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November 25, 2016

Fixed rates could be on the way up

Australia’s lenders will soon start raising their interest rates – that’s what Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell believes.

“There is growing speculation that the United States’ Federal Reserve will lift the official cash rate at its next board meeting on December 14,” he says.

“Furthermore, other central banks from across the globe are now signalling that the bias for easing monetary policy is over.

“Closer to home, the Reserve Bank of Australia strongly suggested at its November board meeting that the time for easing monetary policy has now passed.

“This idea is supported by the fact that long-term bond rates have started to move slightly higher and we’ve already seen increases in some of the fixed rates on offer domestically.”

Flavell says it’s “very likely” that home loan rates have already hit the bottom of the interest rate cycle.

“If people have been waiting for the bottom of the rate cycle, it may well have already passed,” he says.

“The fact that we’ve seen some lenders starting to increase their fixed-rate pricing would suggest we have hit the bottom of the rate cycle, and are now at the point where rates will soon rise.

“Of course, even if rates do rise in the near future, it is important that borrowers don’t panic.

“The reality is, interest rates are incredibly low by long-term standards. So, even if rates do rise over the coming months, they’ll continue to hover around all-time lows.”

Flavell says anyone concerned about the future trajectory of their home loan interest rate could potentially look to fix all or part of their mortgage.

“There is a case to lock in to a fixed-rate mortgage while home loan rates are still sitting below 4 per cent. By locking in to a fixed-rate mortgage, borrowers could beat any potential rate rises.

“In addition to avoiding future rate rises, borrowers who choose to fix their mortgage will be given a sense of security around their ongoing mortgage repayments.”

Before making any home loan decisions, however, Flavell points out that it’s important for borrowers to consult a mortgage professional.

“Your local broker can help you determine whether or not switching home loans is the right financial move.

“They can do all of the legwork and make sure that whatever choice you make, it’s the right one for your needs.”

About API

Founded in 1997, API is Australia's highest-selling property magazine.