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

Kelly Emmerton

11 Jan 2019

Rba rate rise home loan hike content

Bank of Queensland and Virgin Money have both announced home loan rate rises this week, a move that may signal a new round of out of cycle home loan rate rises. Mozo Data Manager Peter Marshall said rising rates could lead to an RBA rate cut - or two - in the first half of the year.

Bank of Queensland has announced hikes to its home loan rate of between 0.11% and 0.18%, making it the first lender to raise interest rates in 2019. The interest rate on BOQ’s Economy Owner Occupier Principal and Interest loan is set to increase by 0.11%, while other loan rates in the lender’s lineup will be rising by 0.18% and the Clear Path Owner Occupier Principal and Interest rate will remain the same.

Virgin Money announced a 0.20% rate rise for all existing customers, while owner occupier, principal and interest rates for new borrowers rose 0.05% for borrowers with a loan-to-value ratio below 80%, and 0.20% for loan-to-value ratios above 90%.

The rate changes for both lenders come into effect today, 11 January 2019.

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Over the last 6 months, just more than half the lenders in the Mozo database - 45 out of 87, to be exact - made a majority of hikes to owner occupier, principal and interest loans. These latest rate rises from Bank of Queensland and Virgin Money could signal another round of home loan rate rises from lenders this year.

“In the last round of out-of-cycle rate rises we saw, Bank of Queensland was one of the first to announce increases to its lineup. So, if history is repeating, other lenders are likely to follow suit,” Mozo Data Manager Peter Marshall said.

Lenders have overwhelmingly blamed past rate rises on increased funding pressure, a sentiment BOQ’s Lyn McGrath echoed this week.

“Continuing funding cost pressures and intense competition for term deposits have contributed to this decision,” she said.

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Marshall said that if another round of increases starts, it may prompt the RBA to lower the official cash rate sooner than expected.

“Household debt is high, wages are stagnant and people are really starting to tighten their belts. If lenders keep raising rates, the RBA may look to counter rate rises resulting from funding pressures with a rate cut of its own,” he said.

Most analysts don’t expect to see movement from the Reserve Bank before 2020, but Marshall said it wouldn’t be a major shock if change came earlier, or even if we saw two RBA rate cuts this year.

“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 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.”

Even without rate cuts from the banks, there’s hope for home buying hopefuls who know where to look, with rates as low as 3.44%* available, according to Mozo’s database. Head over to our home loan comparison tool to start your search for a low rate loan.

*Reduce Home Loans Rate Lovers Variable Home Loan, 80% LVR for a $300,000 loan has a 3.44% interest rate (3.51% comparison rate) at the time of writing

Hot home loans 2019

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • loans.com.au
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge" style="width:60px;">

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

    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. variable

    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. Winner of two Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    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. Winner of two Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

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

    • 2.47% p.a.

    • $520

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $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

    1.75% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.22% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    1.75% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.22% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application. 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. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • 1.75% p.a.
      fixed 3 years

    • 2.22% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • 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 30 September 2022. Receive 1.75% 3 year fixed rate when you apply by 29 April 2021 and settle within 90 days.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.43% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<70%

    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.43% p.a.

    Get a flexible loan structure with up to six loan accounts with different rate types. Make free extra repayments. Enjoy free redraw facility. No upfront or ongoing fees. Option to earn Qantas points.

    Basic Home Loan

    Get a flexible loan structure with up to six loan accounts with different rate types. Make free extra repayments. Enjoy free redraw facility. No upfront or ongoing fees. Option to earn Qantas points.

    • 2.09% p.a.
      fixed 3 years

    • 2.43% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 70.00%

    • $150,000

    • $750,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Monthly

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

    Details Close

  • Athena
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge" style="width:60px;">

    2.19% p.a. variable

    2.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    2.19% p.a. variable

    2.19% p.a.

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid off. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees to consider. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid off. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees to consider. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    • 2.19% p.a. variable

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $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

  • Tic:Toc

    1.89% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    2.15% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    1.89% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    2.15% p.a.

    Award-winning low rate home loan that could save you thousands. No application or ongoing fees, fee-free redraws, unlimited additional repayments and an optional offset account for $10/month. Minimum 10% deposit. Winner of Mozo’s Experts Choice Award for Online Home Lender of the Year 2021.^

    Fixed Home Loan

    Award-winning low rate home loan that could save you thousands. No application or ongoing fees, fee-free redraws, unlimited additional repayments and an optional offset account for $10/month. Minimum 10% deposit. Winner of Mozo’s Experts Choice Award for Online Home Lender of the Year 2021.^

    • 1.89% p.a.
      fixed 2 years

    • 2.15% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $325.00

    • yes - free, up to $20,000 p.a.

    • yes - free

    • Optional - $10 per month

    • $0

    • 90.00%

    • $50,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

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

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards