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Historical home loan interest rates in Australia

After interest rates began rising in 2022, let's take a look at how they compare historically. Here's a brief overview from 1959 until the present day.

What's on this page

  • The average standard variable home loan interest rate from 1959 until the present.
  • The official Reserve Bank (RBA) cash rate.
  • You can also see more historic home loan rates from a selection of lenders.

Looking for more competitive current rates? Check out our home loan comparison guide.

Historic home loan rate averages over time

In the graphs below you can see average home loan interest rates from 1959 up until today. Although there is data as far back as 1959 for standard variable rates, the earliest available data starts much later in time for fixed rates and discounted variable rates.

As you can see, interest rates have risen and fallen several times over the last 60+ years. They reached record highs in 1989 and 1990, but have been steadily falling since. The rate rises we have seen since 2022 have been the most consistent but are not expected to continue up to anywhere near those record highs.

Why do we look at historical interest rates?

Using historical data to try to predict the future is not a new thing. Investors use past data to try to predict share prices and historians try to use information from the past to predict future social trends.

The same can be applied for home loan interest rates – you can analyse the past to see where in the economic cycle you currently stand with your mortgage.

The economic cycle is currently composed of peaks and troughs. When there is a peak, economic activity tends to be strong along with high interest rates. Likewise, a trough indicates low and weak economic activity with low interest rates to stimulate the economy. Generally, you would want to lock in your interest rate at its lowest.

The RBA cash rate over time

The RBA: Why does the cash rate change?

Monetary policy is the RBA's responsibility. The policy decisions are made by the board with the objective of achieving inflation within 2–3%. Other objectives include:

  • Maintaining the financial system and Australia's currency
  • The goal of full employment in Australia
  • The safety and efficiency of the payments system
  • The wellbeing of the Australian economy and its people

How does the official cash rate affect my interest rate?

Banks and other lenders will adjust their interest rates in line with the RBA cash rate. However, they will add a margin to get the rate at which they lend to borrowers.

If you have a variable rate home loan your interest rate will rise when there is a cash rate rise and decrease when there is a cut. However, financial institutions are not required to pass on a rise or cut in full.

Graham Cooke

Meet our money expert Graham Cooke

Graham heads Finder's insights team and specialises in a variety of financial topics, including credit cards, loans, insurance and investing. He regularly appears on TV including ABC News, Sunrise and Today, and edits Finder's Insights column.

Graham's top home loan tips

  • Understand the impact: Learn how changes in the RBA cash rate can affect your mortgage interest rates.
  • Budget for rate changes: Be prepared for potential rate fluctuations by budgeting accordingly.
  • Shop around: If your current rate is too high, it might be time to look at refinancing.

Finder survey: What do people think would be the average interest rate on an owner occupier home loan with a 20% deposit?

ResponseMaleFemale
5-7%61.66%53.56%
3-5%29.29%34.07%
7-9%6.36%6.78%
1-3%2.7%5.59%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023

See historical interest rates for the Big Four banks

Commonwealth Bank

DateStandard variable rateCash rateMargin
2/11/20238.554.104.45
12/20227.553.104.45
20214.550.104.45
24/03/20204.550.254.30
22/10/20194.800.754.05
01/10/20185.371.503.87
07/7/20175.221.503.72
11/4/20165.602.003.60
2/3/20155.652.253.40
17/8/20146.152.503.65
22/6/20136.152.753.40
12/10/20126.603.253.35
19/12/20117.314.253.06
5/11/20107.814.753.06

Westpac

DateStandard variable rateCash rateMargin
2/11/20236.094.101.99
12/20224.643.101.54
20212.190.102.09
18/09/20202.190.251.94
27/11/20193.180.752.43
27/12/20184.731.503.23
28/12/20174.591.503.09
11/4/20165.682.003.68
2/3/20155.702.253.45
8/8/20145.982.503.48
21/09/20135.982.503.48

ANZ

DateStandard variable rateCash rateMargin
2/11/20236.994.102.89
12/20225.743.102.64
11/20204.390.104.29
11/10/20194.790.754.04
27/09/20185.361.503.86
16/6/20175.201.503.70
11/4/20165.562.003.56
2/3/20155.632.253.38
25/03/20145.882.503.38
19/08/20135.882.503.38
1/10/20126.803.253.55

NAB

DateStandard variable rateCash rateMargin
2/11/20236.594.102.49
12/20226.203.103.10
13/03/20203.450.103.35
11/10/20193.700.752.95
17/08/20184.171.502.67
11/4/20165.602.003.60
2/3/20155.632.253.38
31/08/20145.882.503.38
22/09/20135.882.503.38

More rate statistics and information

If you're interested in learning more you can compare home loan interest rates on Finder, check out statistical information on current average rates or look at our monthly cheapest home loan rates tracker.

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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Jason Loewenthal as part of our fact-checking process.
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Editor

Richard Whitten is a money editor at Finder, and has been covering home loans, property and personal finance for 6+ years. He has written for Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine and Homely; and has appeared on various radio shows nationwide. He holds a Certificate IV in mortgage broking and finance (RG 206), a Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification and a Tier 2 General Advice Deposit Products (RG 146) certification. See full bio

Richard's expertise
Richard has written 527 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Home loans
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Senior writer

Rebecca Pike is Finder's senior writer for money. She joined Finder after almost four years writing for business publications in the mortgage and finance industry, including three years as editor of Mortgage Professional Australia. She regularly appears as a money expert on programs like Sunrise and Today, as well as across radio and newspapers. She also holds ASIC-recognised certifications in Tier 1 Generic Knowledge and Tier 2 General Advice Deposit Products. See full bio

Rebecca's expertise
Rebecca has written 189 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Home loans
  • Cost of living
  • Budgeting
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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DeanJanuary 25, 2023

    Hi there!

    Great information. Thank you!

    My son has had an NAB home loan for about 8 years. He originally got this loan through a broker. Despite never missing a home loan payment, his loan hasn’t reduced by much.

    I saw on TV ages ago that there was some company where you could provide your repayment information and they would check the interest charged for each month. They were making the point that banks sometimes unintentionally miscalculate their figures.

    My other concern is that my son has no idea of what the broker is charging. So, my first question is whether you know of any place where he could go to establish what he’s been charged for interest over the years?

    My other question is whether he can approach NAB and find out what is the rate interest that’s been charged for each month of his loan and the actual interest he’s been charged for each month?

    There are bank statements, but it’s not clear if the interest debited includes the broker’s fee.

    I know it’s basic mathematics to work out interest for a month. However, he has as offset account whereby funds in there reduce the amount they charge interest on. So this is where it get messy.

    Anyway, if you can provide some direction in this respect, it would be most appreciated.

    Thanks for your anticipated help.

    Cheers!

      AvatarFinder
      RebeccaJanuary 31, 2023Finder

      Hi Dean,

      While we’re not aware of any companies offering the services you’re looking for, if it’s only for 1 mortgage, your son can request the information directly from NAB. They can provide him with a table where he would see the principal and monthly interest payments made over the years.

      In regards to the broker, mortgage brokers will typically be paid through the bank and not through borrower repayments. Your son’s repayments will not be affected by him taking out the loan with a broker. Some brokers can charge upfront fees, but this would have been a separate payment.

      Kind regards,
      Rebecca

    Default Gravatar
    DAMIENJune 15, 2017

    Looking for NAB SVR mortgage rates (owner occupied) from Feb 2008 to Sept 2013.

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 15, 2017

      Hi Damien!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Our available statistics are the ones shown above.

      You can contact NAB or RBA for your request of rates information.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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