Home loan rates review - Spring 2017

Kirsty Timsans   |   31 Aug 2017

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Key Points

  • Spring home loan season kicks off with fierce rates competition

  • A record 66 lenders are now offering variable rates below 4.00%

  • Average Big 4 bank variable rate now 1.20% higher than lowest on market

Fierce lender competition for prime home loan customers is delivering a rate cut bonanza for owner-occupier borrowers this spring.

23 lenders have already cut variable rates to coincide with the spring property season, and Mozo’s data reveals that a record 66 lenders are now offering variable home loan rates below 4.00%. 

Aussie, ING, CommBank and Westpac are among lenders to cut variable rates in recent weeks, with more lenders expected to follow as peak property season heats up.

According to Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont, the level of competition on the home loan rates front is higher than usual this spring.

“Spring is traditionally peak season for home loan offers, and this season we’re seeing intense competition amongst lenders driving owner-occupier variable rates to new record lows”, said Ms Lamont.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - rates updated daily

  • Essentials Variable 80

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.64% p.a. variable

    3.66% p.a.

    A low-rate home loan that could save you thousands. No monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited additional repayments. Unlimited free redraws with no minimum redraw amount

    • 3.64% p.a. variable

    • 3.66% p.a.

    • $520

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Select Basic Variable

    LVR<80%, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.69% p.a. variable

    3.70% p.a.

    A competitive rate with no ongoing fees. Reduce interest by making additional payments.

    • 3.69% p.a. variable

    • 3.70% p.a.

    • $330

    • $0.00

    • $535.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $5,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Base Variable Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.69% p.a. variable

    3.73% p.a.

    $1,250 BONUS WITH AN ELIGIBLE NAB HOME LOAN BANKING BUNDLE*. Low ongoing rate. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Only 5% deposit and no annual or monthly fees.

    • 3.69% p.a. variable

    • 3.73% p.a.

    • $600

    • $0.00

    • $350.00

    • yes - free

    • yes

    • no

    • 95.00%

    • $20,000

    • -

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.59% p.a. variable

    3.59% p.a.

    A low rate Home Loan with no bank fees on variable rate loans. Easy & fast to apply. Choose between flexible repayments and make extra repayments for free on a variable rate home loan.

    • 3.59% p.a. variable

    • 3.59% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes

    • no

    • 80.00%

    • $200,000

    • $699,999

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Discounted Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.72% p.a. variable

    4.12% p.a.

    Experts Choice - Australia's Best Customer-Owned Banking & Home Lender of the Year 2018

    • 3.72% p.a. variable

    • 4.12% p.a.

    • $0

    • $395.00 yearly

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • yes

    • 90.00%

    • $150,000

    • -

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Low Rate Home Loan with Offset

    LVR<80%, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    3.68% p.a. variable

    3.71% p.a.

    A Low Rate Home Loan with a $0 Application Fee, Free Redraws & Extra Repayments

    • 3.68% p.a. variable

    • 3.71% p.a.

    • $286

    • $0.00

    • $300.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • yes

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Flexible Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR<80%, Principal & Interest

    3.69% p.a. variable

    4.11% p.a.

    A flexible Home Loan with Member Package for Owner Occupiers including a low rate, redraw and offset. Annual fee $395. Experts Choice - Australia's Best Bank 2018.

    • 3.69% p.a. variable

    • 4.11% p.a.

    • $0

    • $395.00 yearly

    • $300.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • yes

    • 80.00%

    • $400,000

    • $699,999

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • First Home Buyer Loan

    Up to 40 Year Term

    3.77% p.a. variable

    3.81% p.a.

    Affordable 40-year loan term. Receive assistance with applying for the first home owner grant. Borrow up to 95% of property value.

    • 3.77% p.a. variable

    • 3.81% p.a.

    • $695

    • $0.00

    • $180.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - $50

    • no

    • 95.00%

    • $150,000

    • -

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

  • Basic Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR<70%, Principal & Interest

    3.75% p.a. variable

    3.75% p.a.

    No application or account management fees & Flexible loan structure.

    • 3.75% p.a. variable

    • 3.75% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • 70.00%

    • $150,000

    • $5,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Fortnightly, Monthly

    Details Close

*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.

Look beyond the big banks for the best rates

Borrowers who choose smaller lenders over the big banks can access huge rate savings right now. The average big 4 bank variable rate for a $300,000 owner-occupier loan is 4.64%, a whopping 1.20% higher than the lowest available rate of 3.44%. 

“Owner-occupiers looking to buy a home or refinance their current home can secure an incredibly competitive home loan deal this spring if they’re prepared to shop around and consider loans from smaller lenders”, said Ms Lamont.


Rates not so rosy for investors

On the other side of the coin, housing investors are still feeling the pain of APRA’s risky lending regulations.  Australia’s new two-tier home loan interest rate market sees investors continue to pay more for debt and face stricter lending criteria.

Investors are typically paying an interest rate premium of around 27 basis points compared to owner occupier borrowers, according to Mozo's data.


How to secure the best home loan this Spring:

1. Jump online to compare the best home loan rates on the market

2. Be prepared to look beyond the big banks and go with a smaller lender

3. Go for principal  & interest repayments as interest only loan rates are higher

4. Check for upfront fees, ongoing fees and any exit fees on your current loan if you’re refinancing

5. Consider loan features that can help reduce your interest and pay off your loan faster, like free extra repayments and an offset account


Interest rates and home loan data in this article are correct as of time of writing. Average rates based on $300,000 owner-occupier loan with 80% LVR.

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