Fifteen lenders announce owner occupied variable rate increases

Fifteen lenders have announced rate increases to owner-occupied variable home loans according to comparison website finder.com.au, with the biggest increase being 0.20% by Westpac, Macquarie Bank, Citibank and ME Bank. The Bank of Queensland and CUA are the latest to announce home loan increases, according to finder.com.au.

So far, the biggest increase was 0.20 percentage points by four lenders: Westpac, Macquarie Bank, Citibank and ME Bank, while the average rise was 0.17 percentage points. This will add an extra $33 per month to a $300,000 mortgage, as well as putting more pressure on many households who are preparing for the most expensive time of year at Christmas.

Bank of Queensland and CUA were the latest lenders to announce variable rate increases to its owner-occupied home loans ,with their standard variable home loan rates set to rise by 0.18 and 0.13 percentage points respectively. CUA also announced a 0.14 percentage point drop to one of its home loan products while raising eight others.

It's clear that the Reserve Bank is having less of an impact on interest rate movements so there's no point for borrowers to wait for a cash rate cut and expect lenders to follow. However, the silver lining is that there are hundreds of home loans out there and many smaller lenders are offering very competitive deals. For instance, the cheapest variable rate home loan is 3.79% by Mortgage House (12-month discounted rate).

Now is the time to compare home loans, ask your broker about a discount with your existing lender or switch to a better deal before the rate hikes take effect.