Changes to interest rates – recent drop to 2%, what does it mean for our clients?

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Whenever the Reserve Bank reduces interest rates, it is always a case of good news/bad news.

Sure it is good news that mortgage repayments become lower, but it is also means that the economy is slowing.

The implications of this week’s announcements are more nuanced than ever before – some investors will be better off and some worse off.  Meanwhile the outcome for others will depend on which bank they are with and their portfolio split.

While the Reserve Bank reduced rates by 0.25 per cent, most banks only partially passed this on to customers.  So, if you are an ANZ borrower, you are probably happy because they were the only big bank to pass the rate on in full.

CBA only passed on 0.2 per cent of the cut.  Not-so-good for borrowers, but if you are a CBA saver, you may well be better off as at the same time CBA correspondingly increased the interest rates on its savings accounts.

Some have argued that CBA increased its deposits rates to give it access to more funds which it can then on-sell to borrowers, but chances are it is due to the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) tightening the screws on speculative lending.  Coincidentally, both Westpac and NAB had their annual results in the same week, what the banks said about lending was highly relevant.  According to one analyst, Westpac now has tighter criteria for loan approvals as it strives to limit its growth in investment loans to 10 per cent, as APRA is recommending.

Related:  Nothing to See Here: Interest Rates Stay Low, Prices Hold Up

Similarly, NABs results it confirmed that steps are being taken to slow growth in investor mortgage lending to meet APRA’s 10 per cent figures.  NAB believes that it will achieve APRA’s guidelines by June 2015

So, what does all this mean for property investors?

If your loan application is currently considered marginal by the banks, it will increasingly be considered marginal by the banks.

But, if you are a blue-chip client the recent rate drop could increase how much the banks will lend you.  Of course you are blue-chip; you are with Chan and Naylor.

Graeme Salt – National Client Finance Manager, Chan & Naylor Finance Australia

Graeme Salt

Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.

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