Fixed versus variable rates: which is best?

Most economists think the Reserve Bank of Australia has a bias towards cutting interest rates as the mining boom cools and inflation remains contained. So [...]

POSTED ON September 20, 2012
Borrowers more confident with variable rates

The percentage of new borrowers choosing variable rate home loans rose in June for the third consecutive month as rate cuts hit home, according to [...]

POSTED ON July 16, 2012
New home buyers in NSW get big grants

As widely forecast, the New South Wales Budget, which was handed down yesterday, includes significant changes to the state’s First Home Owner Grant Scheme. From [...]

POSTED ON June 13, 2012
BOQ cuts standard variable rate by 0.20%

Bank of Queensland has announced it will reduce its standard variable home loan rate and its variable business loan rates by 20 basis points. BOQ [...]

POSTED ON June 6, 2012
Banks can afford rate cuts says Swan

ANZ will make its rates decision at its monthly mortgage committee meeting on Friday and the other banks are not expected to move before then. [...]

POSTED ON June 6, 2012
NAB continues to attract switchers

National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne said the bank continued to grow its number of mortgage customers. “We've seen substantial switching over the last [...]

POSTED ON May 10, 2012
UBank and CUA announce variable loan rate cuts

Pricing differentials between major banks on their home loan rates will become more compressed, with Commonwealth Bank dropping its variable rate loans by 40 basis [...]

POSTED ON May 4, 2012
Three year fixed rates lower than variable rates

A fall in fixed rates has increased the portion of home-buyers who buy fixed-rate mortgages. Lenders have dropped their three-year fixed interest rates by 1.11 [...]

POSTED ON April 4, 2012
RBA warns banks not to raise rates again

Australian Bankers' Association chief Steven Munchenberg said banks needed to balance the interests of savers and people borrowing money for houses or running a business. [...]

POSTED ON March 23, 2012
Suncorp focuses on mortgages and deposits

One bank with few worries over conditions in the wholesale financial markets is Suncorp Bank. It has a deposit-to-loan ratio of 69.4 per cent - [...]

POSTED ON February 23, 2012
Average home loan size falls below $300K

The housing finance market has recorded nine months of steady growth, making up the ground lost when it went into a sharp decline in late [...]

POSTED ON January 17, 2012
Tasmanian house prices flat in 2012

Hobart house prices are set to grow by between 0 per cent and 3 per cent in 2012, according to Australian Property Monitors (APM). APM [...]

POSTED ON December 30, 2011
Fixed rates still cheaper than variable

Citibank's Aaron Milburn said now might be the most opportune time for borrowers to lock in a fixed mortgage rate. Milburn said even if the [...]

POSTED ON December 23, 2011
Credit unions offer best loan rates

Mutuals are currently offering the best available variable interest mortgage rates, at 6.57 per cent, compared with the best rate among the big four banks [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Westpac wants to lend to big farmers

Westpac has launched an aggressive campaign to win the banking business of Australia's 2500 biggest farmers. Graham Jennings, head of Westpac's agribusiness and regional commercial [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
Lenders announce variable rate cuts

A number of lenders announced interest rate changes yesterday in the wake of Tuesday’s RBA rate cut of 0.25 per cent. ING Direct, Suncorp, Bankwest, [...]

POSTED ON November 3, 2011
ING DIRECT increases LVR to 95 per cent

ING DIRECT has announced it will enhance the maximum LVR available for customers planning to build their own home or investment property to 95 per [...]

POSTED ON September 26, 2011
Fixed rates now well below variable rates

More than 14 lenders have cut fixed rates last week, with most amending their two- and three-year terms. The average movements have been minus 0.28 [...]

POSTED ON August 26, 2011
Variable rates up, fixed rates flat

Despite much-publicised reductions in standard variable mortgage rates by Aussie, Mortgage House and MyRate over the past couple of months, the trend so far this [...]

POSTED ON May 3, 2011
Melbourne leads property price plunge

Melbourne house prices are falling at the fastest rate in two-and-a-half years. Official data showed yesterday that house prices fell 2.5 per cent in the [...]

POSTED ON May 3, 2011
Auctions results disappoint again

Auctions continued to disappoint vendors as clearance lingered in the fifty per cent range and lower in capital cities this weekend. In Sydney, there were [...]

