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Kate McIntyre, 13 Jul 2022

Homeowners in a number of suburbs could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by refinancing to a lower rate now ahead of further rate rises, new research shows.

In contrast, those who sit idle could find themselves “mortgage prisoners” as interest rates climb even further.

The research, commissioned by Reduce Home Loans, identified 20 “mortgage belt” suburbs in NSW where homeowners could save thousands off the life of their home loans by reducing their interest rate by 175 basis points. The study assumed homeowners purchased in 2019 with a 10 per cent deposit and were refinancing from 4.75 per cent down to 3 per cent.

Kellyville, in Sydney’s north west, topped the ranking with the highest number of mortgages per suburb.

The report found borrowers there could save as much as $295,560 by refinancing down to a 3 per cent rate.

The regional centres of Dubbo and Orange were next on the list, with borrowers there potentially saving $98,405 and $110,922 respectively.

Homeowners in the Hills District stood to save the most by refinancing.

Borrowers in Castle Hill could potentially save a whopping $361,427 if they refinanced to an interest rate of 3 per cent, while borrowers in Baulkham Hills were estimated to save about $295,391.

Reduce Home Loans general manager Josh Beitz said borrowers about to come off a fixed term period should consider their options carefully.

“Some borrowers who have reverted, or will soon revert, from a fixed to a variable loan might

find themselves on a higher interest rate, which, of course, would be concerning,” he said.

“It’s important for those borrowers that can afford the rollover rate not to be complacent.”

“The Reserve Bank is likely to keep increasing the cash rate, which will translate into much higher mortgage rates.”

He said some borrowers could find themselves trapped and unable to refinance once rates went past a certain point.

“Lenders always assess borrowers at higher interest rates, so as rates keep increasing,

people’s borrowing power will be reduced. As a result, many borrowers will be locked out of

refinancing,” he said.

“That’s why borrowers should seriously consider refinancing now to a comparable loan with

a lower interest rate – because as rates keep increasing, borrowers can become ‘mortgage

prisoners’ unable to escape spiralling interest rates.”

Top 20 mortgage belt suburbs where refinancers can save (suburb and total savings)

Kellyville $295,560

Dubbo $98,405

Orange $110,922

Castle Hill $361,427

Baulkham Hills $295,391

Blacktown $174,774

Glenmore Park $198,070

Port Macquarie $154,954

Quakers Hill $187,193

Goulburn $113,127

St Clair $179,778

The Ponds $270,671

Cranebrook $167,753

Greystanes $218,715

Armidale $94,359

Prestons $189,960

Glenwood $249,475

Oran Park $203,788

Engadine $237,792

Seven Hills $196,263

* Assumes borrowers have 27 years left on their mortgage and are refinancing from a 4.75% loan to a 3.00% loan.

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