Canstar reports home loan rate mix

Rate forecasts paint a picture of cautious optimism

Canstar reports home loan rate mix


By Mina Martin

Canstar’s latest interest rate update has identified a mixed bag of rate adjustments within the home loan sector.

Two lenders have raised nine owner-occupier and investor variable rates by an average of 0.07%. Conversely, two lenders reduced 10 owner-occupier and investor variable rates by an average of 0.06%.

Significantly, four lenders have decreased 64 owner-occupier and investor fixed rates by an average of 0.35%, signalling a shift towards more favourable borrowing conditions for some.

See which lenders moved their rates over the week of March 11-18 in the table below.

The average variable interest rate now stands at 6.9% for owner-occupiers with an 80% loan-to-value ratio (LVR), while the lowest variable rate available is 5.69%, offered as an introductory rate by Australian Mutual Bank. Canstar's database maintains twenty rates below 5.75%, consistent with the previous week's figures.

For lowest variable rates available on the Canstar database, see table below.

Anticipated relief for borrowers

Steve Mickenbecker (pictured above), Canstar’s finance expert, offered insights into the broader implications of these rate movements.

“A rate cut of any kind will be a welcome relief for many borrowers battling higher repayments and the compounding cost-of-living crisis,” Mickenbecker said, highlighting the potential for borrower savings if big bank rate cut forecasts come to fruition.

Advising proactive borrower actions

Mikenbecker urged borrowers to not passively wait for rate cuts but to actively seek better deals now.

“It’s time to look for a better rate now and not wait for the Reserve Bank,” he said, suggesting that refinancing to a lower-rate loan could offer immediate financial relief and savings ahead of the Reserve Bank's actions.

Big bank cash rate forecasts

According to Canstar, the summary of cash rate forecasts by major banks painted a picture of cautious optimism:

  • ANZ and Westpac anticipate the current cash rate of 4.35% to peak, with the first cuts expected around November and September, respectively, leading to lower rates into mid-2025.
  • CommBank and NAB also see the current rate as the peak, with predictions for initial cuts around September and the December quarter, respectively.

As the financial landscape continues to evolve, borrowers are encouraged to stay informed and consider their refinancing options.

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