Home loan rate changes and product updates: March 2017
Despite another month of no movement from the RBA, March saw an onslaught of lenders announcing changes to interest rates.
Another month, another announcement of the cash rate holding from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), but this hasn't stopped lenders from moving interest rates across home loan products. First to move were Homeloans.com.au and Beyond Bank, which each moved investor fixed rates on the day of the RBA’s announcement.
There was then a steady stream of movements made by lenders, with the average variable rate increasing by 0.17% and average fixed rate increasing by 0.24%. Some lenders chose to decrease some rates across home loan products with an average decrease of 0.08% on variable loans and 0.21% on fixed rate loans.
Overall it looks like owner occupiers were marginally the worst hit this month with 87% of changes affecting these borrows and 83% of changes affecting investors, with 70% of lenders choosing to change both investor and owner occupier interest rates.
Of the changes made, 92% were increases to interest rates and only 21% were cuts. There is an uneven attribution to variable loans (83%) versus fixed rate loans (58%), with 10 out of the 24 lenders that have made changes this month changing both fixed and variable rates.
Outside of the interest rate changes, Westpac also launched a refinance cashback offer where customers who refinance their home loan from outside of the Westpac Group (Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS) to Westpac’s Advantage Package can receive $1,250 back. There are a range of cashback offers and sign up bonuses available for home loan customers including those from NAB and St.George.
The rebranding of Maritime, Mining & Power Credit Union to Unity Bank, which was decided upon in November 2016 by its members, was also finalised on 1 March.