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More rate hikes to come – RBA governor


The Reserve Bank governor has confirmed that interest rates will keep rising as the board continues its attempt to tame inflation.

In a speech before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Philip Lowe said rates could lift again next month, and that the board is considering hiking rates by 0.25 or 0.5 at this meeting.

Last week, NAB’s economic team revised its cash rate forecast and now expects the RBA to raise the cash rate to 3.1% by November. Prior to that, ANZ and CBA also updated their forecasts, with three of the big four banks now predicting the cash rate will be above 3% by Christmas.

RateCity.com.au compiled the updated big four cash rate forecasts:

  • CBA: +0.25% in October, peaking at 2.85% in November. Two 0.25% cuts in August and November 2023
  • Westpac: +0.25% in October, peaking at 3.35% in February 2023. Four 0.25% cuts in 2024
  • NAB: +0.50% in October, peaking at 3.10% in November
  • ANZ: +0.50% in October, peaking at 3.35% in December. Two 0.25% cuts in 2024 

RateCity.com.au crunched the numbers to see how much borrowers’ monthly repayments could increase if the big four bank forecasts are realised:





Loan size

CBA

Cash rate 2.85%

Westpac

Cash rate 3.35%

NAB

Cash rate 3.10%

ANZ

Cash rate 3.35%

$500K

$760

$908

$834

$909

$750K

$1,140

$1,362

$1,251

$1,363

$1M

$1,520

$1,816

$1,668

$1,818

Note: Calculations are estimates and repayments are for an owner-occupier paying principal and interest over 25 years. Starting rate is the RBA existing variable customer rate of 2.86% in April 2022 and big four bank cash rate forecasts are applied.  

“By early next year, the average borrower could see a total increase of more than $900 a month to their mortgage repayments,” said Sally Tindall, RateCity.com.au research director. “The RBA does not have an enviable job in reining in inflation. It’s trying to tame a beast using a very blunt instrument, while attempting to keep the economy on an even keel. There’s every chance the board will need to hike the cash rate above the neutral mark in order to control inflation, only to trim it back down in late 2023 or 2024. Australians should prepare for the cash rate to hit 3.35% in the next six months, potentially even higher, as the RBA does what it can to get inflation back under control.”

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