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Property Investment 101: Every 1% increase in interest rate means how much extra repayment per month?

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Property Investment 101: Every 1% increase in interest rate means how much extra repayment per month?

Rising interest rates are quite common in recent years

Whether it’s the U.S, or Australia or even the UK, the central banks of these countries have been increasing their rates. Generally, they say it’s to fight the rising inflation. Briefly, when too many people are spending too much of their money and the prices moved up too fast because too much money chasing too few goods, the central banks will increase the rates. People may prefer to keep their money versus spending it since they will get higher returns. Theoretically, that’s what they say.

Well, Malaysia has not much choice but to follow suit. Just look at the US$ versus RM and you get some idea why we cannot let the difference between rates be too big. By the way, exchange rates SHOULD be determined by trade and NOT speculative purpose. Period. Today, let’s just look at numbers which will affect homeowners who are still paying monthly mortgage repayments. Yes, I am one of those affected too and I am happy to be part of this group too.

Calculations, just calculations

Not too long ago, home loan rate used to be 3%. Today it’s around 4%. Taking a look at the calculation from, 1% increase in the rate increase the monthly repayment from RM1,897.22 to RM 2,148.37. This is an increase of RM251.15 or around RM8.40 per day. Technically, it is possible to save RM8.40 extra per day if we did not eat at a restaurant but eat at stalls instead. Alternatively buy bread, magarine and kaya and one can save even more. Haha. Okay, so 1% is not crippling unless when we gotten this loan, we were already over-stretched financially yeah.

How about from 4% it goes up to 5% then? Take a look at the picture below. If the interest rate is 5%, then the total repayment per month is RM2,415.70 Compared to the original 3% interest rate, this is an increase of RM518.48 or RM17.30 daily. If we used to have a Coffee Lean latter daily, we can save RM17.30 if we stop having this latte every day yeah. In other words, lifestyle would determine if we could still keep paying the repayment even if interest rate has increased by 2%.

How about 6% rate then? Total repayment is now RM2,697.98 per month. This is an increase of RM800.80 per month or RM26.70 per day. What could one do? Skip the Coffee Bean latte and also eat at the local stall for three meals versus restaurants. What I wanted to tell everyone is that the truth is, we could save a lot of money if we are really pushed to save it. Okay, sometimes, the latte and the air-conditioned restaurant is needed. If that’s the case, the other way is to buy a cheaper property yeah.

What has happened to the interest rates thus far?

The Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) is set by our central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). It is a rate a borrower bank has to pay to a lending bank for the funds borrowed.

A lower OPR creates the domino effect of lower interest rates – this is meant to encourage consumer spending and spur borrowing activities which in turn, will stimulate the domestic economy. 

A higher OPR, on the other hand, will translate into a higher interest rate and make the borrowing cost expensive for borrowers such as home buyers and businesses.

All the changes in the OPR

Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate was maintained at a historical low of 1.75% since it was reduced from 3% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, until BNM increase it to 2% on 11 May 2022, 2.25% on 6 July 2022, 2.50% on 8 September 2022, and 2.75% on 3 November 2022. Currently, the OPR remains at 2.75%.

The 1.75% was the lowest OPR on record, according to BNM data that dates back to 2004 on its website.

Changes In OPR Malaysia

DateOPR Malaysia
March 20232.75%
January 20232.75%
November 20222.75%
September 20222.50%
July 20222.25%
May 20222.00%
July 20201.75%
May 20202.00%
March 20202.50%
January 20202.75%
November 20193.00%

Fear not about interest rate, fear about buying the wrong property or over-stretching

One does not lose money until one sells. Thus, when interest rate for loans moved upwards and you could still afford the repayment, one does not lose any money even if property prices drop. Just need to keep paying until the rates come down or one earns more salary. Meanwhile, just remember not to buy the wrong property yeah. For that one, even low interest rates cannot save you. Happy thinking.

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Next suggested article: 6 reasons to sell your property

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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