RBA pauses money fee forward of vacation season

With inflation coming in cooler than anticipated, the Reserve Financial institution of Australia gave householders a welcome reward this vacation season, pausing the money fee at 4.35%.

Most economists noticed this coming, with 82% (31/38) predicting a maintain in December’s Finder survey. Many pointed to wages lastly maintaining with inflation, suggesting the financial system could be heading in the right direction.

However the hangover from 13 fee rises continues to be being felt, with the lagged impact biting into family budgets. So, whereas there is a breather this month, the monetary pressure is not over for a lot of Australians.

Reserve Financial institution governor Michele Bullock (pictured above far left) mentioned whereas the financial system has been experiencing a interval of below-trend development, it was stronger than anticipated over the primary half of the 12 months.

“The month-to-month CPI indicator for October prompt that inflation is continuous to reasonable, pushed by the products sector; the inflation replace didn’t, nevertheless, present rather more data on providers inflation,” mentioned Bullock, who was appointed to her position in September.

“Total, measures of inflation expectations stay in keeping with the inflation goal.”

Rate of interest pause a “welcome breather”

The RBA’s choice got here as no shock for a lot of within the mortgage business too, which has witnessed firsthand the dampening impact of prior fee rises on shopper spending and total affordability.

“The pause is a welcome breather, offering a chance for the market to soak up the latest financial shifts and for shoppers to regulate their monetary planning,” based on Matt Fernihough (pictured above centre left), government officer of mortgage administration firm FinSecure.

“An unchanged fee at this juncture sends a reassuring message to debtors, doubtlessly instilling a way of confidence that we’re close to the summit of the speed hike cycle,” mentioned Fernihough, whose firm, FinSecure, goals to increase in 2024.

“This perceived stability may very well be an important consider serving to people to consolidate their monetary methods and make knowledgeable choices transferring ahead, with out the added stress of imminent fee will increase.”

RBA choice made to “keep away from panic”

The hovering value of dwelling has wreaked havoc on many households in 2023, with almost 80% of Aussies affected.

Due to this, Niti Bhargava (pictured above centre proper), director of Melbourne-based brokerage Resolve Finance Derrimut, mentioned she additionally anticipated the money fee pause over the vacation season, largely “to keep away from panic available in the market”.

Graham Cooke (pictured above far proper), head of shopper analysis at Finder, mentioned every thing from housing to groceries, petrol and power prices was affected, and financial circumstances have been “a number of the worst in many years”.

“Aussies with a $600,000 mortgage are forking out roughly $1,349 extra monthly than they have been earlier than the RBA began lifting the money fee in Might final 12 months,” Cooke mentioned. 

That’s a further $16,000 over a 12 months in mortgage repayments alone.

Common Aussie mortgage repayments


Money fee

Common house mortgage fee*

Common month-to-month reimbursement

Common month-to-month improve

Common annual reimbursement

Common annual improve

April 2022





December 2023







Supply: Finder

And lots of debtors are resorting to tapping into financial savings, with 35% of households having already accessed cash from their redraw or offset account to cowl their repayments and price of dwelling bills, based on a latest Canstar survey of mortgage holders.

The results of the Reserve Financial institution’s fee rises

The results of the RBA’s relentless tightening of the money fee are mirrored by the drastic change in mortgage merchandise.

Earlier than the Might 2022 money fee rise, there have been 5,199 proprietor occupied and funding charges listed on Canstar beneath 5.50%, now is only one – a three-year mounted fee at 5.48% provided by Australian Mutual Financial institution.

The bottom variable fee on Canstar as of Might 1, 2022 (previous to the primary money fee rise) was 1.58%, in comparison with  December 4, 2023 when the bottom variable fee is now 5.69% – an enormous distinction of 4.11 proportion factors.

This got here as refinancing exercise reached its peak in July, tapering down within the months after – though there are nonetheless a substantial quantity but to refinance off these low charges.

Nonetheless, there are nonetheless financial savings to be made, offering brokers with the prospect so as to add nice worth.

Switching a $500,000 mortgage with a 30-year mortgage time period from the common variable fee of 6.88% to the bottom variable fee of 5.69% might minimize repayments from $3,286 monthly right down to $2,899 – a saving of $387 monthly or $4,644 per 12 months.

Prime 5 Lowest Variable Dwelling Mortgage Charges (Proprietor occupier, P&I, $500k, Any LVR)





Comparability Price

Month-to-month Compensation* ($500k, 30 years)

The Mutual Financial institution

Particular Variable Price LVR <80%





Australian Mutual Financial institution

3 yr Fundamental Variable Particular Provide 500K+


5.69% (reverts to six.19% after 3 years)




Dwelling Mortgage  LVR <80%





Regional Australia Financial institution

Fundamental 3 yr Introductory Mortgage


5.74% (reverts to six.39% after 3 years)



Illawarra Credit score Union

Naked Necessities Dwelling Mortgage Variable P&I Particular Provide





Supply: www.canstar.com.au – 04/12/2023 1:10PM AEST. Based mostly on proprietor occupier loans on Canstar’s database, accessible for a $500,000 mortgage, any LVR and P&I repayments; excluding first house purchaser solely and different particular situation loans. Lowest charges chosen based mostly on fee after which comparability fee; and sorted in ascending order by fee, adopted by comparability fee, adopted by alphabetically by supplier. One product per supplier is listed. Comparability fee calculated based mostly on a mortgage quantity of $150,000 and a mortgage time period of 25 years. *Month-to-month reimbursement solely applies for introductory interval the place relevant.

Will there be one other RBA fee hike in February?

With the final money fee choice for 2023 performed and dusted, the main focus now turns how the Australian financial system will fare over the brand new 12 months.

Bhargava mentioned this era subsequent 12 months could be “actually attention-grabbing” when it got here to rate of interest rises. She hoped there could be no extra fee rises over the primary half of 2024.

“Over the vacation interval, not less than it would give them the chance to have a good time with their family members and for first house patrons they will nonetheless hold boosting their financial savings whereas engaged on their borrowing capability,” mentioned Bhargava, who had lately opened up her new workplace.

“The pause will assist in stabilising their feelings.”

Fernihough agreed, saying that the money fee had reached its peak and “we’re on the cusp of witnessing” a gradual resurgence of market confidence.

“This optimism is based on the assumption that, over the following few months, there shall be a clearer delineation of market positions, improved affordability, and an total uptick in financial sentiment,” Fernihough mentioned.

What do you consider the RBA’s choice? Remark beneath.