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Is ‘ultra-cheap’ funding on its way out?

By Grace Ormsby 21 October 2021 | 1 minute read

A second big four bank has gone and hiked its fixed home loan rates for owner-occupiers.

RateCity research director Sally Tindall has noted the move, stating: “Westpac has followed big four bank rival CBA in hiking fixed rates.”

Westpac has bumped up its two-, three-, four- and five-year fixed rates by 0.10 per cent for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest.

It comes after the Commonwealth Bank of Australia hiked its two-, three- and four-year fixed rates for owner-occupiers by 0.10 per cent last Friday.

According to Ms Tindall, “these fixed-rate hikes suggest the days of ultra-cheap funding could be numbered”.

“While the RBA is insistent the next cash rate hike won’t be until at least 2024, the banks are anticipating an increase to the cost of funding once borders reopen and the economy rebounds.

Acknowledging the latest fixed-rate hike as “relatively small”, Ms Tindall did acknowledge that people in the queue for a home loan, who hadn’t already locked in their rate, would “understandably be annoyed”.

Despite the changes across Westpac’s two-, three-, four- and five-year fixed rates, the research director explained that the bank had kept its one- and two-year fixed rates under 2 per cent for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest “in order to stay competitive in a market where refinancing is at record highs”.

“While the writing might be on the wall for fixed rates, the party isn’t over yet – there are still 154 fixed rates under 2 per cent,” she said.

Banks are clearly anticipating rate hikes in the future. RateCity analysis has shown that between 20 September and 19 October, 17 lenders hiked their three-year fixed rate on mortgages, while 12 lenders have changed their four-year fixed rate, and 11 have altered their five-year fixed rate.

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Over the same period, 27 lenders did cut their variable rate, compared to two lenders who hiked their variable home loan rate.

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Mortgages are loans that are used to buy homes and other real estates where the property itself serves as collateral for the loan.

About the author

Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and... Read more



Is ‘ultra-cheap’ funding on its way out?
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