Christmas comes early for borrowers with heaps of home loan rate cuts

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Key points

  • First home buyers and refinancers are the big winners in recent rate cuts
  • 30 lenders have cut variable rates for principal and interest borrowers since October
  • 70 lenders are now offering variable rates under 4.00%

The festive season is fast approaching, and lenders are certainly getting into the Christmas spirit, with 30 lenders lowering rates on variable rate home loans since the beginning of October, Mozo data shows.

“First home buyers and refinancers making principal and interest repayments are on the Nice list this year, with a tonne of ultra competitive rates on offer for these borrowers,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

Among the lenders reducing rates, the average rate cut was 15 basis points, while one generous lender cut by more than 5 times that amount. There are now a massive 70 lenders in Mozo’s database offering up variable rates under 4.00% on principal and interest home loans.

“These rate cuts have come at a really great time for those looking to get into the property market, with cooling prices and stamp duty exemptions in some major markets making conditions much more welcoming for first time buyers,” said Lamont.

“And for owner-occupiers who already have a mortgage, this presents a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the deal you’re getting and jump on a better rate.”

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

What to look for in a low rate home loan

A competitive comparison rate. When you’re comparing low rate loans, make sure to take a look at the comparison rate, as well as the headline interest rate. “The comparison rate reflects fixed fees and the interest rate, so it gives you a more accurate idea of what a loan will really cost you,” explains Lamont. A low interest rate paired with a high comparison rate can mean you’ll be up for a bunch of hefty fees!

Key money-saving features. Full feature home loans are generally more expensive than their no-frills counterparts. So to keep your mortgage rate low, choose an option that includes the features you will use and not the ones you won’t. “Pick and choose the extra features you’ll really use. For example, an offset account can save you heaps, but there’s no point paying extra to have it if you don't actually use it,” says Lamont.

An LVR that suits your budget. Some of the lowest rates around are reserved for borrowers with a low loan-to-value ratio - meaning a bigger deposit. So the more you can save for a home loan deposit, the more likely you will be able to snag a rock bottom rate and save on interest. “One thing to keep in mind is that if you have less than a 20% deposit, you’ll probably wind up paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance as well, which can add thousands of dollars onto your home loan bill,” says Lamont.

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