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Fixed rates slashed over 2,000 times in 2020

Lenders made almost 7,000 cuts to home loan interest rates in 2020, and 535 home loan rate increases, according to data.

Figures released by Canstar revealed that between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020, there were 6,777 cuts to home loan interest rates, with an average cut of 0.30 per cent.

The Canstar database showed that lenders made 2,455 cuts to fixed rates for owner occupiers, with an average cut of 0.33 per cent, while 880 cuts were made to variable rates for owner occupiers, with an average cut of 0.21 per cent.

A total of 2,678 fixed rate cuts were made for investors, with an average cut of 0.32 per cent, while 764 cuts were made to variable rates for investors, averaging 0.21 per cent.

Over the same period, there were 535 home loan rate increases, with an average increase of 0.20 per cent.

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There were 19 rate increases for owner occupiers with a variable interest rate with an average increase of 0.21 per cent, while there were 261 fixed rate increases averaging 0.17 per cent.

Investors on a variable rate saw 11 rate increases in 2020 averaging 0.21 per cent, while fixed rates for investors rose 244 times, with an average rate increase of 0.23 per cent.

The average variable rate for owner occupiers paying principal and interest on an 80 per cent loan-to-value ratio (LVR) was 3.73 per cent on 1 January 2020. That rate is currently 3.32 per cent.

The lowest variable rate was 2.69 per cent last year, while it is now 1.99 per cent on 80 per cent LVR, or 1.77 per cent on 60 per cent LVR.

On 1 January 2020, the average three-year fixed rate for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest was 3.15 per cent, while that rate is currently at 2.30 per cent.

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The lowest three-year fixed rate was 2.69 per cent last year, while it is now 1.89 per cent.

The hip pockets of savers took a hit several times last year, with 529 cuts to savings interest rates from 1 January to 31 December 2020, with an average cut of 0.18 per cent.

There were 262 cuts to regular savings accounts with an average cut of 0.19 per cent and 267 cuts to bonus savings accounts, with an average cut of 0.17 per cent.

There were only four savings rate increases during this period, averaging 0.31 per cent.

On 1 January 2020, the average regular savings account rate was 1.12 per cent, while the current rate is 0.43 per cent.

The maximum rate has dropped from 2.65 per cent last year to 1.75 per cent (available for four months).

The average bonus savings account rate has dropped from 1.47 on 1 January 2020 to the current rate of 0.75 per cent.

The maximum rate has dropped from 2.25 per cent last year to 1.35 per cent.

Non-bank lender Better Choice Home Loans recently reduced its rates across many of its Prime, Alt Doc, and specialist products by more than 1 per cent.

Several lenders (including major and non-major banks) cut interest rates in 2020 after the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced the official cash rate to a new record low of 0.10 per cent.

[Related: Mortgage interest rate ‘apathy’ on the rise]

Fixed rates slashed over 2,000 times in 2020
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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