RBA set to make “avalanche of rate rises”

04 Apr 2022

An “avalanche of rate rises” is forecast from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) by experts, that could cost average borrowers over $3,000 in 2022.

A number of the country’s major banks predict a rise in the official cash rate, which is still at the historically low 0.1% level, as soon as June this year.

Multiple rate hikes are expected by lenders in 2022, increasing Australia’s cash rate to approximately 1.5% by the end of next year, 9News reports.

According to head of consumer research at Finder, Graham Cooke, Australian banks are aware of the rate hike predictions and are taking early action to cover margins.

"That's why banks have increased rates across over 400 fixed rate home loan products over the last week – some by up to 75 basis points. This indicates that they may be anticipating not one, but an avalanche of rate rises later in the year. The question is when, and that could be decided by international events,” he said.

The analysis by Finder reveals a 75-basis point rise would cost average borrowers $3,175 this year by increasing monthly repayments by $265.

"Cash rate rises are like buses: they may take a while to come, then arrive one after another," Cooke added.

"Banks have already jumped ahead of the RBA and it looks like the opportunity to lock in a long, low rate for your home may have passed."

Furthermore, the prompts for Australia’s central bank to hike interest rates were already in motion, according to AMP Capital's Chief Economist, Shane Oliver.

"The RBA's objective of full employment has been reached, wages growth is picking up and inflation is pushing well above target with a rising risk that inflation expectations will start to rise in which case it will become self-feeding, and the Budget will add in more stimulus this year," he said.

"So the conditions for a rate hike will be in place by June."