Ring the bell.. (have rates turned?)

I'm surprised this is not bigger news in the press.

So, the Reserve Bank didn't move variable rates today and won't meet until February - BUT

Did you see that LOTS of lenders increased the interest rates on many of their fixed rate home and investment loans in the past 2 weeks. I can see 16 lenders who have moved - including Westpac, ING Direct, Suncorp, ME, Bank of Queensland, Bank of Sydney and RAMS. It's not all banks, and not all fixed terms.

Many commentators are saying this is due to concern that Mr Trump will increase infrastructure lending in the US which will pump their economy and increase their interest rates.

BUT did you also see that NAB, Westpac, StGeorge, and UBank have moved some of their VARIABLE interest rates up this week - Apart from "specials" coming and going, I haven't seen a variable rate rise in the past 2 years. NOTE that this is OUTSIDE of the usual monthly Reserve Bank announcements (due this week).

The variable rate rises are around the fringes on "interest only" home loans and investment loans. The banks are claiming this is due to the cost of money. My (perhaps cynical) view is that they are testing whether people notice variable rises, and how far will the consumer's tolerance be to rises.

Big call, but I'm saying the bell has rung. {NOTE I'm not an economist and I'm not qualified to give financial advice}. BUT if you are interested in fixing your loan, I think it's a great time to do it. Also pay the rate lock fee to secure the rate. Call me if you want to discuss your situation.

I've rung the bell.

{IMAGES - Rhys Pope Photography "The Green Tunnel"}