No tricks this halloween: RBA interest rates remain on hold at 1.50%
Tuesday 03 October 2017
Article by Kelly Emmerton
As expected, the Reserve Bank has left interest rates on hold at 1.50% again this October, and likely won’t make another change until next year.
October will be the fourteenth month that the official cash rate has stalled at 1.50%, having dropped to the record low in August last year. Stagnant wages and high household debt remain a hurdle for monetary policy, and it seems that the Reserve Bank is content to play the waiting game for a while longer.
In his statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said, “The Australian economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the June quarter. This outcome and other recent data are consistent with the Bank's expectation that growth in the Australian economy will gradually pick up over the coming year."
And though recent signals from the RBA have hinted at a positive outlook for the economy and higher rates in Australia’s future, most experts aren’t expecting to see a change before 2018.
Treats for home loan borrowers
They’re yet to offer a bag of Halloween candy as a bonus, but home loan lenders aren't waiting for the RBA to cut rates, instead wooing borrowers with something even better this October - newly lowered interest rates.
Owner-occupiers willing to make principal and interest repayments have snagged the lionshare of recent rate cuts, though investors have also caught a break, with lenders reversing some of the rate hikes from previous months.
In hot news, bcu dropped its fixed rates to just 3.50% across terms 1-5 years - massive reductions that catapulted it to best-in-market for all but one term.
So if you’re keen to sort out your home loan while rates are at rock bottom, here’s where to start:
Best variable rate home loan offers
- Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster Variable - 3.44% (comparison rate: 3.51%)
- FreedomLend Variable Home Loan - 3.54% (comparison rate: 3.55%)
- Homestar Variable Rate Loan - 3.54% (comparison rate: 3.59%)
- bcu OMG Home Loan - 3.60% (comparison rate: 3.86%)
- iMortgage Fusion 80 - 3.62% (comparison rate: 3.77%)
Head over to our comparison table to see other top variable rate home loans.
Best fixed rate home loan offers
- 1 year - 3.49% - Greater Bank (comparison rate: 4.47%)
- 2 year - 3.50% - bcu (comparison rate: 4.73%)
- 3 year - 3.50% - bcu (comparison rate: 4.25%)
- 4 year - 3.50% - bcu (comparison rate: 4.59%)
- 5 year - 3.50% - bcu (comparison rate: 4.18%)
Check out other fixed rate home loan options in our comparison table.
Scary times for savers
Savers, on the other hand, aren’t having such a good time with persistently low interest rates. In August, Mozo reported the largest number of term deposit rate cuts all year and September carried on the trend. With no RBA rate hike in sight for the rest of the year, October is set to be a flat time for savers as well.
Which is why it’s more important than ever to get on top of your finances and sniff out a great rate of return for your rainy day fund. To get you started, here are some of the top spots to park your cash.
Best savings accounts
- RAMS Saver Account - 3.00% (with a minimum deposit of $200 and no withdrawals in the month)
- AMP Bett3r Save Account - 3.00% (with a minimum deposit of $2,000 per month into linked Bett3r Pay Account)
- ME Online Savings Account - 2.95% (when you make a weekly Tap & Go purchase with your ME Everyday Transaction Account Debit MasterCard)
- Australian Unity Active Saver - 2.90% (with a minimum deposit of $250 and no withdrawals in the month)
- UBank USaver - 2.87% (with a minimum deposit of at least $200 per month to linked transaction account)
Check out our savings account comparison table to find other high interest options.
Best term deposits
- 1 year - 2.80% - Police Bank
- 2 year - 3.10% - Qudos Bank
- 3 year - 3.20% - Qudos Bank
- 4 year - 3.00% - Big Sky, Credit Union SA, Heritage Bank, ME, People’s Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, RaboDirect, RACQ Bank
- 5 year - 3.25% - RaboDirect
Check out other great term deposit options with our term deposit search tool.
Switch & Save Calculator
Compare savings from over 100 credit cards. How much could you save by switching your credit card? Find out in a few clicks.
Read our last month Reserve Bank interest rates update