This week we saw the first refreshed approach to RBA monetary policy meetings; a two-day meeting, followed by a statement from the board, a press conference from the governor, and then the release of the February statement on monetary policy.

The messaging from the RBA, some argued, was more hawkish than expected given soft inflation figures and evidence of an economy well in 'soft landing' territory.

This comes as New Zealand and its central bank, with their economic data points tending to lead ours by a few months, stares down the barrel of another two rate hikes, which would take its cash rate to 6% - according to ANZ economic forecasts.

However 'hawkish' is relative at Australia's central bank, more like a Charmeleon rather than a Charizard in Pokemon terms.

"We’re not ruling in or out anything. We are focused on bringing inflation down. We still think the risks are balanced but as you would know, the further out we go with our forecasts the more uncertainty there is around them," Governor Bullock said in her press conference.

So, what does that mean on the Aussie home loan front? Banks are gonna bank.

We witnessed this week a fairly mild series of repricing on the variable-rate front, while fixed rates continued to fluctuate. 

Keep in mind these rate movements are likely for new customers only.

Suncorp varies special offer variable rates

Product Advertised rate % p.a. (Comparison rate*) Movement
Back to Basics Better Together 80-90% 6.39% (6.40%) -0.05
Inv Back to Basics Better Together <70%  6.44% (6.45%) +0.10

Suncorp tended to move rates upwards on lower-LVR special offer products, exemplifying the return-to-normal funding market and the reduced incentive for big equity refinances and big deposits.

The above rates are special offers paying P&I. Various 'Home Package Plus' rates were also changed.

Australian Unity adjusts fixed and variable rates upwards

Product Advertised rate % p.a. (Comparison rate*) Movement
Kick Starter Discounted Variable <70% 6.13% (6.12%) +0.05
Kick Starter Discounted Variable 70-80% 6.18% (6.17%) +0.05
Health, Wealth, Happiness Fixed 1 Year 70-80% 6.89% (6.43%) +0.35

Australian Unity also adjusted its standard variable rates (SVR) upwards by 5 basis points.

Heritage and People's Choice make moves on fixed rates

Product Advertised rate % p.a. (Comparison rate*) Movement
OO 1 Year Fixed 6.44% (8.64%) -0.25
OO 2 Years Fixed 6.29% (8.37%) -0.20
OO 3 Years Fixed 6.19% (8.12%) -0.10
OO 4 Years Fixed 6.19% (7.91%) -0.10
Inv 1 Year Fixed 6.64% (9.23%) -0.25
Inv 2 Years Fixed 6.49% (8.91%) -0.20
Inv 3 Years Fixed 6.39% (8.62%) -0.10
Inv 4 Years Fixed 6.39% (8.37%) -0.10

Packaged rates were also varied, however those products command a maximum LVR of 80%, instead of the usual 95%.

The above rates relate specifically to People's Choice, however the joint outfit, now called People First Bank, largely moved rates by similar proportions.

Other moves

  • reprices variable rates, including intro rates, by up to 70 basis points
  • Summerland Bank decreases fixed rates by up to 20 basis points

Image generated via DALLE OpenAI ChatGPT