- The interest rate on your home loan is affected by the repo rate, which is determined by the South African Reserve Bank.
- As of September 2023, the repo rate is 8.25% and the prime interest rate is 11.75%.
- A home loan comparison service can get you lower interest rates by submitting your home loan application to multiple banks, allowing you to compare deals.
The interest rate on a home loan will vary depending on what the bank is willing to offer, and how much of a risk they consider you to be.
But aside from your own financial situation, a significant factor affecting interest rates is the repo rate, which is determined by the South African Reserve Bank. The repo rate refers to the rate at which the SARB will lend to commercial banks.
The repo rate in turn determines the prime lending rate, which is the repo rate plus what the banks add on in order to make a profit.
You can use our Bond Calculator to determine what you will pay on a home loan with the updated interest rate,
What is the current prime lending rate?
As of September 2023, the prime lending rate in South Africa is 11.75%. It was increased by 0.25% in November 2021, 0.25% in January 2022, 0.75% in September 2022, 0.25% in January 2023, and another 50 points in March 2023. The 11.75% interest rate was maintained at the September 2023 meeting.
Why all the increases?
- The interest rate was at its lowest point in decades in 2020, as the government sought to stimulate the economy during the pandemic.
- Since then, the government has had to raise the interest rate to combat inflation.
- The recent hikes were result of loadshedding, high inflation, and global price increases.
Are interest rates expected to keep rising?
Earlier in the year, experts predicted that we would see an end to the constant increases.
So far this has proven accurate as the interest rate was maintained in the September 2023 meeting.
Other factors that affect interest rates
As well as the prime interest rate, your financial situation will affect the interest rate that the bank charges on your home loan.
Your credit record
The most significant factor is your credit record, which is affected by things such as your level of debt, and how timeously you pay your bills. Anything above 670 is considered an excellent credit score and is likely to earn you lower interest rates.
The size of your deposit will also affect your interest rates. The higher the deposit, the less risk to the bank, and therefore lower monthly repayments and interest rates.
Using a home loan comparison service
One of the most effective ways to achieve lower interest rates is to use a home loan comparison service such as ooba Home Loans.
We submit your home loan application to multiple banks, and since different banks offer different packages, some of the banks may offer lower interest rates than others.
So we give you the opportunity to compare deals offered by the banks and choose the one with the most favourable interest rates.
Our recommendation: Get prequalified
Prequalification will analyse your credit score and provide you with an estimation of what you can afford on your home loan. Useful information that will also make the seller more likely to accept your offer, as they’ll be more confident you can obtain the required funds (providing you’re purchasing a home within your prequalified price range).
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Estelle Vorster was really helpful in securing the best deal for my home loan, she not only negotiated a lower interest rate she went as far as securing 50% discount on the transfer costs.