What does the RBA have in store for February - and the rest of 2018?

Kelly Emmerton

30 Jan 2018

Rba interest rates february 2018 content

The Reserve Bank board is set to have its first meeting of 2018 next week and although there have been predictions of a rate rise this year, Mozo’s Peter Marshall has said a change in February is unlikely.

The RBA has been sitting on its hands for a while now, with no changes to the official cash rate since August 2016.

Official rate rises have been even rarer in Australia - in fact, the last one was seven years ago, in November 2010. But according to Marshall, the low rate environment can’t last forever, and 2018 might just be the year that breaks the downward trend of Australia’s official cash rate.

“The RBA have already said they consider the ‘new normal’ cash rate to be 3.50%, which is quite a bit higher than the 1.50% we’re sitting on now. So they’ve already signalled a desire to start pushing the cash rate higher in the future,” said Marshall.

RELATED: Best home loans for January 2018: Mozo Editor’s picks

Despite that, conditions will have to be right before the Reserve Bank makes a move. Key economic indicators such as wages, employment numbers, inflation and consumer confidence levels need to start moving in the right direction to make a rate rise possible in 2018.

All this takes time, which means a February rate change is more or less off the table this year.

“I’d say there’s a growing argument for a Reserve Bank rate rise later in 2018, or maybe even two, but for February, it would be a surprise to see a change. The RBA are likely to stick to their policy of cautious slow movement this year, which means it’s too early for them to make any move at this stage of the game,” said Marshall.

One factor that might still temper the RBA’s desire to start nudging rates up is the high level of household debt Aussies are facing. With close to 30% or more than 921,000 Aussies households under mortgage stress, according to a recent report from Digital Finance Analytics, pushing interest rates higher still is not a move the Reserve Bank will make lightly.

“The banks don’t have to raise home loan rates when the RBA raises the cash rate, but there’s every chance they will. The RBA are aware of this, and will be very careful about adding any more pressure to already struggling households,” Marshall explained.

If your home loan repayments are stretching the family budget thin, you might want to consider refinancing your home loan to find a better deal. To get you started, check out some refinancing loans in the table below.

Competitive loans to refinance your mortgage

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

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

    1.85% p.a.variable for 24 months and then 2.25% p.a.

    2.21% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    2 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    1.85% p.a.variable for 24 months and then 2.25% p.a.

    2.21% p.a.

    New super low introductory rate home loan for two years. Min 20% deposit. No monthly or ongoing fees. Fast settlement times. Mozo award-winning online lender. Friendly, local Australian based team.

    Smart Booster Home Loan

    New super low introductory rate home loan for two years. Min 20% deposit. No monthly or ongoing fees. Fast settlement times. Mozo award-winning online lender. Friendly, local Australian based team.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $520

    • 1.85% p.a.variable for 24 months and then 2.25% p.a.

    • 2.21% p.a.

    • $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

    p.a.

    n/a

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    n/a

    Fast, easy to apply and no ongoing fees. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 1 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    UHomeLoan

    Fast, easy to apply and no ongoing fees. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 1 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 during fixed rate term

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • n/a

    • $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 2021.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    p.a.

    2.32% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

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

    p.a.

    2.32% p.a.

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

    Basic Home Loan

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.32% p.a.

    • $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;">

    1.99% p.a.

    1.99% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    1.99% p.a.

    1.99% p.a.

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

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

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

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 1.99% p.a.

    • 1.99% p.a.

    • $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

  • Virgin Money

    p.a.

    2.62% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR <80%, 300k+

    p.a.

    2.62% p.a.

    Enjoy $3,000 cashback when you refinance with Virgin Money (T&Cs apply). Additional repayments up to $10,000 per annum. Reverts to the discounted variable rate on expiry of the fixed term.

    Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Enjoy $3,000 cashback when you refinance with Virgin Money (T&Cs apply). Additional repayments up to $10,000 per annum. Reverts to the discounted variable rate on expiry of the fixed term.

    • $10.00 monthly

    • $350.00

    • yes - up to $10,000 per annum

    • no

    • no

    • $450

    • p.a.

    • 2.62% p.a.

    • $450

    • 80.00%

    • $300,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $3,000 cashback for new borrowings of at least $300,000, applications by 29 August 2021, settled by 26 November 2021.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards