

It is now 3.49% p.a. (4.34% p.a. comparison rate*).

Other fixed interest rates are now between 35 and 60 basis points higher.

The standard variable rate remains unchanged at 4.55% p.a. (4.70% p.a. comparison rate*).

On a $400,000 home loan over 30 years, a 135 basis point increase in this instance means $287 per month more in interest paid.

Westpac rate increases

Westpac went in much the same direction. 

In January last year, the four-year fixed rate owner occupied home loan paying P&I up to 70% LVR was 130 basis points lower than it is now.

It is now 3.39% p.a. (4.25% p.a. comparison rate*).

Other fixed terms across owner occupier loans were increased by between 35 and 120 basis points.

The standard variable rate - Westpac calls it a reference rate - remains unchanged at 4.58% p.a. (4.72% p.a. comparison rate*). 

On a $400,000 home loan over 30 years, a 130 basis point increase in this instance means $275 per month more in interest paid.

NAB rate increases

There's a pattern emerging - four year fixed rates bore the brunt of increases.

NAB's owner occupied Tailored 4 Year Fixed home loan paying P&I is now 126 basis points higher than it was a year ago.

It's now 3.34% p.a. (4.13% p.a. comparison rate*).

Other fixed rates were increased by between 25 and 95 basis points.

NAB's 'base variable rate' was tinkered ever so slightly - the comparison rate is up 4 basis points, and is now 3.45% p.a. (3.49% p.a. comparison rate*).

This is indicative of slightly higher fees.

On a $400,000 home loan over 30 years, a 126 basis point increase in this instance means $266 per month more in interest paid.

ANZ rate increases

Much of ANZ's website data on interest rates from a year ago is unavailable on the Wayback Machine.

Many instances say 'No data found'. Cheeky.

Other banks and lenders

Comparing how your lender or bank fares compared to a year ago is simple - find the webpage of all of its home loan rates, and copy/paste it into the Wayback Machine URL finder.

Why the increase in home loan rates?

Through 2021 Savings.com.au covered the various reasons as to why banks and lenders are increasing their home loan rates - particularly on fixed terms:


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Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest 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
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
FixedMore details
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
VariableMore details
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

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

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

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

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
VariableMore details
ZERO APPLICATION FEES

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

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
ZERO APPLICATION FEES

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

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees

Rates correct as of January 17, 2022. View disclaimer.


Photo by Coen van de Broek 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. 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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Harrison is Savings.com.au's Assistant Editor. Prior to joining Savings in January 2020, 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 breaking down complex financial topics for the everyday consumer.

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