POSTED ON May 2, 2011
ING to waive fees on high LVR loans

ING DIRECT will waive the reduced equity fee (REF) on loans with an LVR of up to 85 per cent. “We’ve launched this promotion to [...]

POSTED ON April 20, 2011
CommSec offers 5.5 per cent cash rate

The country's biggest online broker has a two-tiered pricing structure, depending on whether you are an internet-preferred or a standard customer. Internet-preferred customers have a [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2011
100% LVR loans dead & buried

The days of 100 per cent lending are all but over, QBE LMI’s chief executive Ian Graham has claimed. “The National Consumer Credit Protection Act [...]

POSTED ON April 13, 2011
Borrowers reject fixed rates for variable

Variable rate home loans are attracting more interest from new borrowers than they have since October last year as borrowers reject fixed rates said Mortgage [...]

POSTED ON April 6, 2011
Good borrowers getting rate discounts

Banks and other lenders are increasingly offering rate discounts to good borrowers. Sheyne Walsh, head of lending at financial planner Centric Wealth, says: “A few [...]

POSTED ON February 17, 2011
Borrowers to get a loan fact sheet

Every new home loan borrower will be presented with a plain-English one page fact sheet before they sign up, explaining all major elements of the [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2010
Rates and prices predicted to keep rising

Australian house prices will rise between 9 and 20 per cent in capital cities over the next three years according to new research by BIS [...]

POSTED ON October 13, 2010
First home buyers to be hit by rate rises

First home buyers will be the major casualties if the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) or lenders lift interest rates, a national survey has found. [...]

POSTED ON October 13, 2010
LVRs keep going up and up

More lenders are reintroducing lending up to 95 per cent loan to valuation ratios but 100 per cent loans will not be returning to the [...]

POSTED ON September 10, 2010
Mortgage brokers may not give independent advice

People who approach mortgage brokers for advice about the best mortgage for their personal circumstances may not be getting impartial advice because some big lenders [...]

POSTED ON August 11, 2010
Variable and fixed rates are the same

The average three-year fixed mortgage rate for banks fell 0.2 per cent over the last six months, from 7.70 per cent in January to 7.50 [...]

POSTED ON August 10, 2010
90% LVR loans hard to come by

Loan to valuation ratios on new loans from banks and other ADIs are modestly lower at present, in part thanks to the removal of the [...]

POSTED ON May 19, 2010
Property prices and rates to go up

A record number of Australians are preparing for property prices to increase in coming months, as demand for housing continues to outpace supply. The latest [...]

POSTED ON May 5, 2010
Mortgages just keep getting bigger

The average new mortgage arranged in Australia in November reached $367,000, the highest on record, according to AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker. The AFG Mortgage [...]

POSTED ON December 4, 2009
Big correction in house prices coming

The great Australian dream of home ownership is slipping away leaving a major economic and social problem for future governments and the threat of a [...]

POSTED ON November 18, 2009
Home loan borrowers go back to basics

The popularity of fixed interest rate loans across Australia has continued to drop, according to September 2009 data from big mortgage broking chain, Mortgage Choice. [...]

POSTED ON October 15, 2009
Aussie John says check your rates

Chairman of Aussie Home Loans, Mr John Symond, today called for borrowers to look for a better loan deal for themselves following the Reserve Bank’s [...]

POSTED ON October 14, 2009
Lending up, deposits down at HSBC

HSBC may be doing better than most other foreign banks in the local lending market. The bank reported growth in home loans of 11 per [...]

POSTED ON August 4, 2009
New house price bubble forming

Low interest rates and a reduced supply of new housing are inflating Australian house prices and possibly has the potential to create a price bubble [...]

POSTED ON July 29, 2009
Sydney auction results lagging

Sydney auction results for the weekend of the 25th - 26th of July continue to lag behind the results of Melbourne and other capital cities. [...]

POSTED ON July 27, 2009
Sun, sand and mortgage stress

Beachside suburbs have experienced property price falls of up to 36 per cent since the peak of the market in 2007. Often beach suburb prices [...]

