RBA holds cash rate in March 2024: 'Inflation continues to moderate'

A collage featuring RBA Governor Michele Bullock giving a speech to the media

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) again held the cash rate at 4.35% in March 2024, marking the fourth consecutive Monetary Policy Decision to leave the central bank’s rate unchanged.  

The last time the RBA held the cash rate this long (between Jul-Oct ‘23), they followed it up with a 25 basis-point hike in November 2023.

In a statement released by the RBA, the central bank says inflation is moderating in line with its forecast, but that the outlook for the economy "remains highly uncertain". 

While higher interest rates are working to create a more sustainable balance between supply and demand, it says, the Board expects inflation to return to the target range of 2 to 3% in 2025, with the midpoint of that band expected in 2026.

"There also remains a high level of uncertainty around the outlook for the Chinese economy and the implications of the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Domestically, there are uncertainties regarding the lags in the effect of monetary policy and how firms’ pricing decisions and wages will respond to the slower growth in the economy at a time of excess demand, and while the labour market remains tight.

"The outlook for household consumption also remains uncertain."

While the RBA said last month it wouldn’t rule out further hikes if deemed necessary, it’s looking increasingly likely we’ll see cuts in the second half of this year.  

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) puts the annual inflation rate at 3.4% over the 12 months to January 2024. 

Before we see any cuts, the RBA wants to see the inflation rate fall within 2 to 3% (its ‘target band’). 

So, while we’re not there yet, 2024 is looking promising – especially for those with a home loan. 

Interest rates on home loans have ballooned since May 2022, potentially adding thousands of dollars to borrowers’ annual mortgage repayments.

A hold on the cash rate is still good news, however. 

You’re less likely to experience increases to your home loan interest rate, as lenders have no cost increases to saddle you with. 

It also means you can compare home loans with a degree of confidence that the refinance rates you find are less likely to rise this month. Just note that there are plenty of other reasons lenders choose to increase rates.

At the moment, variable home loans are charging 6.82% p.a. on average (owner-occupied, principal and interest, $400,000, <80% LVR), according to the Mozo database on 18 March 2024. 

This is slightly down from the start of this month when the average was 6.85% p.a. – not a huge difference, but encouraging to watch the average drop. 

Fixed-rate home loans are where the real reductions are happening right now, especially on 3-year terms.

The average 3-year fixed-rate home loan (owner-occupied, principal and interest, $400,000, <80% LVR) is currently 6.28% p.a. which is down from 6.34 at the start of the month. 

While it’s tempting to lock into a fixed rate now, it’s important to remember that if the cash rate drops, variable rates are likely to follow. So you mightn’t want to be stuck paying a higher interest rate than you have to for a number of years, watching variable rates get lower and lower. 

As always, if anything changes, we’ll be keeping an eye on rate movements and bringing you home loan news as we get it.

Read last month's Reserve Bank interest rates update.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

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Last updated 15 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Discount Variable Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    A low rate home loan for owner-occupiers packed with great features including unlimited extra repayments, free online redraw, no application or monthly admin fees. Rate will vary depending on LVR. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Low Cost Home Loan Award^

  • Variable Home Loan 90

    • Principal and Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.04 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,011
    Go to site

    Affordable home loan rate for buyers or refinancers. No monthly or ongoing fees. Option to add an offset for 0.10%. Access to savings with unlimited redraws available. Minimum 10% deposit required.

  • Fixed Rate Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.15 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027

    Additional repayments of up to $10K per fixed year. Interest rate discounts available. Waiver of $499 application fee when combined with an Orange Advantage Home Loan.

  • The Better Home Loan Special Offer

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<80%
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a variable rate home loan with a bunch of features from Police Credit Union. Make extra repayments at any time without penalty. No monthly, annual or upfront fees. Free online redraw. Minimum 20% deposit. Qualifying criteria applies. Minimum loan amount is 200K. For new customers only. Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Credit Union of the Year 2023.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Fixed
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.20 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
    Go to site

    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.

  • Fixed Rate

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • <80% LVR
    Interest rate
    6.59 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    7.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,190

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

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* 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.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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