ANZ, the fourth largest bank in Australia, announced an increase in its fixed rates by up to 0.35 percentage points for both owner-occupiers and investors on terms of up to five years. Following suit, ING hiked its new customer variable rates by up to 0.08 percentage points and its fixed home loan rates by up to 0.40 percentage points for owner-occupiers.
The RBA board is set to meet on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of raising the cash rate. For the past four months, the RBA has maintained the rates at their current levels, with the last increase occurring in June. However, if a 0.25 per cent rise is approved, the official cash rate will reach 4.35 per cent.
In recent months, there have been more instances of rate hikes compared to cuts in fixed rates across several banks. ANZ's decision to increase its fixed rates is not an isolated event, according to RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall.
Tindall stated, "Over the last month, there have been significantly more hikes in fixed rates than cuts across the market, as banks factor in the rising cost of fixed rate funding."
ANZ's most recent rate increase has positioned the bank as one of the highest-priced options among the major four banks when it comes to lowest advertised fixed rates, except for its two-year loan term.
Tindall explained, "With only 4 percent of new and refinanced loans opting for a fixed rate, banks are unlikely to underprice these rates, as they would not attract new business."
As a result, ANZ has transitioned from offering some of the most competitive fixed loans among the major four banks' lowest rates to being among the least competitive in this category. However, Tindall believes that this move does not indicate a withdrawal from competition.
"When it comes to fixed rates, there is really no significant competition in the market," Tindall added.
Despite these recent fixed rate increases, borrowers may not have a cause for concern. Recent data from the ABS lending indicator indicates that only 4 percent of new home loans in September opted for a fixed rate.
This figure is significantly lower compared to July 2021, when 46 percent of new loans were fixed rate loans.
Overall, it seems that borrowers are less inclined to choose fixed rates at this time, potentially minimizing the impact of banks' rate adjustments.
As for the future, borrowers and industry experts will await the RBA's decision on the cash rate and monitor any further developments in the mortgage market.
Originally published as "ANZ, ING banks lift interest rates ahead of November RBA meeting"
Published:Saturday, 4th Nov 2023
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