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$900 more a month: When experts say RBA rate hikes will end

A composite image of Australian money piled on top a flat surface and RBA governor Philip Lowe with an arrow pointing upwards in the middle.
The RBA is widely expected to deliver another interest rate hike before the end of the year. (Source: Getty)

Aussie homeowners are expected to cop another sting before Christmas, according to new research from Finder.

In this month’s Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey, 40 experts and economists weighed in on future cash rate moves ahead of tomorrow’s Reserve Bank (RBA) board meeting.

The majority of panellists (88 per cent) believed the cash rate would change tomorrow by 25 basis points – bringing it to 3.10 per cent.

Less than half the experts (43 per cent) said the RBA would then raise the cash rate in February. There is no RBA meeting in January.

Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said an eighth consecutive rate hike could be the final nail in the coffin for many Aussies already struggling to make higher repayments.

“It’s looking fairly certain that Australian households will be dealt another blow by the RBA in its final meeting this year,” Cooke said.

“With the current series of hikes already having added almost $10,000 to the annual cost of a $500,000 mortgage, this won’t be the festive news homeowners were hoping for.”

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said a rate hike this month was imminent.

"Still-high inflation, strong jobs and wages data and the absence of an RBA meeting in January are likely to drive another 0.25 per cent hike in December to 3.10 per cent,” Oliver said.

“But, by the end of 2023, we expect weak growth and a sharp fall in inflation to drive the start of rate cuts.”

The majority of panellists who weighed in (83 per cent) believed the cash rate would peak between 3.25 per cent and 4 per cent, with more than two thirds (71 per cent) expecting it would peak in the first half of 2023.

Cooke said a December rate rise of 0.25 per cent would see homeowners paying hundreds more in interest per month.

“Australians with a $500,000 mortgage will be forking out almost $900 more per month compared to what they were paying in April. That’s a significant amount of extra money to pay every month,” Cooke said.

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