Housing and business lending rates both reach historic lows: RBA discussion paper

Housing and business lending rates both reach historic lows: RBA discussion paper
Housing and business lending rates both reach historic lows: RBA discussion paper

RBA STAFF DISCUSSION PAPER

Most of the cumulative 75 basis points of cash rate reductions in 2019 has flowed through to mortgage rates paid by households.

Interest rates on outstanding variable-rate housing loans have declined by almost 70 basis points (Graph 11). Following the reductions in the cash rate in 2019, lenders lowered their SVRs on housing loans by an average of 60 basis points, which automatically flowed through to all variable-rate loans.

The average rate paid on outstanding variable-rate loans declined by more than this, reflecting strong competition for new high-quality borrowers as well as households switching away from interest-only loans (which generally have higher interest rates). Following the 25 basis point reduction in the cash rate in March 2020, the major banks have lowered their SVRs on housing loans by 25 basis points.

Rates for fixed-rate housing loans have also declined. Over the past year, the major banks reduced their advertised 3-year fixed lending rates by around 100 basis points for owner-occupiers. This decline was consistent with a similar decline in interest rate swap rates, which are often used as a benchmark for pricing fixed-rate loans (given that they reflect expectations about the future path of the cash rate). 

Graph 11: Variable
					Housing Interest Rates

Interest rates on loans to large businesses – which tend to move with BBSW rates – are estimated to have declined over recent months and are at very low levels (Graph 12). Lending rates for medium and, to a lesser extent, small businesses have also decreased over recent months. 

Graph 12: Business
					Lending Rates
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Rba Rate Decision Low Interest Rates

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