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Lenders raise rates despite RBA hold

It’s another month of Groundhog Day at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), with the official cash rate maintaining its holding pattern at 1.5% - the same rate we’ve seen for over two years.

‘More of the same’ is fantastic when rates are at their current record lows, and combined with cooler property markets in our biggest cities – Sydney and Melbourne, home buyers, and in particular, first home buyers, are enjoying a real shot at achieving their property goals.

Economic conditions globally remain positive. Here in Australia, we’re on track to notch up a healthy level of economic growth, and both inflation and unemployment remain low.

Across the nation, a number of key property markets are quieter than they were a year ago, and despite price falls in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, it’s worth bearing in mind that home values remain 31% higher than they were five years ago. High levels of stock listed for sale are giving buyers plenty of choice and lots of room to flex their negotiating muscle – and that’s always a good thing.

It’s very much a buyer’s market in Sydney. Figures from CoreLogic show home values dipped 0.6% in July – taking the fall in values over the last year to 5.4%.

It turns out the biggest price drops are occurring at the top end of the market, where home values have taken an 8% hit over the past year.

First home buyers have been quick to take advantage of low rates, more generous stamp duty savings – and the cooler market conditions, and that’s seen the most affordable section of Sydney’s market dip in value by only 1.8% over the past 12 months.

Interestingly, apartment prices have held up well, dropping by just 1.6% in the last year compared to 7.0% falls in house prices.

The big picture remains very encouraging. CommSec’s recent State of the States report, confirms that NSW is the engine room of Australia’s economy, with the strongest job growth nationwide, a record level of construction activity, and high levels of people are still choosing to live in NSW, which is supporting healthy population growth.

Add it all up – better value on property, low interest rates and a healthy economy, and there are good reasons to make now the time to achieve your property ownership goals.

What does it mean for you?

While the RBA is happy to take a wait and see approach with the official cash rate, some lenders have recently raised their variable home loan rates in response to higher funding costs. This highlights the importance of checking that your current home loan remains right for your needs – both in terms of rate, features and flexibility.

We have local experts available to help you with all things finance related. They'll make complicated easy and provide you with the information and advice you need to make the right decisions with your money.

We can assist you with your personal finances including your home loan, car loan and insurances and our financial advisers can help you plan to achieve your financial goals now and in the future. We can also help you organise finance to start or grow your business and fund your assets.

Contact one of our local experts today to see how we can help you. 

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We know how important it is for you to be able to trust the advice you are receiving from our experts.

Our home loan service comes at no cost to you because we get paid a commission by the lender when you settle a home loan. We then pay your broker but we do it differently from other mortgage brokers. Your Mortgage Choice broker gets paid the same rate of commission no matter which home loan you choose from our wide choice of lenders.

This makes sure they always have your best interests at heart.

Mortgage Choice was founded by the Higgins brothers over 25 years ago. They believed in giving Australians access to a choice of home loans, backed by expert advice to help them make the right choice. They were pioneers in mortgage broking and we've since helped over 400,000 people with their home loans.

Over the years, our passion for offering choice and advice has been extended to other areas of personal and business finance, including our industry leading financial planning service.

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