Mortgage holders may need to think twice before fixing rates

11 July 2022

Mortgage holders considering fixing their home loan interest rate at the current rates on offer may need to think twice before doing so, according to one of the nation’s most awarded mortgage brokers.

2021 Australian Mortgage Awards Independent Broker of the Year and Zippy Financial Director and Principal Broker Louisa Sanghera says the current fixed rate offerings are often significantly higher than variable home loan rates.

She says this means that some borrowers may lose out over the long-term if rates didn’t peak above their fixed rate mortgages.

“The real winners are those property owners who fixed their interest rates last year,” Louisa says.

“Anyone wanting to fix the rates on their mortgages ideally should have done so last year when rates were in the one-to-two percent range. Fixed rates are already in the four-to-six percent range, depending on the fixed loan term, which is generally well above the current variable option in most cases – even after the three successive cash rate increases recently.”

Louisa suggests that borrowers review their individual circumstances and seek appropriate advice before deciding whether fixing their interest rate was the right option at the present time.

“Borrowers should consider whether locking in these significantly higher rates is likely to benefit them in the long-term because no one knows when the current rising interest rate cycle will end,” she says adding that higher mortgage repayments are only starting to flow through to borrowers following the May increase given the delay in implementing the changes by lenders.

She remarks: “The RBA won’t have seen any real benefits from the first rate rise yet, such as reduced spending, but they need to increase rates gradually so that borrowers can adjust to the new repayments.”

Understanding household budgets, she adds, is vital for borrowers, to ensure they are well placed for future interest rate adjustments.

“This may include reducing discretionary spending now if they are worried about their cash flow, and potentially refinancing for a better home loan deal if and when is appropriate for them.”

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