Fixed mortgage rates set to rise in coming months: experts

• Mortgage rates hit 3.17% this week, a level we haven’t seen since June 2020

• The window to save by refinancing is shrinking, as experts believe rising rates will be the long-term trend

• Demand for homes remain strong and inventory is low, so don’t expect your house hunt to get any easier

Fixed mortgage rates set to rise in coming months: experts

House prices could jump 17% in 2021 and mortgage rates are set to rise much sooner than expected, ANZ Bank has tipped.

How much earlier than expected?

Well, the Reserve Bank has repeatedly said the official cash rate isn’t likely to increase for a few years, but ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett believes fixed-mortgage rates have already reached their lowest point, or close to it.

In recent times, more than 30% of new loans have been at fixed rates, says Ms Emmett, with two to three-year fixed-term interest rates available below 2%.

But that’s unlikely to be the case for much longer, she believes.

“In the second half of the year these sub-2%, three-year fixed rates that we’re seeing advertised at the moment are less likely to be around,” says Ms Emmett.

“Cheaper funding is not available forever and that will feed through into variable mortgage rates too.”

Shane Oliver, Chief Economist at AMP Capital, also believes fixed mortgage rates “have already started to bottom out”.

“It’s likely that the 30-year tailwind for the property market of falling interest rates has now run its course and longer dated fixed rates (4+ years) are starting to rise,” adds Mr Oliver.

Wait, did you say ANZ is tipping property prices to increase 17%?

That’s right. ANZ economists expect house prices to rise by a “sharp” 17% across the capital cities in 2021.

They’re tipping Sydney and Perth to perform best with 19% growth, followed by Hobart (18%), Melbourne and Brisbane (16%), and Adelaide (13%).

ANZ’s forecast is much more bullish than those of Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, which in February predicted price increases of 8% and 10% respectively.

Ms Emmet says low housing stock levels are combining with FOMO (fear of missing out) to help drive up the market.

“Buyers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates, particularly fixed rates, as well as various government support programs,” Ms Emmet said.

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