POSTED ON July 6, 2009
NSW extends first home grants

First home buyers in NSW will have the boosted federal government first home buyer's grant extended for an extra six months. The NSW government has [...]

POSTED ON June 22, 2009
Think your debt is under control?

While average credit card balances are falling as repayments go up, consumer advocates are criticising banks for ramping up their card marketing. "Lenders are doing [...]

POSTED ON June 22, 2009
Lenders back away from margin loans

Margin lending slumped 40 per cent during the March quarter, to its lowest level in nearly five years according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. [...]

POSTED ON June 10, 2009
Missing mortgage repayments no big deal

Almost a third of Australians with a mortgage said they would skip a home loan repayment in preference to doing without utilities and basic consumer [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2009
Sydney hope amid auction doom and gloom

Sydney auction results continue to show small incremental improvement. The clearance rate was up one per cent to 63 per cent after 183 properties were [...]

POSTED ON March 2, 2009
Sydney buyers slugged by stamp duty

Sydney home buyers are paying higher rates of stamp duty on residential properties than buyers in other states. The BankWest residential stamp duty report shows [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2008
St George cuts variable and fixed loan rates

St.George Bank today announced that following the RBA decision on 4 November it was lowering its standard variable home loan interest rates by 0.62% p.a. [...]

POSTED ON November 7, 2008
Deposit guarantee fees outlined

Foreign banks have been included in the federal government's deposit guarantee scheme for their short term wholesale funding raised from Australian residents and a fee [...]

POSTED ON October 27, 2008
Deposit guarantee will hurt property market

The Federal Government's bank deposit guarantee could weaken the property market mortgage finance companies are warning. "This issue has caused concern and uncertainty where it [...]

POSTED ON October 23, 2008
Interest rates to plummet to near zero

The average standard variable mortgage interest rate will be 6.3 per cent within five months according to market expectations. That would translate to repayments on [...]

POSTED ON October 17, 2008
No rate cut for GE’s mortgage managers

Many smaller mortgage providers such as Easy Living Finance who are funded by GE Money Australia will not be able to pass on any of [...]

POSTED ON October 15, 2008
Interest rates cut to 7 per cent

Yesterday the Reserve Bank Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 7 per cent, effective 3 September. Inflation in Australia [...]

POSTED ON September 3, 2008
Banks cut rates on loans and deposits

All the major banks cut their standard variable home loan interest rates by 0.25 per cent yesterday. All four announced the changes within 10 minutes [...]

POSTED ON September 3, 2008
NAB rejects interest rate plan

State government plans to regulate bank interest rates would reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of the banking system said Ahmed Fahour, chief executive of NAB. [...]

POSTED ON July 30, 2008
More help to save for house deposit

The federal government has used the budget to beef up its contributions to first-home saver accounts. The accounts will help first-home buyers to save for [...]

POSTED ON May 14, 2008
RBA keeps interest rates unchanged

In good news for home loan borrowers, the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 7.25% at [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2008
Non-bank lenders should get government support

Leading economists have called on the government to support small mortgage lenders by creating funding scheme similar to those operating in the US and Canada. [...]

POSTED ON March 27, 2008
Investment property recovery will be slow

Improving rental returns had been encouraging a few more investors back into the property market but the latest rate rise is likely to delay any [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Investors cannot ignore improved rents

The second half of 2007 has seen a surge in interest from investors in the property market the managing director of LJ Hooker, Warren McCarthy, [...]

POSTED ON February 28, 2008
Auctions show property market softening

Results from property auctions over the weekend seem to indicate that higher interest rates and deteriorating economic conditions are taking their toll. Australian Property Monitors [...]

POSTED ON February 25, 2008
Pressure builds on mortgage rates

Borrowers could face further rate increases outside of any official rates rises with key funding costs continuing to rise. The three month bank bill swap [...]

POSTED ON February 21, 2008
Revealed: RBA considers 0.50% rate rise

Minutes from the last meeting of the Reserve Bank reveal that it considered increasing interest rates by half a percentage point. The pros and cons [...]

POSTED ON February 20, 2008
Business rates up more than home loans

Rates on business loans have increased faster than for home loans according to a review conducted by the Reserve Bank. From July 2007 to January [...]

