Rate cut welcome

YOU could say that Christmas has come early for Annelise Williams.

Since the dental assistant, 23, of Menai, bought her first property in November, there have been two interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia that her bank subsequently passed on.

‘‘It seems like I entered the market at the right time,’’ said Miss Williams, who purchased a one-bedroom unit at Caringbah.

‘‘There was a good variable rate when I took out a home loan with Commonwealth Bank and it seems to keep going down.’’

She received the $7000 First Home Owners grant and was exempt from stamp duty through the first home stamp duty exemption that ends on December 31.

When the Reserve Bank of Australia sliced interest rates by 25 basis points for the second month in a row on December 6, to a cash rate of 4.25 per cent, borrowers waited for two days before the big four Australian banks followed suit.

ANZ was the first to cut its standard variable rate from 7.55 to 7.30 per cent, NAB dropped to 7.22 per cent, Westpac to 7.36 per cent and Commonwealth cut to 7.31 per cent.

But the rates didn’t come into effect straight away, with ANZ and NAB making their customers wait until December 16 and Westpac and Commonwealth passing on the change yesterday.

Miss Williams, who took on a weekend job to help with her mortgage payments, said the rate drop would give her a bit more freedom to enjoy the festive season.

‘‘It doesn’t hurt to have a bit of extra money in the pocket,’’ Ms Williams said.

‘‘I’m saving to renovate so the more that can go into that fund the better.’’

Malcolm Gunning, deputy president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, said the rate cut would underpin some consumer confidence.

‘‘What this will do (lower interest rates) is put money back into the pockets of mortgage holders,’’ Mr Gunning, principal of Gunning Commercial at Hurstville, said.

‘‘Most people will spend that extra money and the cycle will start again.

‘‘Confidence will translate into spending and that extra money will go into the economy. Confidence is the biggest factor in the residential market.’’

While the big banks’ decision was welcomed by home owners and borrowers alike, ANZ will now review its rates on the second Friday of every month, independent of the RBA’s decision.

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