The new year has started off with a bang among these mortgage lenders, with three notable banks hiking interest rates offered to borrowers. 

There has been changes made to variable interest rates, fixed interest rates, and rates of loans that come with offset accounts

Neither owner-occupiers nor investors have been spared, with rates for both hiked among various lenders. 

But, there could be hope on the horizon. 

Considering annual inflation slipped to 4.3% in November, as was announced this week, major bank economists appear more hopeful that the February RBA meeting could bring a cash rate hold.

The cash rate directly influences the interest rates that lenders charge to borrowers, and prior speculation indicated a decent chance it would be hiked next month.

Interestingly, NAB economists, who are the only big bank experts bullish on a February hike, softened their language this week.

“NAB continues to pencil in an additional hike in February,” senior economist Taylor Nugent said.

“However, we do not expect the data flow to push [RBA board members] the same way it did in the lead up to the November meeting. 

“It will be up to the evaluation of risks in getting back to target by end 2025.”

All that could point to a popular saying among RBA watchers in the Savings.com.au office: ‘Never doubt the dove’. 

Indeed, at last count, ASX market participants were pencilling in a 97% chance of a hold next month.

But, all that aside, let’s dive into the lenders making home loan interest rate changes in the wee days of 2024. 

Auswide Bank hikes variable home loan rates by up to 20 basis points

Challenger institution Auswide Bank has upped the variable rates offered on two of its headline home loan offerings: Its Basic Home Loan and its Freedom Package product.

The former is as the name suggests, while the latter provides borrowers with an offset account. 

Owner-occupiers shopping for a new variable rate home loan with principal and interest (P&I) repayments might want to pay attention to these changes:

  • Basic Home Loan, <60% LVR: 10 basis point increase to 6.09% p.a. (6.11% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Basic Home Loan, 60%-80% LVR: 15 basis point increase to 6.14% p.a. (6.16% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Basic Home Loan, 80%-90% LVR: 20 basis point increase to 6.54% p.a. (6.56% p.a. comparison rate*)

  • Freedom Package, variable, <60% LVR: 10 basis point increase to 6.19% p.a. (6.53% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Freedom Package, variable, 60%-80% LVR: 15 basis point increase to 6.24% p.a. (6.58% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Freedom Package, variable, 80%-90% LVR: 20 basis point increase to 6.64% p.a. (6.98% p.a. comparison rate*)

Read more: What is a comparison rate? 

Investors, meanwhile, could take advantage of these interest rate changes:

  • Basic Home Loan, investment, <60% LVR: 10 basis point increase to 6.44% p.a. (6.46% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Basic Home Loan, investment, 60%-80% LVR: 15 basis point increase to 6.59% p.a. (6.61% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Basic Home Loan, investment, 80%-90% LVR: 20 basis point increase to 6.84% p.a. 6.86% p.a. comparison rate*)

  • Freedom Package, investment, variable, <60% LVR: 10 basis point increase to 6.54% p.a. (6.88% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Freedom Package, investment, variable, 60%-80% LVR: 15 basis point increase to 6.69% p.a. (7.03% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Freedom Package, investment, variable, 80%-90% LVR: 20 basis point increase to 7.14% p.a. (7.47% p.a. comparison rate*)

Regional Australia Bank boosts offset home loan rates by up to 21 basis points 

If you’re hunting for a home loan with an offset account, the variable rates offered by Regional Australia Bank might have changed in 2024. 

The mutual bank dedicated to regional Australia hiked many of the rates offered on its Mortgage Offset home loan product for customers paying both P&I and interest only (IO) repayments.

Changes for owners with an loan-to-value ratio of between 80% and 90% include: 

  • Mortgage Offset, P&I, 80%-90% LVR: 21 basis point increase to 6.42% p.a. (6.45% p.a comparison rate*)
  • Mortgage Offset, IO, 80%-90% LVR: 21 basis point increase to 6.67% p.a. (6.47% comparison rate*)
  • Mortgage Offset, investor, P&I, 80%-90% LVR: 21 basis point increase to 6.87% p.a. (6.90% comparison rate*)
  • Mortgage Offset, investor, IO, 80%-90% LVR: 21 basis point increase to 7.12% p.a. (6.92% comparison rate*)

Bank of China ups fixed interest rates by as much as 20 basis points

Finally, buyers and refinancers looking for greater stability might be interested to learn that Bank of China increased fixed rates offered to new borrowers on the first day of the new year.

For fixed rate periods of between one and three years, owner-occupiers making P&I repayments can realise a rate of 6.39% p.a., a 10 basis point week-on-week increase:

  • One year fixed: 10 basis point increase to 6.39% p.a. (8.34% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Two year fixed: 10 basis point increase to 6.39% p.a. (8.14% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • Three year fixed: 10 basis point increase to 6.39% p.a. (7.96% p.a. comparison rate*)

Those signing on for a four- or five-year fixed rate period could boast rates of 6.49% p.a. and 6.59% p.a. respectively (respective comparison rates* of 7.84% p.a. and 7.75% p.a.)


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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

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. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. 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 March 4, 2024. View disclaimer.

Image by Wout Vanacker on Unsplash.





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