By Brendon Ojala
And the winner is … drum roll please … fixing! Fixing for one year to be precise. But, yes, as always, it does depend on your situation.
The good news keeps coming for those with home loans. Not great news if you have money in the bank savings accounts though.
Interest rates continue to nudge down through the month and there have been significant decreases in the three- to five-year fixed rates in particular. However, there are a number of reasons why most banks and economists are still seeing the “sweet spot” at a one-year fixed rate.
Most of our clients are fixing the majority of their loans for one year and many are leaving a small amount in some sort of floating rate (revolving credit or offset accounts) to provide for flexibility/debt reduction. In making these statements, the disclaimer of course is that every situation is different and unique, so a conversation with your adviser is key before settling on an interest rate strategy.
Anyway, here’s why fixing for one year is so popular right now:
The one-year rate is the lowest on the market and, for an owner-occupied property with 20 per cent equity, we are seeing rates of 4.1-4.2 per cent (the 3.99 specials have gone for the mean time).
The Reserve Bank governor has indicated any change in the Official Cash Rate (OCR) is likely to be mid 2020.
Again the Reserve Bank has indicated the next move for the OCR is as likely to be down as it is up.
Although noting there are other things that affect home loan interest rates rather than just the OCR, it does have a major impact.
Given the above (and of course, who knows what unpredictable market shocks will occur?) fixing at the lowest rate and having a really good chance of being able to fix at low rates in a year’s time seems like a sensible strategy for most.
Do let your adviser know before you re-fix your home loan for another period. We can get some rates from the bank for you to consider and talk through your best strategy.
Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.