ACCC: $850 annual savings on offer for borrowers willing to barter

Tom Watson

11 Dec 2018

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Australia’s premier consumer watchdog has today released a scathing assessment of the way some of the country’s largest banks ‘stifle’ price competition in the home loan market, to the detriment of their customers.  

The Residential Mortgage Price Inquiry Report, released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), found that a lack of transparency in home loan pricing from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, NAB and Westpac makes it difficult for borrowers to know how their rates compare.

This then reduces the willingness of many borrowers to shop around for a better deal.

RELATED: Crush your mortgage in 2019 with these top value home loans

“Pricing for mortgages is opaque and the big four banks have a lot of discretion. The banks profit from this and it is against their interests to make pricing transparent,” said ACCC Chair, Rod Sims.

The ACCC report found that while one of the most successful ways borrowers can go about reducing their home loan rate is by negotiating with their banks, many don’t realise that this is an option - particularly refinancers, those borrowers looking for a better deal on their existing mortgage.    

According to the report, borrowers with an average-sized mortgage could save up to $850 a year (initially) by negotiating to pay the same interest rate as the average new borrower at one of the major banks above.

“I encourage more people to ask their lender whether they are getting the lowest possible interest rates for their residential mortgage and, as they do so, be ready to threaten to switch to another lender,” said Sims.

“I am afraid that the threat of switching banks will often be necessary to achieve a competitive mortgage rate.”

Weighing up the rewards of switching

For mortgage holders who are are existing customers of a major bank, negotiating to a better deal is one thing, but how much could you save by switching providers altogether?

Mozo crunched the numbers and found that an owner-occupier borrower with a $400,000, 30 year home loan and an LVR of 80% would pay $24,552 a year on the average big four package rate of 4.58%.

The same borrower would pay $23,844 a year ($708 saved) on the average variable rate currently in the Mozo database of 4.33%, or just $21,396 a year ($3,156 saved) on the lowest variable rate currently in the Mozo database which is 3.44% (comparison rate: 3.51%).

According to Mozo Product Data Manager, Peter Marshall, one of the other hurdles holding many potential refinancers back is the time and effort involved.

“I don’t know anyone who loves dealing with paperwork, and the initial loan application process requires quite a lot of it. But when you’re refinancing you don’t actually have to wade through quite as much,” he said.

“At the end of the day you really just have to weigh up whether putting in a couple of hours of work is worth saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. It seems like a no-brainer.”

RELATED: Aussie borrowers dumping old bank loans

Weighing up refinancing your own home loan? Check out some of the great offers below, or head over to the Mozo home loan comparison hub for even more refinancing deals.

Home loan offers 2018

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • loans.com.au

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    1 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    Smart Booster Home Loan

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $520

    • 1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    • 2.47% p.a.

    • $520

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $1,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Smart Booster Home Loan

    Details Close

  • UBank
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    UHomeLoan

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $395

    • p.a.

    • 2.22% p.a.

    • $395

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $395 Establishment fee waived for fixed rate loans that settle by 31 March 2020. Receive 1.75% Receive 1.75% 3 year fixed rate when you apply by 26 February 2021 and settle within 90 days.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Athena
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • $0

    • 60.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    p.a.

    2.53% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR 70-80%

    p.a.

    2.53% p.a.

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    Basic Home Loan

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.53% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $150,000

    • $750,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Basic Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Suncorp

    p.a.

    2.90% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Home Loan Special Offer Home Package Plus

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    p.a.

    2.90% p.a.

    Competitive low rates starting from 1.89% (2.94% comparison rate) 2 years fixed for owner occupiers. No monthly account keeping fees & No loan establishment fee.

    Fixed Home Loan Special Offer Home Package Plus

    Competitive low rates starting from 1.89% (2.94% comparison rate) 2 years fixed for owner occupiers. No monthly account keeping fees & No loan establishment fee.

    • $375.00 yearly

    • $350.00

    • yes - free up to $500 per month

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.90% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $150,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Home Loan Special Offer

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards