Finance advice
Philippe Brach

What mortgage holders need to know about Westpac’s rate hike

By Philippe Brach

An interest rate increase of 0.20 per cent has been announced by Westpac this week, with the rate hike applying to all mortgages – whether owner-occupied or for investment purposes.

Blogger: Philippe Brach, CEO, Multifocus Properties and Finance

It’s not the best news property owners have heard of late, but there’s no need to despair just yet.

In the last month or two, a number of banks and lenders announced an interest rate increase of up to 0.47 per cent on investment property mortgages. This was in response to action taken by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which is enforcing new regulations that ultimately have the effect of increasing the cost of providing mortgages.

APRA isn’t doing this just for kicks – they’re worried about certain over-heated parts of Australia’s property market, and they want to ensure our banks remain among the safest in the world.

But here’s the corporate reality: banks are in the business of turning profits. Big, billion-dollar profits.

When APRA came along and enforced regulatory change that affected their bottom line, then the banks were forced to look for other avenues to increase their income.

Westpac has become the first of the big four banks to raise rates out of cycle in response, but I don’t believe they will be the last.

Interestingly, I was chatting to a contact at RAMS (which is owned by Westpac), and he confirmed that RAMS will not be following suit and raising their mortgage interest rates. The increase only applies to Westpac-branded loans at this stage, not St George, Bank of Melbourne or BankSA.

But in my view, it’s only a matter of time before other major lenders begin following Westpac’s lead.

Where does this leave mortgage-holders?

Obviously, a rate increase is never good news, but property owners shouldn't be panicking just yet.

It’s quite likely that the Reserve Bank will reduce the official cash rate in the near future, perhaps as early as Melbourne Cup Day – although, I don’t think it will be because of Westpac’s latest move.

One of the primary goals of the RBA is to stimulate business investment and at present, our economy is not in good shape.

In announcing its October 2015 decision to leave rates on hold at two per cent, Glenn Stevens confirmed that “[economic] growth has been somewhat below longer-term averages for some time”, adding that “monetary policy needs to be accommodative”.

The retail sector is about to experience its busiest and most profitable time of the year, and if Christmas shopping spending isn'’t robust and localised – meaning consumers opt to spend their retail dollars within Australia, rather than purchasing from overseas – then that will put further pressure on the economy.

As a consequence of this and other influences, a move by the RBA to reduce the official cash rate seems imminent.

That said, I'm not certain that any rate relief from the central bank will be passed on in full by lenders. We may also see further bank-initiated increases interest rates across the board, due to the pressure to comply with APRA’s requirements by mid-2016.

With any luck, from a mortgage perspective, the two will ultimately balance each other out and you won’t see your home loan interest rate break the five per cent barrier any time soon. 

 

 

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About the Blogger

Philippe Brach

Philippe Brach

Multifocus Properties & Finance was established in 2005 with the aim of mentoring investors to create wealth and invest in their future by building an investment property portfolio.

The company is led by Philippe Brach who has over 25 years experience in the international corporate world specializing in finance, accounting and investment. He is a fully qualified and extremely experienced real estate agent, concentrating his attention solely on investment opportunities around Australia. In addition he is a highly regarded mortgage broker, being accredited with around 35 different lenders.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Caifu Property\u2019s Automatic Equity program is designed to add a minimum of double the value of your salary to your portfolio every 12-18 months.\u00a0The program deals with five to six figures of instant equity, helps time poor investors generate equity in the shortest time possible without compromising your lifestyle or demanding your time.\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, Drew Evans joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary, to discuss the softening of traditionally strong markets and why he believes that investors should still see opportunities to create equity.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode, hear from\u00a0Drew about:<\/p>\r\n

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

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      More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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When buying property, it’s important to focus on what’s important. Investor Katarina Taurian shares just what exactly is important to her: having the mindset of looking past superficial cosmetic matters and homing in on the structural suitability and potential of a property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Katarina joins host Tim Neary to unpack her entry into the property market and experiences of rentvesting, and how the Smart Property Investment Show was vital  in a number of decisions which she made along the way.

Katarina discusses about the team that she had help her along the way, why she thinks that you should never skimp on a good solicitor and accountant, and the red flags which tell her why buying a new property doesn’t necessarily mean buying a better property.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Why buying new property doesn’t mean buying better property

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