July’s RBA cash rate hold is a breather, but it’s not the end of rate rises
Even as inflation slows down experts expect the RBA will inflict more pain on borrowers this year.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has decided to hold the official cash rate at 4.10% for July. Borrowers can enjoy a break from rising home loan rates, even if it's probably temporary.
Experts were split down the middle on this decision, with 51% predicting a rise and 49% predicting a hold.
Today's decision comes off the back of recent data that shows inflation slowing down. The RBA's attempt to decrease inflation is the main reason driving interest rate increases.
"Inflation in Australia has passed its peak," said RBA Governor Philip Lowe. "But inflation is still too high and will remain so for some time yet."
Today's decision gives some breathing room to Australian borrowers. The RBA has increased the cash rate 12 times since May 2022. This is only the second meeting since that the bank hasn't increased the cash rate.
By keeping the cash rate in place, lenders are unlikely to increase variable interest rates this month.
It's welcome news given how many Australians are struggling with rising living costs. But it's likely to be short-lived.
Inflation is still very high, and the RBA will likely raise rates again to drive inflation further down to acceptable levels.
But there are limits to what Australian borrowers can take. A record 41% of Australian borrowers said they struggled to pay their mortgage last month, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.
If rates continue to rise along with energy prices and other costs, many borrowers will end up in mortgage stress. If they aren't already. This could trigger mortgage defaults and forced property sales.
Try Finder's mortgage stress calculator to see how affordable your home loan currently is.
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