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Three lenders cut variable home loan rates

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CANBERRA, Feb 21 AAP

February 21 2013, 11:41AM

Three small mortgage lenders have independently cut their variable home loan rates without being pushed by a reduction in the official cash rate.

Financial comparison website, RateCity, says it is the first time it has recorded three lenders cutting rates when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has held rates steady.

"While there have been several rate increases out-of-cycle, we've never seen lenders drop variable home loan rates while the cash rate remains stable," RateCity spokesperson Michelle Hutchison said in a statement on Thursday.

Holiday Coast Credit Union cut several of its loan products by 20 basis points, BMC Mortgage reduced several loans by 10 basis points, while IMB trimmed one of its loans by five basis points.

Ms Hutchison believes other lenders have room to move after keeping on average 42 basis points of the RBA's 175 basis points worth of cuts in the cash rate since November 2011 from variable home loan borrowers.

"If these three lenders can afford to cut variable rates out-of-cycle, other lenders - including the major banks - have no excuse to sit on their hands," she said.

She said a 20 basis point cut on an average $300,000 home loan from 5.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent could mean a saving of $456 per year, or $13,680 over the life of a 30-year loan.