The Impact of Repo Rate Changes on Home Loan Interest Rates
Jun 14, 2023Investments

The Impact of Repo Rate Changes on Home Loan Interest Rates

by Godrej Properties Limited



What is the Repo Rate?

The Repo Rate, standing for Repurchase Agreement or Repurchasing Option, is the interest rate at which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lends money to commercial banks. It serves as a key tool for the RBI to manage inflation. Currently, the repo rate in India is 6.50%.

Home Loan Repo Rate

If you opt for a home loan linked to repo rates or if you switch from your current home loan to such a structure, it's essential to grasp some key aspects. Changes in the repo rate are swiftly transmitted, meaning adjustments in your EMI will be noticeable quite promptly. It also means that if the central bank alters its benchmark lending rate, your home loan EMI could increase. Furthermore, banks will determine the additional bank interest rates they apply to the repo rate for mortgage loans.

Transmission Mechanism to Home Loan Interest Rates

Repo rate changes by the central bank can significantly impact various aspects of the economy, including the interest rates on home loans. Hence, homebuyers and homeowners often wonder how these changes affect their mortgage payments. Let us explore the relationship between repo rate adjustments and home loan interest rates, helping you understand the implications and potential effects. When the central bank adjusts the repo rate, it affects home loan interest rates through the following steps:

  • Commercial Bank

Commercial banks adjust their borrowing from the central bank based on the repo rate, impacting the availability of funds.

  • Cost of Funds

The cost of funds for banks determines lending rates. Therefore, lower repo rates enable banks to borrow at reduced costs, leading to lower interest rates on loans, including home loans.

  • Competition

Changes in repo rates prompt banks to adjust their lending rates to attract borrowers in a competitive environment. As a result, lower repo rates can increase competition among banks, resulting in more attractive home loan interest rates.

  • Demand and Economic Factors

Demand, inflation, economic growth, and credit availability influence home loan interest rates. In addition, repo rate changes indirectly impact these factors, further affecting home loan interest rates.

Understanding the Relationship Between Repo Rates and Home Loan Interest Rates

When the repo rate decreases, banks lower home loan interest rates, making borrowing more affordable and stimulating the real estate market. As a result, lower rates increase housing demand and drive property prices up. On the other hand, if the repo rate increases, banks raise lending rates, including those for home loans. Higher interest rates discourage borrowing, slow down housing demand, and may cause property prices to decline. It's important to note that, while repo rate changes impact home loan interest rates, other factors like borrower creditworthiness, loan tenures, and market conditions influence banks' rates.

How does the Repo Rate impact Home Loans?

Repo rate fluctuations can significantly influence home loans, impacting various aspects:

  • Interest Rates

When the repo rate rises, banks usually raise interest rates on loans, including home loans. This results in borrowers paying higher interest, leading to increased monthly repayments

  • EMI

An increase in the RBI rates leads to higher EMIs, while a decrease in the repo rate results in reduced EMIs.

  • Tenure

Changes in the bank rate and repo rate can alter the tenure of home loans. A higher interest rate may extend the loan tenure, requiring borrowers to make larger monthly payments. 

  • Loan Eligibility

Lower interest rates may make borrowers eligible for a higher loan amount, as the monthly repayment is lower. Conversely, higher interest rates may reduce eligibility for a lower loan amount due to higher monthly repayments.

  • Loan Affordability

Higher housing loan interest rates might make it challenging to afford a home loan as monthly repayments increase. Lower bank home loan interest rates enhance affordability.

  • Prepayment

An increase in the repo rate may lead to higher prepayment and foreclosure charges, making early loan repayment more expensive. Conversely, a decrease in the repo rate could result in lower charges, making it more cost-effective for borrowers to pay off their loans early.

The Final Word

Repo rate changes by the central bank impact home loan interest rates, affecting the real estate market. Lowering the repo rate reduces home loan interest rates, making borrowing affordable and stimulating housing demand. Conversely, increasing the repo rate raises borrowing costs, decreasing housing demand. Awareness of repo rate changes and their influence on home loan interest rates empowers homebuyers and homeowners to make informed financial decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How frequently does the Central Bank change the Repo Rate?

Ans. The central bank periodically reviews and adjusts the repo rate based on prevailing economic conditions. Therefore, the rate change frequency depends on factors such as inflation, economic growth, and monetary policy objectives.

2. Should I wait for repo rate cuts before applying for a Home Loan?

Ans. While repo rate cuts can lead to lower home loan interest rates. It is essential to consider other factors, such as your financial situation, market conditions, and loan eligibility. Consult with a mortgage advisor to assess your options and make an informed decision based on your circumstances.


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