Home loan rate changes and updates: January 2017
The RBA hasn’t changed the official cash rate since August 2016, but this hasn’t stopped lenders from making their own moves.
Following a multitude of changes in November and December that saw 29 lenders change variable rates, 46 lenders change fixed rates and many lenders make changes to both, the trend has continued into 2017. Six lenders were quick off the mark, making changes in the first week of 2017. This included AMP, who focused on increasing variable investor rates by 0.15%.
With a focus on fixed investor rates in the November/December changes, it seems lenders have moved onto variable rates. This month, variable rates increased by an average of 0.14% for both owner-occupiers and investors. AMP, Bankwest and Heritage Bank chose to only change investor products, while Suncorp opted to change only owner-occupier loans.
There has been an increased focus on investor loans since APRA cracked down on investor lending in July 2015, with many lenders choosing to change investor rates before moving on to owner-occupier rates. However, this year, lenders have chosen to increase both owner-occupier and investor rates at the same time.
Although variable rates were the first to change this month, most lenders also made changes to fixed rates as well, with an average increase of 0.16% across the 14 lenders who altered their fixed rates. There seemed to be a focus on 3- and 5-year fixed rates, with all 14 lenders increasing their 3-year rates and 85% increasing their 5-year rates. Only a handful increased all fixed rates, while Bank Australia, NAB and Virgin Money all chose to decrease a few fixed rate products.
With all the changes that have been made this month, only two of the Big Four banks have moved. NAB increased its 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year fixed rates for owner-occupiers and investors by up to 0.80% and decreased its 1-year fixed rate by 0.15%. ANZ increased its 2-, 3- and 4-year fixed rates by up to 0.40% and decreased its Variable Breakfree Package Home Loan for both owner-occupiers and investors by 0.20-0.23%.
With experts expecting increases to the cash rate not far off the horizon it will be interesting to see what, if any, effect a change by the RBA will have on the rates available to customers, as lenders continue to change rates independently of the RBA.
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