Refinancing figures are on a record-breaking run: here’s why

We’re currently seeing more people refinance their home loans than ever before, and the latest ABS figures out this week prove we’re not imagining things.

Refinanced home loans reached an all-time high of $17.2 billion in July, which is a 6% increase on June.

It’s also more than double the value that was refinanced exactly two years prior in July 2019.

 

So why are homeowners refinancing in record numbers?

For starters, the RBA cash rate is at an all-time low of 0.1% following six rate cuts in three years.

As such, competition amongst lenders is fierce, with many offering record-low home loan rates in a bid to win over as many customers as possible.

In fact, RateCity reports the number of variable rates under 2% on its database has jumped from 28 to 46 in just two months.

Borrowers are also opting to lock in their interest rate too, says the ABS, following reports that lenders have started increasing the rates on 3-5 year fixed-rate loans.

“Borrowers are seeking out lower interest rates, particularly for fixed-rate loans, and cashback deals across a large number of major and non-major lenders,” says ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan.

COVID-19 is likely increasing the number of homeowners refinancing, too.

With many households and businesses around the country doing it tough right now, one simple way to reduce your monthly mortgage repayments is by refinancing.

 

How we help you refinance the right way

Now, fixed-rate loans and cashback deals might look super appealing at first glance, but they might not always be the best fit for your situation.

And that’s why it helps to have someone like us in your corner.

We can help you go through the fine print, fees and limitations that might exist within these loan options.

We can also help you determine whether a fixed, variable or split loan is better suited to your needs.

The other thing we’re great at is negotiating with your lender.

Your current lender won’t automatically give you their lowest rate going. You’ve got to ask them for it.

And you’ve also got to make it clear that if they don’t reduce your interest rate, you’re willing to find another lender who will.

This can be both intimidating, not to mention time-consuming and frustrating if they don’t want to play ball.

But lucky for you, we can do the leg-work for you.

So if you haven’t refinanced in the past few years, get in touch with us today and we could help you save thousands of dollars in interest repayments on your mortgage.

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

How much extra will your mortgage cost when interest rates rise?

They say what goes up, must come down.

But does what goes down, have to come up? Well, the big banks think so – and sooner than many expect.

While the RBA held the official cash rate at 0.10% this month – and reaffirmed its position that it does not expect to lift the cash rate until 2024 – there is growing speculation the next cash rate hike could come as early as late 2022.

In June, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac predicted a rate hike around late 2022 to early 2023. In fact, they expect the official cash rate to hit 1.25% in the third quarter of 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Meanwhile, NAB this week hiked its 2-,3- and 4-year fixed rates by up to 0.10% for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest.

Banks can increase fixed rates as a way of heading off potential RBA rate hikes. Generally, the shorter the term of the fixed-rate that’s increased (ie. if 2-year fixed rates are increased), the sooner a bank may believe the next rate hike will be.

So if the big banks’ economists are onto something here, how much extra money should you be factoring into your monthly mortgage repayments if the official cash rate rises to 1.25% by 2023/24?

 

How much extra the average mortgage holder could expect to pay

The first thing to note is that the last time the RBA’s cash rate target was at 1.25% was June 2019 – so not that long ago (but boy, was it a different world back then!).

Modelling from Canstar, published on Domain, shows the average variable mortgage rate would lift from 3.21% to 4.36%, based on the current margin between the two rates.

Now, if you took out a $500,000 loan tomorrow, and the cash rate hit 1.25% in 2024, that modelling estimates your monthly repayments would increase $300 to $2464 per month.

ABC News modelling covers a similar scenario, with repayments up $324 per month.

That’s despite reducing your remaining loan balance to $468,770 after three years of repayments, and assuming the banks only add on the cash rate increase – and not any extra.

And then there’s of course the possibility that further RBA cash rate increases could soon follow.

If, for example, the average variable loan rate increased to 7.04% in 2031, where it was just a decade ago in 2011, Canstar estimates that same borrower who took out a $500,000 loan would pay $900 more in monthly repayments than they do now – even after a full decade’s worth of repayments.

 

We can run you through your options

It’s hard to imagine that interest rates could rise from the comfort of the current record low cash rate.

In fact, you have to go back as far as November 2010 to when the RBA last increased the cash rate (to 4.75%). We’ve had a run of 18 straight cuts since then.

But the big banks’ economists aren’t basing their modelling, predictions and fixed-term rate increases on nothing – and it pays to pay attention.

So if you’re worried about what rate increases could mean for your household budget in the coming years, get in touch with us today and we can run you through a number of options.

That might include fixing your interest rate for two, three, four or five years, or just fixing part of your mortgage (but not all of it).

Every household is different – it’s our job to help you find the right mortgage option for you!

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

“Tide turning on interest rates”: CBA hikes fixed rates

Now, we’re not normally ones to write articles about the interest rate movements of particular products with particular lenders.

But we felt this one was significant given that the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is the nation’s biggest home lender, with a market share of about 25%.

CBA has increased both its three- and four-year fixed rates for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest by 0.05%, as well as some interest-only loans by 0.10%.

“For anyone still on the fence about fixing their home loan rate, this is another example of the tide turning on interest rates,” Canstar research expert Mitch Watson says.

And we can’t say we weren’t warned.

In March, ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said fixed-mortgage rates had already reached their lowest point, or close to it, as lenders began lifting their four-year fixed rate products.

Furthermore, Canstar research shows 38% of lenders have increased at least one fixed rate over the past two months.

 

Why are fixed rates moving upwards if the RBA hasn’t lifted the cash rate?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has repeatedly said the official cash rate isn’t likely to be increased until 2024 at the earliest.

But given that’s now within three years, the banks are beginning to adjust their three- to four-year fixed rates to head off those potential RBA rate hikes.

“The money market is already factoring in [RBA rate] rises,” explains AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

“That’s not having much of an impact on two-year rates yet. But as we go through the course of the year, the possibility of rate hikes will start to impact shorter rates as well.”

 

So what’s next?

Well, when CBA makes a move, it’s not uncommon for a number of other lenders to follow suit.

So if you’ve been umming and ahhing about fixing your rate, then it’s definitely worth getting in touch with us sooner rather than later.

We can run you through a number of different options, including fixing your interest rate for two, three, four or five years, or just fixing a part of your mortgage (but not all of it).

If you’d like to know more about this – or any of the other topics raised in this article – then get in touch today.

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.