RBA August announcement: 2% cash rate locked in for another month

The Reserve Bank of Australia has met the expectations of Australian economists and left the official cash rate at a record low 2% at today’s board meeting.

The decision to leave the cash rate steady for another month comes after a slightly turbulent period in the wake of the Greek and China stock market drop.

Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement that global financial conditions remain very accommodative, "despite fluctuations in markets associated with the respective developments in China and Greece, long-term borrowing rates for most sovereigns and creditworthy private borrowers remain remarkably low."

"In Australia, the available information suggests that the economy has continued to grow. While the rate of growth has been somewhat below longer-term averages, it has been associated with somewhat stronger growth of employment and a steady rate of unemployment over the past year." 

Home loan investor shake up

With the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority requiring lenders to reduce their investment loan books to under 10% growth each year, the biggest news in the mortgage world is around the changes being made to home loans for investors. A number of providers have announced they will be increasing rates for investors and will reduce their maximum LVR requirements to meet this requirement.

ANZ will lift its variable rates on its Residential Investment Property Loan by 0.27% to 5.65% and fixed rates for new residential investment lending will jump up by 30 basis points.

CommBank will increase its rates by 0.27% to 5.72% p.a on its Standard Variable Rate for investor home loans and will also lift rates by 0.10% to 0.40% for 1,2,3,4 and 5 year fixed rate investor home loans.

NAB and UBank will also lift variable rates by 29 basis points for investment loans and interest only home loans and Westpac has announced it will make changes for investors on its 2 year intro period rate for the Flexi First Option Home Loan.

While lenders are clamping down on investor loans, there are still plenty of competitive home loan deals available. So if you’re an investor after a great deal head on over to our investment loan hub or compare our entire database by using our home loan comparison tool here.

Savings accounts stay steady

Record low interest rates have continued to see most lenders hold savings accounts rates. However a few lenders have reduced their savings rates, including Westpac dropping the ongoing bonus rate on its Reward Saver account for the second month in a row and Bankwest cutting rates on its TeleNet Saver, Hero Saver and the Smart eSaver.

The good news is there are still a range of lenders offering competitive savings account deals, with the best ongoing conditional rate offered by RAMS’ Saver at 3.60%, followed by ING Direct’s Savings Maximiser at 3.50% and UBank’s USaver with Ultra at 3.37%.

Want to see what other great savings deals are out there? Visit our savings account hub to kick off your comparison.

Read last month's Reserve Bank interest rates update.

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