Is now the right time to fix your home loan?

Ceyda Erem

18 Jan 2019

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To fix or not to fix that is the question - or at least it’s the question on the mind of both current and prospective Aussie homeowners.

If you’ve been keeping up with all the latest in home loan news, then you probably know that three of the big four banks hiked variable rates across the board last year, pushing many homeowners into the arms of smaller players and challenger lenders.

“Online lenders have been giving the big banks a run for their money for a while now and with the majority of the big four increasing their rates, it’s put a bad taste in the mouths of customers,” said Mozo Product Data Manager, Peter Marshall.

RELATED: RBA rate cut on the cards for 2019 as BOQ, Virgin Money hike home loan rates

And while the home loan market continues to remain rocky, Aussies looking to purchase their first home this year may be wondering whether or not to fix their mortgage to protect themselves from potential future hikes.

However, while fixing your home loan might sound like the right way to go, according to Marshall, unless you’re in it for the long haul, it might not make that much of a difference.

“If you’re after certainty or the assurance that your rate won’t change, then a fixed rate could be a good option - but you might have to pay a premium for it,” he said.

“Lenders have started to price in a potential cut to the cash rate this year, particularly for their longer term rates, so if you're after certainty in your repayments over the longer term there are some sharp deals around.”

And with Bank of Queensland and Virgin Money kicking off the year with steep rate hikes, Marshall is predicting that the RBA may act soon and cut rates.

RELATED: Is 2019 the year to ditch the big banks in search of a better home loan?

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the RBA cut rates in the first half of the year. This would mean the banks could hold on to some of the cash rate cuts to make up for increased funding costs, which should mean less pain for borrowers,” he said.

“But I can’t see lenders rushing to slash variable rates any time soon, and if they do pass on the cut, it won’t be by much. So if the RBA wants to provide relief for borrowers as well, a second cut could be on the cards.”

Smaller lenders shaking up the market

At the moment, the average variable rate for a basic loan without an offset account for the big four banks is 3.89%. That compares to the lowest comparable variable rate in the Mozo database - Reduce Home Loans’ Rate Lovers product - of 3.44%, making challenger lenders a hot pick for Aussie buyers.

RELATED: 5 New Year's resolutions for first home buyer success in 2019

To put that into perspective, say you took out a $300,000 to be repaid over 30 years on the average big bank rate of 3.89%. According to the Mozo repayment calculator, your monthly repayments would clock in at $1,413. But if you were to take out the same loan on the Reduce rate of 3.44%, your repayments would drop to $1,337 - a yearly saving of $912.

If you’re now thinking a variable rate could be right for you, check out our list down below or head over to our home loan comparison tool.

6 home loans for 2019 - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    loans.com.au

    3.03% p.a. variable

    3.05% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Home Loan

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

    • 3.03% p.a. variable

    • 3.05% p.a.

    • $520

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • 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 Home Loan

  • Promoted

    UBank

    3.34% p.a. variable

    3.34% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

    Enjoy a low rate & no bank fees (on variable loans) from one of Australia's leading digital banks. Easy & fast to apply, you'll get free redraw with flexible repayments. Min. 20% deposit required. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2019 in the Low Cost Home Loan category.

    • 3.34% p.a. variable

    • 3.34% 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

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

  • Promoted

    HSBC

    3.47% p.a. variable

    3.48% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Discounted Home Value Loan

    As of 22nd July HSBC will be reducing this rate to 3.27% p.a.* (3.28% p.a. comparison rate^) so enquire now and be one of the first to make the most of this great rate. Enjoy unlimited free extra repayments and no ongoing service fees when you apply by 31 July (t&cs apply). Get help with the application process with an HSBC relationship manager. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2019 in the Low Cost Home Loan category.^

    • 3.47% p.a. variable

    • 3.48% p.a.

    • $150

    • $0.00

    • $300.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free online

    • no

    • 90.00%

    • $50,000

    • $7,500,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Discounted Home Value Loan

  • Promoted

    Bank of Queensland

    2.99% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    4.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    3 Year Discount Fixed Rate

    Apply by 31 August 2019. Minimum loan amount of $300k and LVR max of 80%. Free additional repayments up to $5,000 per year. $1,000 cashback for first home buyers

    • 2.99% p.a.
      fixed 3 years

    • 4.19% p.a.

    • $450

    • $10.00 monthly

    • $320.00

    • yes - free up to $5,000 p.a

    • no

    • no

    • 80.00%

    • $300,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the 3 Year Discount Fixed Rate

  • Promoted

    IMB Bank

    3.54% p.a. variable

    3.57% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Budget Home Loan

    Start with only 10% minimum deposit. Unrestricted additional repayments and free redraw facility.

    • 3.54% p.a. variable

    • 3.57% p.a.

    • $350

    • $0.00

    • $350.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • 90.00%

    • $75,000

    • $5,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

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

*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.

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