Is locking in your rate the answer to surviving the series of home loan hikes?

By Ceyda Erem ·

Over the month of July, we’ve seen a domino effect of home loan lenders hiking variable rates to cope with mounting funding pressure.

Bank of Queensland, Macquarie, ME and AMP are just some of the handful of lenders that have already moved their rates, with predictions of more to come.

“The cost of securing funding is one thing that affects home loan lenders more or less across the market, so I’d expect to see rates rise across the board in the near future,” said Mozo Product Data Manager, Peter Marshall.

“That includes the big banks - they aren’t going to sit on their hands while everyone else moves to manage these added costs.”

RELATED: The number of Aussie ‘mortgage prisoners’ is set to rise, according to Mozo research

However, there may be a silver lining among the recent rate hikes, as some lenders have now begun to decrease fixed rates, prompting many Aussies to consider fixing their home loans.

In fact, according to the Mozo database, there have been a total of 13 fixed rate cuts from 10 different lenders in the past month, while only four providers have made increases.

And as it turns out, Aussie homeowners are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a great low fixed rate offer. We’ve pulled out the top five fixed rate offers for three years that are currently sitting in the Mozo database, which are:

1. Community First Credit Union and Easy Street, 3.69%
2. Newcastle Permanent and UBank, 3.74%
3. AMP, Australian Unity, FreedomLend, IMB, RACQ, Reduce Home Loans, Suncorp, 3.79%
4. Beyond Bank, Gateway Bank, ING, 3.83%
5. Big Sky, Greater Bank, MyState, The Rock 3.84%

RELATED: UBank bucks mortgage trend with 3.59% variable rate offer

Shiny offers for the right borrowers

On the other hand, big bank Westpac has instead introduced other incentives to their variable rate loans to not only combat the competition from smaller lenders, but to entice customers.

Westpac are rewarding borrowers who take out loans over $1 million with enough Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for a return trip to London from any Australian capital.

How much could a fixed rate save me?

According to the Mozo mortgage repayment calculator, say for instance, you take out a $300,000 loan to be repaid over 25 years on the average variable interest rate in our database of 4.36% - granted your rate doesn’t change, over three years, you would pay $37,919 in interest.

However, if you took out the same loan but with our database’s average fixed rate of 4.07%, you’d pay $35,347 - a difference of $2,572, or a total of $14,585 over the life of the loan.

So if you’re an Aussie who thinks it’s time to lock in your rate, head over to our home loan comparison tool to compare a range of fixed rate offers today.

Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.