Finance Property CBA, ANZ join the rush to raise home loan interest rates

CBA, ANZ join the rush to raise home loan interest rates

australian property market
Rates are on the rise. Photo: Getty
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Commonwealth Bank and ANZ have joined rivals NAB and Westpac in another out-of-cycle increase in mortgage rates for investment and owner-occupier loans.

ANZ has lifted investor home loans for existing customers by 25 basis points to 6.85 per cent from March, while existing owner-occupiers making interest-only repayments will see their rates rise by 2 basis points to 5.45 per cent in July.

Owner-occupiers repaying interest and principal will be unaffected by the changes.

In another step to take the heat out of the speculative end of its loan book, ANZ said new customers looking for an investment loan would be charged an additional 11 basis points, pricing the loans at 5.96 per cent from April.

ANZ business loans will also be nudged up 8 basis points.

CBA will also raise the standard variable rate on interest-only owner-occupier loans by 25 basis points to 5.47 per cent, while principal and interest loans will edge up by 3 basis points.

CBA, which has already tightened investor lending requirements substantially, has also made the most aggressive push on interest-only investor loans, jacking them up by 26 basis points to 5.94 per cent.

Earlier today, Treasurer Scott Morrison said he and the regulator were “concerned” about the resurgence in investor loans seen in the past few months.

Many are also anticipating the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is set to tighten lending standards, adding to those imposed in 2015.

Rate rises forced by hot housing market and APRA demands

“These changes reflect a need to closely manage our regulatory obligations, our portfolio risk and the competitive environment,” said ANZ’s group executive for Australia, Fred Ohlsson.

ANZ has one of the more conservative loan books of the big four banks with the highest percentage of owner-occupier borrowers paying both principal and interest and the lowest reliance on interest-only investor loans.

ANZ and Commonwealth Bank’s moves follows similar action from both Westpac and NAB last week after concerns were again raised by the banking regulator APRA about the need to rein in speculative property lending.

NAB raised its standard variable rate by 7 basis points to 5.32 per cent, while investor loans jumped 25 basis points to 5.8 per cent. Westpac moved a more modest 3 basis points on its standard variable loan and 23 basis points on investor loans.

CBA’s head of retail banking Matt Comyn also said borrowers should consider paying off the loan principal where possible.

“Rising costs and regulatory responsibilities mean we are increasing home loan interest rates,” Mr Comyn said in a prepared statement.

The rate comparison website Mozo said the moves were part of a wider trend sweeping the home loan market that has seen 14 lenders push up variable rates this month alone.

“Investors have been slapped with the biggest rate hikes so far amid growing speculation that APRA will further tighten investor lending standards in another attempt to cool down unsustainable housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne,” Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said.

“The sun appears to be setting on the era of record low interest rates and with a number of lenders still expected to follow the big banks’ lead.”


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