NAB's group of economists held out longer than most, forecasting an RBA rate hike in February, long after their ANZ, Westpac, and CBA compatriots called a hold. 

Finally on Wednesday, those at National Australia Bank changed their tune, calling a hold; until recently, they maintained that even despite soft economic data coming through, the RBA would need to go one more as an insurance policy of sorts.

The call for a hold comes despite NAB economists forecasting inflation to pick up once again in the first quarter of 2024.

The ASX's rate tracker - derived from polling trading analysts - ascribes just a 3% probability of an RBA hike in February, as of 18 January. 

So, what does this mean for home loan rate movements? Well, they've been all over the shop, some up and some down.

Hiked variable rates likely signal a message from a bank they would rather protect their margins than doll out mortgages at more competitive rates in the name of growth.

NAB's CEO Ross McEwan explained this to investors way back in November 2022 succinctly, after the RBA had made 275 basis points' worth of rate hikes in six months:

"Across the board the margins are getting squeezed pretty heavily and you do have to watch that you’re not taking on business that you may regret over the next 12 to 24 months."

It's likely any of the following variable-rate movements affect only new customers, rather than existing. 

Auswide Bank varies fixed-rate mortgages by up to 40bps

Product Movement New Advertised Rate % p.a. (comparison rate*)
Freedom Package Fixed 1 Year 70-80% LVR +40bps 6.39 (7.04)
Freedom Package Fixed 2 Years 70-80% LVR -35bps 6.49 (7.02)

The Bundaberg-based bank varied rates on fixed mortgages this week, across different LVRs.

Customers can borrow anywhere from $100,000 up to $3.5 million.

The rates above also apply to those on the Home Guarantee Scheme, enabling first home buyers to borrow up to 95% of the property's value without paying lenders mortgage insurance. 

Summerland Bank cuts fixed-rate mortgages by up to 20bps

Product Movement New Advertised Rate % p.a. (comparison rate*)
Standard Fixed 3 Years -5bps 6.24 (6.92)
Standard Fixed 4 Years -20bps 6.39 (6.92)
Standard Fixed 5 Years -20bps 6.39 (6.87)
Inv Standard Fixed 3 Years -5bps 6.49 (7.41)
Inv Standard Fixed 4 Years -20bps 6.64 (7.38)
Inv Standard Fixed 5 Years -20bps 6.64 (7.31)

The Lismore NSW-based institution made a series of movements to longer-term fixed rates this week; standard products require 90% LVR, or a 10% deposit.

Special-offer discounted rates were also cut by similar margins, with different LVRs applicable.

It should be noted standard products require a $30,000 minimum home loan size, while special offer rates require at least $150,000.

ME Bank hikes fixed and variable rates by 10bps

Product Movement New Advertised Rate % p.a. (comparison rate*)
Basic Home Loan 80% LVR +10bps 6.17 (6.19)
Member Package $400k+ 80% LVR +10bps 6.24 (6.63)

ME hiked owner occupier variable rates this week, the bulk of which applied to Member Package products with various LVRs and borrowing amounts. 

The Member Package series, for a $395 annual fee, waives the valuation fee ($200), and fees for top-ups ($250) - top-ups allow you to access equity in your home for purposes such as renovations and other purchases such as cars.

Top-ups increase your debt levels and ultimately the amount of interest you pay.

Beyond Bank cuts fixed-rate mortgages by up to 20bps

Product Movement New Advertised Rate % p.a. (comparison rate*)
Fixed 1 Year -10bps 7.14 (8.58)
Fixed 2 Years -20bps 7.04 (8.40)
Fixed 3 Years -20bps 7.04 (8.25)
Fixed 4 Years -10bps 7.14 (8.15)
Fixed 5 Years -10bps 7.14 (8.03)
Inv Fixed 1 Year -10bps 7.39 (8.86)
Inv Fixed 2 Years -20bps 7.29 (8.68)
Inv Fixed 3 Years -20bps 7.29 (8.52)
Inv Fixed 4 Years -10bps 7.39 (8.42)
Inv Fixed 5 Years -10bps 7.39 (8.30)

The sixth-biggest customer owned back in terms of assets ($12.6 billion) cut a wide array of fixed home loan rates this week, by between 10 and 20 basis points.

The above products require a maximum LVR of 90%, with a loan size anywhere from $10,000 to $2 million.

The relatively high comparison rate can be explained by the fees chargeable: A $445 establishment fee; $200 settlement; $345 discharge; at-cost valuation; and $35 search fees may apply.

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