RBA holds interest rates steady at 1.50% for Easter
Unsurprisingly, the Reserve Bank announced today that interest rates would stay put at 1.50% for April.
This was the popular prediction for this month’s decision, with most economists expecting that Australia won’t see another official cash rate change until late this year, or even 2018.
In his statement, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said there were a number of positive economic indicators and that, “The outlook continues to be supported by the low level of interest rates."
Steep property prices have been a concern for regulation authorities lately, but given the widespread out-of-cycle rate hikes by banks and recent lending restrictions imposed by APRA it’s likely the Reserve Bank will avoid making a move for the near future.
In his statement, Lowe said, "Growth in household borrowing, largely to purchase housing, continues to outpace growth in household income. By reinforcing strong lending standards, the recently announced supervisory measures should help address the risks associated with high and rising levels of indebtedness."
Mortgage rate hikes multiplying like bunnies
The Reserve Bank may be standing still, but the same cannot be said for banks. In March, Mozo recorded interest rate hikes from 32 lenders, including all four big banks. Add to this tightened restrictions on lending for interest-only borrowers and investors, and things aren’t looking bright for home loan hopefuls.
And all indications seem to point toward more rate hikes on the horizon, so before you jet off for an Easter break, make sure you check that your home loan is the best deal for you. To get you started, here are some of the top home loan offers in the market:
Best variable rate home loan offers
- Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster Variable - 3.39% (comparison rate: 3.46%)
- Homestar Owner Occupier Loan - 3.49% (comparison rate: 3.53%)
- FreedomLend Variable Home Loan - 3.53% (comparison rate: 3.53%)
- loans.com.au Essentials Variable - 3.59% (comparison rate: 3.61%)
- Mortgage House Special Variable Home Loan - 3.59% (comparison rate: 4.03%)
And for those looking to lock in a great rate before any more rate hikes happen, there are still some good fixed rate offers around:
Best fixed rate home loan offers
- 1 year - 3.59% - Greater Bank (comparison rate: 4.42%)
- 2 year - 3.59% - Select Encompass Credit Union (comparison rate: 4.12%)
- 3 year - 3.59% - Easy Street (comparison rate: 4.01%)
- 4 year - 3.75% - BCU (comparison rate: 4.24%)
- 5 year - 4.10% - BCU (comparison rate: 4.37%)
Need help finding the best mortgage offer for you? Drop a line to our resident home loan negotiator and he'll help you haggle a great deal.
Where does this leave savers?
Savings interest rates have stagnated a bit lately, with no really notable changes to mention. So those looking to really make the most of their rainy day funds will need to get proactive about finding a great deal.
Here are some of the best savings account offers around for your stash.
Best savings accounts
- ME Online Savings Account - 3.05% (when you make a weekly Tap & Go purchase with your ME Everyday Transaction Account Debit MasterCard)
- AMP Bett3r Save Account - 3.00% (with a minimum deposit of $2,000 per month into linked Bett3r Pay Account)
- Australian Unity Active Saver - 3.00% (with a minimum deposit of $250 and no withdrawals in the month)
- ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser - 3.00% (when you also have an Orange Everyday and deposit $1,000 each month)
- RAMS Saver Account - 3.00% (with a minimum deposit of $200 and no withdrawals in the month)
- Newcastle Permanent Smart Saver Account - 3.00% (when you increase the account balance by $150 (excluding interest) and make no more than two withdrawals in the month)
Head over to our savings account comparison table to see some of the other deals around.
For savers looking to lock in a great rate, there are still some decent deals around if you know where to look. Check out these term deposit offers:
Best term deposits
- 1 year - 3.00% - Teachers Mutual Bank, Unibank
- 2 year - 3.20% - Greater Bank
- 3 year - 3.30% - Greater Bank
- 4 year - 3.40% - Greater Bank
- 5 year - 3.50% - Greater Bank
Take our term deposit search tool for a whirl if you’re looking for a different term or offer.
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