Due to the worsening global economic crisis, the Reserve Bank of Australia has decided to cut the standard cash rate further. This scenario leads to the decreasing percentage of home lenders who avail of mortgage with fixed interest rates.
As the Europe debt situation continually affects the world market, interest rates for a 3-year mortgage deal has become lesser having an average rate of 0.6% compared to the standard variable rate which evidently is much cheaper.
From the earlier months, fixed interest rates were prompted to be more expensive compared to loans with variable rates. This has created a notion that the RBA will regularly cut rates to protect Australia against the threatening economic malaise that currently takes place globally. The Reserve Bank of Australia has taken a cash rate of 4.25% interest last November and December 2011.
The Central Bank’s minutes during the monetary meeting held last December 20, 2011 has decided to make a close call noting that the Reserve Bank of Australia noticed that the domestic economy has performed a bit stronger compared to the case over the last six months. The Central bank has also warned that Europe already has experienced consistent downside and has increased the risk of unstable economy affecting many nations worldwide, including Australia.
Most home lenders would base the fixed loan pricing from the movement of money on the market rather than the cash rate released by RBA. However, truth is the rates in the money market are still influenced by the policy settings of the bank.
As of December 20, Ratecity – a comparison group – found out that home loan clients are paying an average rate of 6.29% to cover a 3-year fixed mortgage, rather than the 6.89% standard variable rate. Last June, the standard variable rate was 7.30%, higher than the 7.42% rates that fixed loans offer to clients.
On the same month, the 3-year fixed loans has actually dropped by 1.13% points, just after the turn down in the Bank Bill Swap rate, which was considered the key standard of the money on the market that financial institutions will use to set the pricing of loans. At the same period, the official cash rate of the RBA has decreased into 0.50% point.
There were also signs that deadlines on fixed rates were slowing down along with the 3-year loans, decreasing from 6.41% (December 1), and 6.29% (December 20). The rates were smaller compared to the 0.25% point reduction in the official cash rate of the RBA last December 6.
Ratecity Chief Executive Damian Smith has pointed out that fixed rates are decreasing and there is a lesser chance for clients to see 3-year fixed rates going down at the same interest rates that they already have. Rates will continually come down at a much decreased rate compared to what they have from the previous 6 months.
At the end of the RBA minutes, economists has concluded that RBA would cut down rates over again on its next scheduled Monetary meeting, which will be on this coming February 2012.
Ben Jarman, JPMorgan Economist said that they view the current policy setting as appropriate, so the RBA would be on its feet from the worsening economic outlook. Jarman added that they expect more bad news from both local and international economy, which will permit RBA to ease over the line.
Bill Evans, Westpac Chief economist considered the case as significantly strong for a 0.25% point easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia on February, and will be followed by another quarterly reduction on May, making a cash rate decrease of 3.75%.
Evans further said that the RBA monetary policy meeting has concentrated on the European situation, which shows the RBA board members are completely concerned.
According to Paul Bloxham, HSBC Chief Economist, the minutes of the monetary policy meeting demonstrates that the global economic risk has greatly affected the rate cuts as the RBA is seeking to apply insurance for protection on the threatening global growth, which the board now expects. RBA is confident on their inflation outlook and this only means that they will cut rates on the first quarter of 2012.