Consumers are increasingly caught in ‘camp confusion’ as lenders increase their interest rates despite the cash rate being at its record-low level for the tenth month in a row.
Mortgage broker network 1300HomeLoan said, however, that the confusion is a boon for brokers, as “consumers cannot expect any relief from the [Reserve Bank of Australia] any time soon”.
Managing director John Kolenda said the “sluggish” domestic economy and subdued consumer sentiment are normally triggers for a rate reduction, but that the RBA has held cash rates “because the central bank is worried about the impact of an interest rate cut in the bullish property markets of Sydney and Melbourne”.
He added that any potential cuts in the cash rate in future could also be nullified by out-of-cycle hikes by lenders.
“Rates are moving outside any decisions being made by the RBA as lenders are exposed to global markets and cost of funds,” Mr Koldenda said, suggesting that “complacency” by mortgagors could cost them “thousands of dollars a year”.
Noting that there are rate movements across different products that are “creating large variations across lenders”, he concluded that the “greater confusion for home loan customers has reinforced the need to use a mortgage broker”.