Australia

NAB, ANZ join Commonwealth Bank in raising home loan rates

Three of the Big Four banks have raised their variable home loan rates after the central bank’s decision to lift the official cash rate.
Commonwealth Bank, NAB and ANZ all moved on Wednesday to raise their rates by 0.5 per cent, passing on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate rise in full.
The RBA on Tuesday raised the official cash rate from 0.85 per cent to 1.35 per cent in its third consecutive rise.

The banks’ interest rate increases come into effect on 15 July.

Westpac is the last of the Big Four lenders yet to pass on the interest rate rise, but is expected to follow suit.
For Commonwealth Bank customers, the standard variable rate for owner-occupied loans will increase to 5.9 per cent.
ANZ said the 0.5 per cent increase would increase monthly repayments by $119 on an average home loan of $450,000 for an owner-occupier paying principal and interest.

It also announced it would increase the bonus interest rate on some of its savings accounts by 0.5 per cent.

Further rate rises expected

Home loan comparison service RateCity said the rise would add $137 a month to a $500,000 mortgage, or $499 per month to a $750,000 loan.
The RBA has also flagged further rises, with some economists expecting the cash rate to hit 3.5 per cent next year.
The central bank is using rate rises to get inflation back to its target band of 2 to 3 per cent.
“The board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time,” RBA governor Phillip Lowe said in a post-decision statement.
Inflation is sitting at 5.1 per cent and expected to head towards seven per cent over the course of this year.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Wednesday warned of tougher economic times ahead.
“It is going to be an incredibly difficult period for people, they should brace themselves for high and rising inflation and more rising interest rates, unfortunately,” he told ABC Radio.

“But things will get better. It’s the expectation of the Reserve Bank … that inflation will moderate next year. It will come back down to more normal levels, that will obviously be a big release to people.”

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Mr Chalmers is expected to provide an economic update when federal parliament resumes at the end of the month, before handing down his first budget in October.
“The budget will be all about implementing an economic plan, which includes things like investment in skills, cleaner and cheaper energy, and more affordable childcare,” he said.
“If you’re the treasurer in a new government, you need to focus on the things that you can influence.
“The constraints we have in our economy have been building for the best part of a decade.”
The treasurer said while Australia was not expected to enter a recession, there could be economic consequences should that happen in the US.

“They’ve got higher inflation, and they’ve got a central bank that’s going to have to do a lot of work to try and rein that inflation in,” Mr Chalmers said.

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