POSTED ON February 13, 2008
Borrowers try to dodge rising rates

Banks increased their share of the housing finance market from 79 per cent to 85 per cent during the second half of 2007, but the [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2008
Refinancing boosts loan volumes

Rising interest rates have prompted a surge in the level of loans being refinanced as consumers look for a better deal. A record $4.2 billion [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2008
Inflation and wage spiral worries RBA

The Reserve Bank has warned that it is ready to increase rates again as early as next month as it battles to control inflation and [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2008
Analysts forecast more rate rises

While the effects of yesterday's increase in interest rates by the Reserve Bank are yet to be seen, many economists are predicting that more increases [...]

POSTED ON February 6, 2008
Tricom rethinks margin strategy

Troubled broker Tricom Securities is under instruction from its banks to reduce its margin loan portfolio to $500 million and has said that it could [...]

POSTED ON February 5, 2008
Many households will need to tighten belts

With the Reserve Bank of Australia expected to increase interest rates again tomorrow, borrowers who bought property when prices peaked in 2003 will be paying [...]

POSTED ON February 4, 2008
Business lending up, but brakes on housing

Business lending is increasing at its fastest rate in almost 20 years with a 1.6 per cent increase in December contributing to a 24.3 per [...]

POSTED ON February 1, 2008
Housing figures point to US recession

Fears of a recession in the US are building with the latest new home sales figures showing a 27 per cent drop over 2007. The [...]

POSTED ON January 30, 2008
Melbourne houses catching up to Sydney prices

While Sydney house prices only gained 5 per cent over 2007, the stellar performers were Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide which each recorded increases of more [...]

POSTED ON January 25, 2008
US moves prop up markets

All the share market losses on Tuesday have been recovered as investors reacted to moves in the US to shore up its economy. Following a [...]

POSTED ON January 25, 2008
Misled US home buyer set to sue agent

A case due to be heard in the North County Superior Court(Carlsbad, California) in coming weeks is tipped to be the first of many as [...]

POSTED ON January 23, 2008
Banks ready to raise home loan rates

The ANZ Bank has increased its fixed home loan rates by 0.20 percentage points effective from today and executives are expected to meet today to [...]

POSTED ON January 21, 2008
Double whammy for first home buyers

Rising interest rates and steep increases in rents over the next year are expected to conspire to make it even harder for first-time buyers to [...]

POSTED ON January 21, 2008
Australia has least affordable homes

A study has found that on average an Australian family has to spend 6.1 times their entire household income to buy a home, while Americans [...]

POSTED ON January 21, 2008
Deposit rates lag mortgage rate increases

Analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia has found that banks delay passing higher interest rates to deposit customers, even though they waste no time [...]

POSTED ON January 18, 2008
Investigation into home loan switching fees

The federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has said that he will investigate ways to protect borrowers from harsh fees when refinancing their home loans. The move [...]

POSTED ON January 17, 2008
NAB hikes variable home loan rates

NAB is the first bank to lift its rates outside of any movement in the cash rate by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Continued pressure [...]

POSTED ON January 17, 2008
Consumers need to watch their rates

Borrowers should be wary of banks seeking to recover the higher cost of credit due to the global credit crunch over coming months. Total personal [...]

POSTED ON January 2, 2008
RBA stands ready to lift rates in February

Despite growing concern about international economic conditions going into 2008 in the wake of the global credit crunch, the Reserve Bank is still of a [...]

POSTED ON December 21, 2007
RBA allowed for higher cost of funding

The reason that the cash rate was not lifted again at the last Reserve Bank board meeting was the fact that the higher cost of [...]

POSTED ON December 19, 2007
Borrowers unsure about reverse mortgages

An inquiry conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has found that many people who take out a reverse mortgage do not really understand [...]

POSTED ON November 22, 2007
ALP offers tax breaks for house deposits

The Labor Party yesterday outlined its $600 million policy to help improve housing affordability. If elected, a Labor government would help people to save the [...]

POSTED ON November 5, 2007
Variable Rate Loans are just that – Variable

Recent comments from leading Australian banks that variable rate home loans may be forced to increase beyond or outside of any Reserve Bank movements have [...]

POSTED ON October 24, 2007